Friday, May 17, 2013.
After looking over Chadd Cripe’s numbers in the Statesman from Boise State spring testing, I’m left thinking of what can be for Ebo Makinde. The senior-to-be from Phoenix ran a stunning 4.24 seconds in the 40-yard dash during the drills at the Broncos’ Junior Pro Day and also finished first in the three-cone drill and pro-agility test. Makinde has always dominated in spring testing—it’s the fall testing while the popcorn’s poppin’ that he now needs to ace. He can use his senior season to bust up the cloud that’s been hanging over him since November, 2011. That’s when Makinde, off to a bad start anyway against TCU, collapsed with a hamstring injury on the second of two Casey Pachall bombs that went over him for touchdowns in the Broncos’ 36-35 loss to the Horned Frogs. The raw talent obviously remains. In a few months it’ll be time for harvest.
In post-spring football strength and agility testing in 2010, Makinde finished first in four different categories as his redshirt year ended. He ran a 4.34 in the 40, topping Jamar Taylor and Titus Young. Makinde was also tops in the three-cone drill and the pro agility drill that year, as well as the vertical jump. Then that September, Makinde found himself in the heat of the battle during Boise State’s 33-30 victory over Virginia Tech at FedEx Field—and didn’t play a lot after that. In his career, Makinde has logged 27 tackles and one interception.
No need to spend a lot of time on this, but SI.com’s Chris Burke came up with “Worst Offseason Power Rankings,” meaning the 10 NFL players who have had the worst offseasons. Nine of the 10 had scrapes with the law (the only one who didn’t was No. 3 Tim Tebow). I don’t need to tell you who’s No. 1 on the list. Titus Young is still behind bars, with his family declining to pay his $25,000 bail at this point. Statements by Young’s ex-girlfriend in her court restraining order documents are disturbing. “He would say things like, ‘I understand why O.J. killed his wife,’” she wrote.
With Gary Stevens prepping for his first Preakness Stakes in eight years tomorrow, we get another check of his place in horse racing history. Last week’s Sports Illustrated listed the eight most memorable Triple Crown races of all time, and Stevens won two of them. Writer Mark Beech rates the 1997 Preakness as No. 6—Stevens won that race aboard Silver Charm, giving rider and horse two legs of the Triple Crown before an upset by Touch Gold in the Belmont Stakes.
Stevens’ first Kentucky Derby win aboard Winning Colors 25 years ago is No. 3, with Beech calling it “the most acclaimed victory of trainer D. Wayne Lukas’s Hall of Fame career.” Winning Colors was the third (and last) filly ever to win the Derby. Stevens has teamed with Lukas for his comeback in this year’s Triple Crown races and will ride Oxbow again tomorrow at Pimlico. Oxbow finished sixth in the Run For The Roses two weeks ago. It’ll be another big day at Stevens’ original home track, as Les Bois Park will hit the pause button during its Saturday race card again to show the Preakness.
The Boise State men’s basketball team’s 69-65 win over San Diego State in the regular season finale in March could be considered a harbinger of the team’s hoops future. But the Aztecs aren’t just going to pull over on the side of the court and let the Broncos pass ‘em. SDSU should be the preseason favorite to win the Mountain West next year, a notion strengthened by the commitment it has received the other day from Tulane transfer Josh Davis. The 6-8 forward, who graduates from Tulane tomorrow, will be eligible immediately and is expected to fill the void left by one-time Mountain West Player of the Year Jamaal Franklin. Davis was All-Conference USA last season after averaging 17.6 points and 10.7 rebounds for a Green Wave team that won 20 games. A big get for the Aztecs.
Joe Vaz will play right away for the College of Idaho, do you think? New Coyote coach Scott Garson has signed the 7-1 Vaz to an NAIA Letter of Intent. The junior college transfer from Palomar College in California will become the tallest player ever to put on a C of I uniform. Vaz was the leading rebounder and shot blocker among JC players in the state of California last season.
No bogeys yesterday for Graham DeLaet to open the HP Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, TX. The former Boise State star carded a solid three-under 67 and is tied for 14th going into today’s second round. Thing is, DeLaet is still a whopping seven shots off the pace. How about Keegan Bradley torching the course with a 10-under 60? Elsewhere, Boise State’s T.K. Kim shot a one-under 71 at the NCAA Regionals yesterday at Palouse Ridge in Pullman. He’s six shots behind Will Pearson of Memphis among the golfers with individual invitations to Pullman regional. Only the winner out of that group advances to the NCAA Championships.
The 2013 Famous Idaho Potato Marathon fires up tomorrow morning at 7:00 at Lucky Peak State Park. The temperature tomorrow should be marathon-perfect (not so sure about the sky). Race director Bob Fries expects to see some of the event’s top times ever, for a couple reasons. They’re starting with the full and half-marathons together, allowing “competitive runners in both races the freedom to go all out without needing to pass slower runners and/or walkers.” And for the first time ever, the course will have two full lanes from the starting line to about the 2.5 mile marker near Diversion Dam. In the past, runners would be funneled onto the Greenbelt around mile 1.
In the “state everything” department, it was one of those days for valley schools at the Idaho 5A Baseball Tournament yesterday. Five local teams made the field, and the only one that was victorious beat one of the others—Timberline over Boise, 4-1. Rocky Mountain, Eagle and Borah joined the Braves in the consolation bracket. And the days of state track and field pageantry at Bronco Stadium are long gone, as the state meets that begin today are split between Eagle High (5A and 4A) and Middleton High (3A, 2A and 1A). Good luck to all.
This Day In Sports…May 17, 2011:
Hard to believe it’s been two years. The most prolific professional athlete ever to come out of the state of Idaho passes away at the age of 74. There was no brighter beacon from the Gem State in pro sports than Harmon Killebrew—on so many levels. The Pride of Payette broke into the majors as a 17-year-old in 1954 and hit 573 career home runs. He was the top right-handed home run hitter in American League history until being passed by Alex Rodriguez. But Killebrew also left a legacy of caring, typified by the golf event he founded in 1977 honoring a Minnesota Twins teammate, the Danny Thompson Memorial Tournament in Sun Valley for leukemia research.
(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.)