Boise State Basketball Coach Leon Rice knew that recruiting for the 2011 class was paramount when he took the Bronco Head Coaching Job. Replacing 6 departing Seniors would give him the chance to lay the foundation of his team & bring in the players that would make Boise State a power in the Mountain West Conference. To accomplish that he searched high and low, and in this case, even down under..
Boise State is on the cusp of a couple of new beginings. Not only will a new coaching staff open the 2010 season this year, but with only one more season left in the Bronco's stay in the WAC, the Broncos will be a state of flux for the next two seasons.
The move to the MWC may have been spurred by a desire to upgrade Football affiliations, but it is likely that the biggest upgrade athletically will be seen on the hardwood, and not the Blue Turf of Bronco stadium.
The Mountain West Conference boasts a much stronger Basketball field than it does football. Even with the loss of BYU and Utah, the MWC regularly has had team ranked in recent history in UNLV, New Mexico, and SDSU.
Last year the MWC had a team ranked in the Top-10, 2 teams ranked in the Top-25, and another receiving votes, while the WAC had only Utah State in the receiving votes category. That is a whole new level of competition for the Broncos.
It is that type of competition that made the 2011 recruiting class, Coach Rice's first real recruiting class, so important to the direction of the program.
The Bronco coaches attacked that need and the results have been beyond what were likely even the most hardcore Bronco Basketball fan's hopes.
Knowing the need to 'wow' the recruits, Coach Rice had a large group come to campus the weekend of the Boise State/Oregon State Football game. The raucus crowd, frenzied by the matchup of two Top-25 teams, and the visit from ESPN Gameday, showcased that energy and emotion to the visiting recruits, and Boise State landed all 3 recruits that visited that weekend. These weren't 'fall back' players, these were first choice, 'in our dreams' type of recruits.
Those 3 recruits, Derrick Marks, Michael Thompson, and Darrius Hamilton joined earlier commit Joe Hanstad to form what, even at that time, was arguably the best Freshmen class of recruits to ever pledge to Boise State.
Now Boise State has pulled another rabbit out of a very deep hat in landing Australian wing Anthony Drmic, yet another incoming Freshman, adding to that remarkable pledged 2011 class.
When reached for confirmation, Anthony wasn't shy in clarifying the news. "Yes I have committed (to Boise State)."
Despite the Broncos struggles last year, and the unknown of a new Coaching staff, Drmic's reason for choosing the Broncos over Valparaiso, St. Mary's, and the University of Portland were easy to identify.
"Picking Boise was really a no brainer for me," he said. "The Coaching staff at have what it takes to make me the best player i can be and Boise the best team it can be."
Anthony, a 6'6" wing who has been at the prestigious Australian Institute of Sport since he was 15, was recruited in part because of his ability to play either the SG/SF position. His size allows him to score from anywhere on the floor.
Anthony showed off that ability recently in International Tourneys where Australia was very successful, in large part because of Anthony, and fellow Australian, and Bronco recruit Igor Hadziomerovic.
When pressed to describe his style of play, he explained that, "I like to think i play a little bit like Paul Pierce. A shooting slasher."
Bronco fans need only look to their lates commit to realize that Coach Rice and his staff are on the cusp of something else in Boise.. building a perennial championship caliber program.
"I'm real Excited for next year at Boise," Anthony stated. "I cant wait to get there and make big things happen as a Bronco!"