HONOLULU — Though they lost Wednesday with a chance to knock off a ranked team, the Boise State Broncos still feel optimistic looking forward.
A key part of that is getting solid play from the guys who start the game on the bench.
In their 70-66 loss to No. 14 Iowa State in the Diamond Head Classic championship, the Broncos used three bench players, and each made an impact.
Sophomore Mikey Thompson had four points and two assists in 19 minutes, senior Thomas Bropleh had eight points and freshman Nick Duncan had five rebounds in 12 minutes.
The Broncos' bench had 14 points to the Cyclones zero.
The bench was huge over here in Honolulu, Boise State coach Leon Rice said. That was really encouraging, and thats what we have to keep developing and going into league, you have to have that.
In the three-day Diamond Head Classic, Thompson had 22 points, while Bropleh added 20, his best-three-game span of the season.
Boise State hosts Fresno State on Jan. 4 in its next game, the Broncos' Mountain West opener.
Drmic named to all-tourney team
Boise State junior Anthony Drmic had 16 points Wednesday, giving him 67 in three games in Hawaii. He was named to the Diamond Head Classic all-tournament team after the loss to Iowa State.
Drmic had a lei around his neck and was given an oar that served as a trophy for his achievement.
He was terrific, Rice said.
My teammates trust me to shoot the ball, to make plays and score. They need me to do that, Drmic said. With that trust, Ive got to go out there and do those things for them so hopefully we can win games.
Iowa States DeAndre Kane was named tournament MVP. He had 61 points, 23 rebounds and 15 assists in three games.
Taking in the Hawaii experience
The Broncos stressed on keeping themselves distanced from potential distractions of playing in Hawaii during their entire stay.
Outside of free time Saturday, the day before their first game, and a beach workout Tuesday during their day off, the Broncos were all business.
Since the team doesnt fly home until late Friday night, players will soak in Hawaii in earnest. Rice said the team is going snorkeling at the popular tourist attraction Hanauma Bay on Thursday.
These guys have done a great job being here in Honolulu and being on Waikiki Beach, and we kept our focus as good or better than any team, I know for sure, and now we get to reward them with a day where they can relax for a little bit and we'll put our hard hats on when we get back to Boise and go to work, Rice said.
Dave Southorn: 377-6420, Twitter: @IDS_Southorn