Boise State men's basketball calls it a season

The Broncos, not in NCAA or NIT fields, decide not to play with mounting injuries.

dsouthorn@idahostatesman.comMarch 17, 2014 

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Boise State basketball defeated New Mexico 71-70 at Taco Bell Arena. Wednesday February 12, 2014

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The Boise State men's basketball team's wild season has come to an end.

After being passed over for the NIT on Sunday, coach Leon Rice said the Broncos will not participate in any of the other postseason tournaments — the College Basketball Invitational and the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Boise State ends the season with a 21-13 record, its year ending Friday in the Mountain West Tournament semifinals with a 70-67 loss to eventual champion New Mexico.

Notable programs such as Indiana, Marquette, UNLV and Ole Miss also chose not to continue after they did not make the NIT field.

"We're just too dinged up to go on," Rice said. "They put everything into that conference tournament. They were devastated they couldn't win it."

Key players such as junior Anthony Drmic, junior Derrick Marks and senior Jeff Elorriaga have battled notable injuries during the past two months.

Boise State lost eight games by four points or less in 2013-14, a season after the Broncos earned their first-ever at-large NCAA Tournament berth.

"It's such a fine line," Rice said. "Three or four games that could easily have gone our way, and we're talking about something totally different."

Rice praised his seniors — Elorriaga, Thomas Bropleh and Ryan Watkins — for finishing their careers on strong notes. Elorriaga had 53 points in his last five games after scoring 52 in his previous 15 games. Bropleh had 12 or more points in 10 of his last 14 games, and Watkins finished as the No. 2 all-time leading rebounder at Boise State with 814.

"I give them a ton of credit," Rice said. "They went down swinging, they fought until the end. So proud of them."

Three of Boise State's top four scorers are expected to return in 2014-15 in Drmic, Marks and junior-to-be Mikey Thompson. Nick Duncan, who played in all 34 games this season as a freshman, will be a key returner as a versatile forward who can play inside and out. Athletic 6-8 forward James Webb III will be coming off a redshirt season. Two November high school signees, 6-9 forward David Wacker and 6-7 wing Chandler Hutchison, will likely be immediate contributors as freshmen.

"We've got to keep on building, and that's what we're going to do," Rice said.

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