Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
So now that Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison has been named first-team All-Mountain West by conference coaches after being a second-team pick by the media, here’s the question: which All-Mountain West team is official? The conference website calls the coaches’ version the “2016-17 Men’s Basketball All-Conference Team.” There you go. Hutchison is official. It’s judged on league games, and the junior forward topped the Broncos with 16.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game while leading them to a third-place Mountain West finish after they were picked to come in fifth. Boise State has landed a first-team all-conference selection for the third consecutive season, the first time that’s happened in 18 years. Derrick Marks was a first-teamer two seasons ago, and James Webb III made the cut last year.
What does Boise State do for an encore after a school-record 20 three-pointers at Air Force last Saturday? Even half of that would be helpful tomorrow night against the winner of tonight’s San Diego State-UNLV game. But one week earlier the Broncos were just 4-for-22 against San Jose State, and they won. Last week versus Fresno State Boise State was a decent 7-for-18 from deep—and lost. Any team that drains 20 treys is going to be tough to deal with, though. Ironically, James Reid and Nick Duncan, who were the feature characters at Air Force, have the exact same number of made three-pointers this season. Their total of 62 apiece is tied for fifth in the Mountain West.
The men’s side of the Mountain West Tournament fires up today in Las Vegas with the play-in games. Utah State faces San Jose State and Wyoming takes on Air Force, with things capped tonight by the aforementioned game between the Aztecs and Rebels. The Big Sky Tournament is underway in Reno, with Idaho State’s season ending in one of the play-in games. The Bengals fell 91-76 to Sacramento State yesterday and finish a disappointing 5-26.
College of Idaho opens play tonight at the NAIA Division II National Championships in Point Lookout, MO. The Coyotes face the team that knocked them out of the tournament two years ago, Dakota Wesleyan. The Tigers toppled the Yotes 88-80 in the 2015 national quarterfinals and made it to the title game. This year’s DWU team is, like C of I, 23-9 on the season. Something’s gotta give—the Yotes lead the Cascade Conference in scoring defense, and the Wildcats come in averaging 91 points per game.
Brooke Pahukoa was baseline-to-baseline brilliant yesterday, and the Boise State women advanced to the Mountain West Tournament semifinals with a 64-62 win over New Mexico at Thomas & Mack. Pahukoa capped a 25-point day with a fallaway jumper with one second left, ending a frantic game that featured 17 lead changes. Tonight the Broncos, owners of an eight-game winning streak, go up against the conference’s regular season champion, Colorado State, who didn’t have it easy yesterday in a 65-60 victory over San Jose State.
James Webb III’s first professional season is over. A statement from Delaware 87ers general manager Brandon Williams tells the story on the former Boise State star: “In Sunday’s game vs. the Erie BayHawks, James suffered what initially appeared to be a right ankle sprain. After X-rays and medical examinations, a fracture was revealed. Consequently, James will be sidelined for the remainder of the season. James will undergo surgery this week to promptly begin the recovery and rehabilitation process.” In 39 games this season, Webb averaged 13.2 points and 9.3 rebounds for Delaware after being assigned to the 87ers by the Philadelphia 76ers. He was ranked No. 24 in the D-League’s latest NBA “Prospect Watch.”
It’s always hard to predict which Boise State true freshmen will be good enough (or needed enough) to skip redshirt years and contribute in the fall. Even for coach Bryan Harsin. Last summer at Mountain West Media Days, Harsin rattled off a list of guys he thought might have an impact during the 2016 season, including wide receiver Julian Carter, linebacker Desmond Williams, and defensive linemen Jabari Watson and Kayode Rufai. All four ended up redshirting. They automatically become players to watch during spring football. A step-up by Carter would be huge at wideout, a position under the microscope for the Broncos.
Brett Rypien won’t have to be looking for BYU’s Dayan Lake this October in Provo. But Rypien will have to be keenly aware of Dayan Ghanwoloku. Lake was one of two Cougars who returned interceptions for touchdowns last year during the Broncos’ 28-27 win on the blue turf. Lake has now changed his last name to Ghanwoloku in honor of his uncle who passed away last year. Ghanwoloku was born in Liberia and left the civil war-plagued African nation when he was five years old. He lived with the uncle in New York before his family moved to Utah. Ghanwoloku’s pick at Albertsons Stadium was one of three he logged last year.
The Idaho Steelheads are getting some rest now after their longest road trip of the season, one that saw them win seven of eight games. The Steelheads finally return home to CenturyLink Arena to host Cincinnati this Friday and Saturday. This will be Cincinnati’s first visit to Boise since the 2010 Kelly Cup Finals, which they won four games-to-one. Cincy brings in a hot goalie—Joel Rumpel is the ECHL Goaltender of the Week after stopping 97 of the 99 shots he faced in two victories last week, one of them a shutout. The Cyclones are a hot team, too; they’ve won 13 of their last 17 games.
This Day In Sports…March 8, 2013:
The longest streak of games without a loss in regulation to start a season in NHL history comes to an end when the Chicago Blackhawks are throttled by the Colorado Avalanche, 6-2. The Blackhawks had registered at least one point in 24 straight games at the beginning of the lockout-shortened campaign, going 21-0-3 during the streak. Chicago shattered the previous record of 16 games set by the Anaheim Ducks in 2006-07.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)