By Brian Murphy
Guard Darnell Taylor and forward James Webb III signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball at Boise State on Wednesday, the school announced.
Both are junior college players. Taylor (6-foot-4, 190 pounds) is a sophomore at Saddleback Junior College. Webb (6-9, 190) is a freshman at North Idaho College.
"The nucleus of our program, we built with freshman guys. As you piece together your team, you can kind of see some things that we're lacking or miss. You can spot some things that we're missing," coach Leon Rice said.
"We had a chance to get really, really high-level athletes. With UNLV and San Diego State and those teams that we're competing against, you have to add a few of those. With where this team is and where we want to go, these are guys that can come in and contribute."
As a freshman, Taylor averaged 13.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game for Saddleback.
"His athleticism, it just jumps out at you when you see him," Rice said.
The Broncos recruited Webb out of prep school at The Oaks Virtual Academy in Augusta, Ga., and helped him get to North Idaho. Webb was cleared to play by the NCAA this year and is averaging 11 points and 5 rebounds per game at NIC.
"When you look at San Diego State and you look at Long Beach State, (long, athletic wings are) something they have that we don't have. We just really filled a need for us," Rice said. "His best basketball is ahead of him."
The Broncos have just one senior on this year's team, center Kenny Buckner. Rice said the constant movement in college basketball — two players Drew Wiley and Jarrell Crayton transferred from the program last year — make it "prudent" to add two players.
"It's a prudent move with the state of what basketball players do. It'll be a situation that probably takes care of itself," Rice said. "We owe it to fans, to the program, to the players we have now to better the program."
Rice said the Broncos' pending move from the Mountain West to the Big West in basketball did not have an impact on the recruiting class.
The addition of San Diego State and Hawaii to the league has helped the Big West's reputation.
"There hasn't been objections to it, but we also have to educate them," Rice said.
Projected 2013-14 roster
Seniors: Thomas Bropleh, Jeff Elorriaga, Ryan Watkins
Juniors: Anthony Drmic, Igor Hadziomerovic, Joe Hanstad, Derrick Marks, Jake Ness, Darnell Taylor
Sophomores: Edmunds Dukulis, Darrious Hamilton, Mikey Thompson, Vukasin Vujovic, James Webb III
Freshman: Joey Nebeker