Boise State men's basketball thinks the best yet to come for Hadziomerovic

Hadziomerovic returns to Boise healthy after a summer with the Aussie national team.

dsouthorn@idahostatesman.comOctober 16, 2013 

Boise State guard Igor Hadziomerovic (12) drives between La Salle forward Jerrell Wright, left, and guard Ramon Galloway, right, in the second half of a first-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament, Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in Dayton, Ohio.


— On a team full of known entities, Igor Hadziomerovic is a bit of a mystery.

Around Boise State, coaches and teammates say the junior guard has yet to truly show his talents, due in part to a bothersome foot injury that sapped his strength and confidence. Making 26 starts last season, the native of Melbourne, Australia, averaged 5.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.

“We do a player rating system, and he was one of our top three players (before) last year,” coach Leon Rice said. “You take away a guard’s quickness, and that’s pretty tough. We’re expecting another jump with Iggy.”

As a freshman, Hadziomerovic was limited to 15 games because of a broken foot. He missed three games last season as the injury flared up again. In nonconference play last season, Hadziomerovic shot 41 percent, but that dipped to 31.6 percent in Mountain West games, including 17.2 percent from 3-point range.

“I need to be more aggressive on the offensive end,” Hadziomerovic said. “I don’t think most people have seen what I can do there.”

Following the Broncos’ loss to La Salle in the NCAA Tournament in March, Hadziomerovic got the chance to rest his foot before returning home for a chance to try out for the Australian national team. In June, he was selected as one of two collegiate players to join the national team, playing in four games against China.

Later that month, he was picked for the Australian squad at the World University Games in Russia, where he helped the Boomers take silver, falling to the United States in the gold medal game.

“It was an incredible experience, going against so many good players,” Hadziomerovic said. “I think playing against the European guards, how they play physical, how they use ball screens, I paid attention and hope to translate that into my game.”

After a successful summer spent against some of the world’s best, Hadziomerovic has returned to Boise strong. Two weeks into practice, he said his foot is “100 percent” after lingering last season, and trusting that it won’t let him down, he’s had no hesitance driving the lane off that foot.

“I’ve always said back home, when we were playing, he was better than me,” said guard/forward and fellow Melbourne native Anthony Drmic, who averaged 17.7 points per game last season. “He was a much better scorer back home … he hasn’t really played to his potential, I think, because of confidence. I think this year he’s coming in with a lot more confidence.”

Feeling confident enough to speak of being more aggressive and more physical, already surrounded by scorers, a healthy Hadziomerovic could be yet another offensive weapon for the Broncos.

“He can shoot a lot better than his statistics say,” Rice said. “Hopefully we can keep him healthy and he can bring another big part of the system that expands our game as a team and him as an individual.”

If the Broncos feel the Hadziomerovic’s true skills haven’t shone through, the man himself is even more anxious to put them on display.

“I’m feeling really good, can’t wait to get out there,” Hadziomerovic said.

Dave Southorn: 377-6420, Twitter: @IDS_southorn

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