Come this fall, the Boise State men's basketball team will have as many players on scholarship from 8,000 miles away as it does from 400.
The Broncos have signed 6-foot-8 forward Nick Duncan from the Australian Institute of Sport, and he joins former AIS standouts Anthony Drmic and Igor Hadziomerovic on the roster.
"We like the Aussies," coach Leon Rice said.
Duncan helped Australia to the silver medal at the U17 world championships last year, averaging 7.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.
Rice compared Duncan to former Bishop Kelly High and Gonzaga forward Cory Violette, who averaged nearly 13 points and eight rebounds a game his final three seasons in Spokane.
"I think he brings a lot to the table, gives you some size, gives you some toughness," Rice said.
The Broncos announced the signing of Tacoma, Wash., guard Dezmyn Trent on Wednesday, but Thursday was the first time Rice spoke to the media about the addition of Trent, who scored 26.9 points a game his senior year at Foss High.
"Dez is a guy that fits really well with what we do," Rice said. "When you've got a guy that can score it like that, and you put it with the guys we have, it becomes a 'pick your poison' thing."
With the signings of Duncan and Trent, along with the November signings of junior college transfers Darnell Taylor and James Webb III, the Broncos have four newcomers. They lost only one senior.
Rice said no one has told him of their intent to leave the program.
"Nothing to report yet - these things sort themselves out," Rice said. "As we finish up the (school) year, it'll become crystal clear for everybody."
NO ASSISTANT - YET
Rice said "no news yet" when asked whether he was ready to announce the hiring of a new assistant coach, but said it is "absolutely" close.
He also wouldn't say which current assistant would be promoted to associate head coach.
The Idaho Statesman reported April 2 that the Broncos will hire Danny Henderson, most recently at Duncanville High in Texas. He won more than 700 games as a Texas high school coach.
BSU EYES BIG ROAD GAME
The Broncos have not announced any new nonconference games to go along with December's Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii and return games played last season against Utah, Texas-Arlington, Seattle and New Orleans.
Rice said the team is planning on getting one road game similar to the ones it had against Michigan State and Creighton in November.
"We will get one for sure - we want to give them some high-level games," Rice said. "Going to win at Creighton was the gift that kept on giving all year."
Also, a preseason trip to Australia is in the process of being finalized.
BUFFS COMING TO BOISE
The Broncos will host Colorado in a scrimmage in late October or early November. The Buffaloes have reached the past two NCAA Tournaments and are a likely preseason Top 25 team. Rice is close friends with CU coach Tad Boyle. The scrimmage, per NCAA rules, will be closed to the public and media.
SOFTBALL OPENSMW HOME SLATE TODAY
Boise State will host San Diego State in its first Mountain West home series of the season at Dona Larsen Park, with games at 3 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. San Diego State (27-14, 5-1 MW) sits atop the conference standings, with Boise State (17-22-1, 1-5) on the bottom.
HOME FINALE TODAY FOR MEN'S TENNIS
The Broncos, on the bubble for an NCAA Tournament berth, host Nevada at 1 p.m. at Appleton Tennis Center. Boise State is 4-1 in Mountain West duals this season, while Nevada is 1-3.
WOMEN'S TENNIS HOSTS THREE THIS WEEKEND
Boise State (4-2 MW) hosts Nevada, Fresno State and New Mexico for a series of Mountain West matches Saturday and Sunday at Appleton Tennis Center.
The Broncos have already played New Mexico this season, so they'll face Fresno State at 2 p.m. Saturday and Nevada at 2 p.m. Sunday.
SIX GYMNASTS EARN ACADEMIC HONORS
Erin Wippermann, Brittany Potvin-Green, Kelsey Black, Alessandra Cinfio, Amanda Otuafi and Kelsey Morris were named to the WAC All-Academic team. It is the third honor for Potvin-Green, a senior, and the second for Otuafi, a junior.
Dave Southorn: 377-6420,Twitter: @IDS_southorn