Though they didn't have much chance to get into an offensive rhythm with a combined 88 free throw attempts in the game, the Boise State Broncos earned an 81-75 season-opening win over the University of San Diego on Friday in Los Angeles.
Senior guard/forward Anthony Drmic had team-highs of 21 points and nine rebounds for the Broncos (1-0). Four other Broncos scored in double figures — junior Mikey Thompson and freshman David Wacker had 12 points apiece, while junior Montigo Alford and senior Rob Heyer had 10 apiece. Wacker, Alford and Heyer were playing their first games for Boise State. Boise State's bench outscored San Diego's 34-12.
"I thought our bench did a great job, giving us a huge lift, Montigo and Rob were big differences in that game," Boise State coach Leon Rice said after the game on KBOI 670 AM.
Boise State made 29-of-44 free throws in the victory. After trailing most of the first half, the Broncos took the lead for good on a pair of free throws to go up 35-33 with 43 seconds before halftime and never trailed again. Boise State shot 23-of-49 from the field (46.9 percent).
At halftime, Boise State led the University of San Diego 35-33 in Los Angeles. Senior Anthony Drmic paced the Broncos with 10 points, while senior Rob Heyer, in his first action with the Broncos, scored seven points and had four rebounds. Junior Kevin Allen, also in his debut, had five points and three rebounds.
Boise State had a 17-13 rebounding edge at the half and shot 42.9 percent from the field (9-of-21). Twelve Broncos played in the first half.
From earlier: Boise State senior guard Derrick Marks will not play in Friday's season opener against the University of San Diego at the LMU Classic in Los Angeles, the Broncos announced an hour before tip-off. Marks, ninth in career scoring history at Boise State, was suspended for the team's two exhibition games because of a team rules violation, and was set to miss either Friday's game or Saturday's game against Loyola Marymount.
The school also announced that sophomore guard Dez Trent was suspended two games by the NCAA for participating in an unauthorized summer tournament. He was also supposed to serve a similar suspension to Marks, missing whatever game he didn't this weekend. Here is the school's statement on Trent:
"Boise State men’s basketball sophomore Dezmyn Trent has been suspended for two games by the NCAA for participating in an unauthorized summer league tournament. A miscommunication within the athletics department led to Trent’s participation in the tournament, resulting in the penalty. Efforts to appeal the decision were denied by the NCAA.
The penalty is in addition to a three-game suspension for a violation of team rules Trent is currently serving. He is eligible to return Nov. 22, at Wisconsin."
Freshman center David Wacker got the start against the Toreros. According to Boise State, he is the third freshman to start a season-opener in the last decade. I wrote a story recently on Wacker and his quick development here.