Boise State notebook: Trip to Kentucky one to remember for Rice’s son

dsouthorn@idahostatesman.comDecember 11, 2013 

— Max Rice is on the way to becoming a good basketball player, and he got to see some of the best up close and personal Tuesday.

Rice, the second of Boise State coach Leon Rice’s three sons, went on the road for the first time with his father since he took over at BSU in 2010-11. Lucky for him, that meant going to Rupp Arena, one of basketball’s most storied venues.

“It was awesome,” Max Rice said. “In front of (20,000) fans, it was crazy. It felt like an NBA game.”

Max, 14, found out he was going on the trip Sunday, when Leon told him and his 16-year-old brother, Brock, one could go. It was decided by a coin flip.

“Definitely the most intense coin toss I’ve ever seen,” Max said.

During Tuesday’s game, a 70-55 loss for the Broncos, Max sat on the bench alongside the Boise State players and staff. He was in charge of grabbing a stool for his dad during each timeout. ESPN mentioned the Rice boys' coin toss on air during the game.

“It was really neat, because he takes basketball really serious. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime things,” Leon said.

Leon joked that he asked his son if he wanted to come in the game when his team was struggling on offense. Max said he would “get stepped on” if he entered the game against Kentucky’s massive lineup.

During home games, Max typically sits behind the Boise State bench while Brock sits on the bench next to the team. This time, Max got to be right in the middle of the action.

“He probably won’t be too happy about that — he didn’t think I’d actually get on the bench,” he said.

News and notes

The crowd of 21,565 is the largest ever to see a Boise State basketball game. The previous record was 20,398 at BYU on Dec. 13, 1996. … Anthony Drmic’s 18 points moved him into a tie for 16th all-time at Boise State with 1,074 career points, alongside Eric Lane (2003-07). … Boise State shot 31.9 percent and is 1-9 under Rice when shooting less than 35 percent from the field.

Dave Southorn: 377-6420,Twitter: @IDS_Southorn

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