Monday, April 23, 2012.
With all the local NFL Draft focus on Shea McClellin and Doug Martin (who will go first?), and Kellen Moore (when will he go?), the other four or five Boise State draft prospects have been under the ol’ radar in recent weeks. Mike Klis of the Denver Post penned a Sunday column about the wisdom of the Broncos taking a defensive tackle in the first round. Klis points out that it’s been 34 years since Denver selected a D-tackle in the first round that actually played for it. And, despite the fact that in the past five seasons the Broncos' run defense has ranked no higher than 22nd in the NFL, Klis doesn’t think they should change the karma. Denver chooses No. 25 Thursday night, and Klis figures the elite defensive tackles will be gone by then. “The Broncos could get a good defensive tackle such as Boise State's Billy Winn at No. 57 in the second round,” writes Klis. Sounds good to me.
National Football Post.com amplifies what appears to be the top reason that Winn is not considered a first round pick. Contributor Dan Pompei claims scouts are still questioning Winn’s motor. Writes Pompei: “He actually improved his effort level in 2011, but he still has the knock on him. ‘He leaves a lot to be desired,’ a college director said. ‘He will drive a defensive line coach nuts.’” I still say the most memorable play of Boise State’s 2009 Fiesta Bowl season was Winn’s takedown of Oregon’s LeGarrette Blount in the end zone for a safety in the season opener. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard Bronco Stadium louder. That’s an example of what Winn can do. Scouts seem to be wondering if he can do it all the time.
No one knows for sure, but reading between the lines of Idaho’s Silver & Gold scrimmage Friday night, you’d have to think Dominique Blackman has the edge in the Vandals’ quarterback competition going into fall camp. You’d also think it’s by process of elimination. Blackman was 13-of-22 for 176 yards and a touchdown with one interception. But take away the TD, a 69-yarder to Mountain View High grad Daniel Micheletti, and the numbers pale. Taylor Davis’ box score line was pale in itself, 4-of-10 for 33 yards with one pick. To be fair, neither QB was surrounded by a full-strength offense, as the injury-decimated Idaho O-line was just trying to keep things taped together while allowing 10 touch-sacks. And the Vandal defense took advantage by capping a solid spring football session.
The Idaho Steelheads didn’t want to let the season go last night. And they worked overtime to that end in Game 5 of the ECHL Western Conference semifinals versus Las Vegas in CenturyLink Arena. The Steelheads scored first, as Ron Meyers put one, as Steelheads play-by-play man Will Hoenike put it, “right under the armpit” of Vegas goalie Joe Fallon midway through the second period. The Wranglers got it back with 2½ minutes remaining in the period on a goal by Adam Miller. And that was it for scoring in regulation. The teams battled more halfway through an overtime period before the Steelies’ season ended in a flash in a 2-1 Wranglers victory.
The story last night was between the pipes. Las Vegas finally reintroduced Fallon to the fray Saturday night for the first time since he returned from the AHL right before the series. Fallon was nails in Saturday night’s 4-1 Las Vegas win in Game 4—then he saved the Wranglers’ bacon twice in overtime last night with acrobatic saves on Steelies shots that looked like sure-thing game-winners. Of course, the Steelies’ lunchpail goalie, Jerry Kuhn, was buying time himself with some magnificent OT stops. Over 10½ minutes into the extra period, though, after Kuhn had clocked 51 saves, the party was over, as Eric Lampe tallied to give Las Vegas a spot in the Western Conference finals against the Alaska Aces.
Graham DeLaet did make the cut over the weekend at the Valero Texas Open. The former Boise State star didn’t have any rounds to write home about, but he earned $14,074 as he continues to play on a medical exemption. So here’s the count and the amount. DeLaet has won $204,264 in 11 starts and still needs $463,902 over his next 15 tournaments to retain his PGA Tour card.
Senior Day couldn’t have gone much better Friday for the Boise State men's tennis team. At the sun-washed Appleton Center, the Broncos shut out both the College of Idaho and UNLV. BSU has now won 26 straight home matches, including a perfect 19-0 mark this year. The Broncos have also won 16 of their last 17 matches, with the only loss coming at No. 1 USC four weeks ago. Next up are the Mountain West Championships starting this Friday in San Diego. Boise State has a bye into Saturday’s semifinals.
Boise State’s Amy Glass didn’t become the first Bronco to advance to the finals at the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships over the weekend, but she did score as no BSU representative has ever done at nationals. In her final meet, Glass recorded a 39.275 in all-around to finish 15th, and a 9.9 on beam, tying for sixth. The beam result earned Glass second-team All-America honors.
A second-place finish in last year’s Race To Robie Creek didn’t sit too well with Boise’s Cori Mooney. After all, Mooney had won Robie six times in her seven previous tries. So she set things straight Saturday, notching victory No. 7 in the grueling half-marathon over Aldape Summit. On the men’s side you had a one-time national champion mountain bike racer who just moved to Boise last year from Sandpoint, as Jamey Yanik won the Race To Robie Creek on his fourth try. Runners Saturday had trouble with the heat. It wasn’t the hottest Robie ever, but Boise’s high temperature of 82 made it close enough. For the record, Boise’s high on "Robie Saturday" was 66 last year and 72 in 2010.
Former Boise Hawks pitcher Angel Guzman was trying to make the L.A. Dodgers roster this season, but that will have to wait. Guzman was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball on Friday for a second violation under the minor league drug program for a “drug of abuse.” Guzman, a 30-year-old right-hander, pitched part of four seasons for the Cubs, going 3-10 with a 4.82 ERA. But he missed all of the 2010 season with a torn shoulder ligament. Recovery was slow, and Guzman never made it above Class A in the Cubs system last year. He’s been pitching for the Dodgers’ Triple-A team in Albuquerque this spring. Guzman was part of the Hawks’ 2001 rotation that included Dontrelle Willis, going 9-1 with a 2.23 ERA.
This Day In Sports…April 23, 1989:
After a victory in his 1,560th NBA game, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar retires from the L.A. Lakers. He was the core of UCLA’s powerhouse teams of the late 60’s when he was known as Lew Alcindor. He converted to Islam while a member of the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971 and changed his name. The 7-2 Abdul-Jabbar played on six NBA championship teams and became the league’s all-time scoring leader with 38,387 points—many of them of his trademark skyhook.
(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.)