Boise State's Drmic quietly keeps scoring

The Australian guard/forward has turned a double-figure game into just another day at the office.

dsouthorn@idahostatesman.comFebruary 22, 2014 

  • UNLV AT BOISE STATE

    • Vegas line: Boise State by 6

    • Tickets: $14-$20 plus fees; Taco Bell Arena box office or via phone (426-4737)

    • Series: UNLV leads 6-2 (Rebels won 73-69 in Las Vegas on Feb. 1)

    • Notable: The Rebels are No. 6 in the nation in 3-point field goal defense, allowing teams to shoot 28.2 percent from outside, while the Broncos are tied for No. 25 in 3-point offense, making 39.2 percent of their 3s. … Boise State's student section, The Corral, will have a flash mob during the game and hopes to draw 3,000 students.

— Somehow, Anthony Drmic has made being great a little ordinary.

Maybe it's because the Boise State men's basketball junior, averaging 17.3 points per game, set the bar high early. His 348 points in his first season were the second-most ever by a Bronco freshman, and his 565 last season were the most by a sophomore.

This season, he's scored in double figures in 21-of-25 games he's played - excellent by most standards, but par for the course for Drmic.

"What's crazy is I really don't talk enough about him. He leads in scoring and does so many things, playing at such a high level, I probably take it for granted - he's been so consistent," Boise State coach Leon Rice said.

As Drmic and the Broncos host UNLV on Saturday, the Australian sharpshooter is on pace to threaten the school scoring record.

Drmic has scored 1,345 points, eighth in Boise State history and 600 away from the record of 1,944 by Tanoka Beard from 1989-93.

"He's the best shooter in the league," Colorado State coach Larry Eustachy said after Drmic scored 19 points Tuesday in an 84-72 win over the Rams.

His overall scoring average is ever slightly behind last season's 17.5 ppg, but Drmic has been perhaps more of a weapon. In Mountain West play, he's scoring 15.2 ppg while shooting 45.6 percent from the field, including 41.1 percent from 3-point range.

Last season, Drmic scored 18.8 ppg in Mountain West games, but shot 44.9 percent overall and 37.4 percent on 3s. He took 13.4 field goal attempts per Mountain West game last season - he's currently averaging 11.3 this year.

"I feel I've been a little more efficient, being able to score more off fewer shots, which is what you want," Drmic said.

Though he is a scorer and will be as long as he's at Boise State, as Drmic and the Broncos have grown, he knows he isn't the only one that can put points on the board.

"It's not easy to top what happened last year, especially since we have so many other shooters," Drmic said. "It's totally fine with me. I don't need to score. Plenty other guys can do it. If I need to, I will, but if we have a bunch of guys scoring, that's the best thing for this team."

Rice said Drmic's shot selection has improved this season. So has his ability to contend with most other teams' power forwards, who often have 2 or 3 inches and 30 pounds on the 6-foot-6, 196-pound Drmic, second on the team with 4.8 rebounds per game.

"He's always been a competitor. … Night after night, he does a good job on usually a bigger guy, and has really come up with some huge boards for us," Rice said.

Drmic scored 22 ppg last season against UNLV, but had only four points Feb. 1 in a 73-69 loss in Las Vegas. As Rice alluded to, Drmic is welcoming a tough Rebel defense and a chance to make that game three weeks ago the anomaly.

"It's a tough matchup for us, tough but fun. I always look forward to playing them," Drmic said.

BRONCO WOMEN, IN SECOND, OFF TO VEGAS

Coming off a 71-51 loss Wednesday to league-leading Colorado State, Boise State hopes to strengthen its position behind the Rams at 3 p.m. Saturday against UNLV. The Broncos (14-10, 9-4) are alone in second place in the Mountain West with five games remaining. Fresno State and Nevada are a half-game back at 9-5 in league play, with Wyoming a game back at 8-5. In their prior meeting Feb. 1, the Broncos routed UNLV (10-15, 7-6) in Boise 79-49.

Dave Southorn: 377-6420, Twitter: @IDS_Southorn

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