Need size.. will travel.

<b>Quick Quiz:</b><br>What do Turkey, Nepal, and the Ivory Coast have in common??<br><br><b>Answer = </b>They Bronco Basketball team hasn't had a big man from those countries. <b>YET!</b><br><br>Sound far-fetched? Then you must be new to the area.<br><br>The Broncos have gone to France, Australia, Greece, back to Australia, and now with the signing of Mattias Johansson, they've harvested a big man out of Sweden...

Yes, the Broncos have had players from such far-off, foreign lands as France, Australia, Canada, Utah, :) ... in the past....

But when Coach Graham and staff arrived in Boise a little over a year ago, they weren't left with a lot of options. Desperately needing size, and behind in recruiting to nearly every other school in the west, they had to look harder for talent, which meant getting down where others hadn't looked.. literally.. like Down Under.

One of the first signings of the Greg Graham era was Larry Davidson, a 6'9 PF out of Australia who redshirted last season while recuperating from knee surgery. Since Larry RS'd last season, not a lot of people know much about him in Boise, but back 'Down Under'.. he is very well known. He was the R.E. Staunton Memorial Award (Tourney MVP) winner in the Australian U20 Men's Championship tourney, leading New South Wales while averaging nearly Double/Double. Larry also displayed that same ability on a National Level, averaging 9 rebounds per game at the National U20 Tourney. However, don't start thinking that LD is just your typial banger... he has both an inside and outside game, with the ability to step outside the arch and drain a '3' or bang inside with the big boys. How he ended up in Boise is probably thanks, (at least in part) to the inroads the Broncos made at the Australian Institute of Sports, (where Larry also starred), while recruiting Luke Schensher who ultimately ended up at Georgia Tech.

There was also talk of the recruiting of a teammate of LD's from Australia, a 7-footer who played against the Broncos during the pre-season.. but nothing has materialized from that... yet.

Then, another big man found his way to Boise when rumors of a tall dark stranger on campus turned into fact with the confirmation that a true 7-footer (7'1 to be exact) from Paris TX was on campus. Paris, TX? He may have played his JC ball in Paris Tx, but Paris France is closer to home for this Bronco. Kostas Avgerinos (joining the Broncos from Greece, by way of TX) showed flashes of talent, but the jump up from JC ball to the WAC was more than he was ready for in 1 season. With a full season to learn the system, and have the Bronco Strength staff transform him, much more will be expected of this Megalos Andras. (Greek for Big Man)

Enter the latest Bronco Big-man. Mattias Johansson, originally from Uppsala, Sweden.. but more recently from Prescot, Arizona. Mattias is around 20lbs heavier than Kostas while a couple inches shorter. He is described by one JC Scout as being, "built like a bull moose, very rugged and physical, runs well, very intense, a good rebounder/post defender. Mattias saw limited action at his JC because the style of ball they played, (Guard heavy), but he is actually considered by that same JC Scout to be quite a steal for the Broncos. One of the best things about this signing, (beyond the obvious need) is that... Mattias and Kostas will get to battle each other every day in practice. No more getting rebounds over smaller players who have better position. The addition of another big body gives the Broncos some much-needed depth at a critical position. Even if it's only an additional 5 fouls, that's 5 more than they had last season.

Mattias may not be the savior of Boise State Basketball, (he averaged less than 5 points and 3 rebounds per game last season), but with 2 scholarships sitting around gathering dust, it makes more sense to take a chance on a project than to hold out hope that the next Big thing will come walking into Coach Graham's office.

Besides, in the past few seasons, the Broncos have covered the Netherlands, England, Canada, France, Australia, and Greece. Sweden was the next logical step.

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