BOISE — For the second straight season, the Boise State men's basketball team has a pair of second-team All-Mountain West selections.
Senior forward Ryan Watkins and junior guard/forward Anthony Drmic were voted to the second team Monday. Drmic also earned second-team honors last year as a sophomore. Junior guard Derrick Marks was an honorable mention pick after being a second-teamer last year.
"I'm really proud of them, for different reasons," Rice said.
San Diego State senior guard Xavier Thames was voted Player of the Year, and the Aztecs' Steve Fisher was Coach of the Year.
Watkins became the first player in Mountain West history with more than 200 points and 200 rebounds in league play, scoring 244 points and pulling down a record 225 rebounds. The 6-foot-9 senior had 104 offensive rebounds in league play, 18 more than Wyoming had as a team. Rice said when Watkins came into the program, he probably wasn't a Mountain West-caliber player, but has made himself into one of the best forwards in a league full of top-notch front-line players.
"It's a blessing to me. A lot of great players made that list and made that list before me," Watkins said. " It's crazy to see how far I've been able to come. It's a credit to my teammates, my coaches and everyone me for helping me out."
Drmic has scored a team-best 14.8 points per game in league play, and has done most of it since developing a stress fracture in his foot in January. The injury has severely limited his practice time, but he still hit double figures in 14 of the 17 league games he played.
"He's really given it up for the team for him to be an all-league player, that's terrific," Rice said. "He's such a tough kid. I think there are a lot of kids that wouldn't even be playing."
The other honors were given to UNLV junior forward Khem Birch, who repeated as Defensive Player of the Year; San Diego State senior forward Josh Davis, a transfer from Tulane who also played at N.C. State (Newcomer of the Year); and Fresno State guard/forward Paul Watson (Freshman of the Year).
A SILVER LINING
Boise State opens Mountain West Tournament play at 8 p.m. Wednesday as the No. 6 seed against 11th-seeded San Jose State. The top five seeds get byes, and though the Broncos hoped for that, there are positives of playing while the next opponent - Nevada in this case - won't have played since Saturday.
"I've seen in tournaments before if you get that first one, there's an advantage to playing the day before," Rice said. " anybody can beat anybody in this tournament. You could play it 10 times and get 10 different outcomes."
Dave Southorn: 377-6420; Twitter: @IDS_Southorn