By Jeff Goodman
Josh Pastner is keeping tabs on Joe Jackson. Jim Calhoun is following Jeremy Lamb, and Greg McDermott has made the trek to Lithuania to watch his guy, who also happens to be his son, Doug McDermott.
Boise State coach Leon Rice’s deal is a little different.
The Broncs' head man has two players playing in the U-19 World Championships in Lithuania – including one, Anthony Drmic -- who leads the entire event in scoring.
However, Rice has yet to see either of his signees play in person – and he can’t even watch them play on the Internet because Australia’s games haven’t been live streamed.
"We watch the Gamecasts,” Rice said. "It’s still a lot of fun.”
Rice signed two Aussie guards out of the Australian Institute of Sport program who will arrive in Boise soon: Drmic and Igor Hadziomerovic.
Drmic was averaging 23.3 points entering Tuesday and had made 17 of 26 shots from beyond the arc. Hadziomerovic was second on his team in scoring at 15.8 points per contest and had made 6 of 13 shots from long range.
Rice said there were a couple of factors that led him to focus on Aussies – and send assistant Jeff Linder overseas shortly after he got the head job at Boise.
"Over the years, while I was at Gonzaga, we watched Saint Mary’s and all their Aussies,” Rice said. "And Ray Giacoletti, who coached Andrew Bogut, told me how the kids coming out of the Institute were a lot better than people thought and seemed to pan out.”
"These guys have a little more experience than your average freshman,” Rice added. "They’ll be 20 years old as freshmen.”
So Linder went out, identified Drmic and Iggy (Rice is still working on pronouncing his last name) and then brought them both to Boise for visits.
"I think they both realized they could come in right away and play,” Rice said.
That’s because Boise is losing just about everyone from last year’s 22-13 squad.
Rice will bring in eight scholarship players, one transfer and a pair of walk-ons.
"I have no clue what I have yet,” Rice said. "I had more of a clue when I was a junior college coach.”
But Rice is starting to realize that he may have a couple of quality Aussies in the mix.
"I’ve never seen them, but the first thing you notice when you watch them on tape is their feel for the game,” Rice said. "It’s something we really value. We want to play up-tempo, put guys in a lot of ball-screens and get four shooters around one big – and these guys can really shoot the ball.”
Drmic finished with 22 points in a big win Monday against Russia.
But Rice still doesn’t know exactly what he has. He’s hoping that Australia makes it to the next round – and then he’ll be able to watch more than just the Gamecast.