Wednesday, February 6, 2013.
Boise State just experienced a future NBA regular in UNLV freshman star Anthony Bennett. The Broncos will face another tonight in the form of San Diego State’s Jamaal Franklin. The Aztecs’ superstar is the reigning Mountain West Player of the Year and scoring champion—and this season is averaging 17.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. If you’d like to know what kind of athlete we’re talking about, go to YouTube and check out Franklin throwing an alley oop pass off the backboard—and grabbing it himself for a flying dunk. He tossed the ball up from around the three-point line while going full-speed in transition.
The Broncos would like to focus on themselves tonight, but San Diego State’s talent will have a lot to say about their performance. Not only is there Franklin, senior guard Chase Tapley provides his own challenge. Tapley will be close to full strength after playing with a wrist brace and going 1-of-7 from the field in the Aztecs’ loss at Air Force last Saturday. “Chase is back in business,” Fisher told the San Diego Union-Tribune. Point guard Xavier Thames may not be. Thames has been hampered by a back strain the past five weeks, and Fisher hasn’t determined whether Thames might be able to play through the pain or if he’ll be shut down completely for a couple weeks. He’s missed SDSU’s last three games.
Hey, Joey Martarano: Parade Magazine is calling you a really good football player. Boise State fans hope Martarano remembers that when he’s drafted by a major league baseball team in early June. The Fruitland High star, an honorable mention pick on Parade’s annual All-America high school football team last Sunday, is set to sign with the Broncos today, National Letter Of Intent Day. He’s been all about football all the way through the process. But Martarano also is one of Baseball America’s top 100 prospects for the big league draft as a power-hitting third baseman. If he goes high in the draft, it could mean a once-in-a-lifetime shot at a seven-figure bonus. One way or the other, there will be some Boise State football news in June during an otherwise quiet time of the year.
BroncoCountry.com posted an interview with Martarano over the weekend during which he says he’s “100 percent committed” to the Broncos and plans to join the team’s summer bridge program in late June. There was no mention of baseball at all. "I'm just working out for football," he told BroncoCountry. "I'm lifting four times a week, work two times a week on speed stuff, and I'm training real hard. It's going well.”
Today is the 15th anniversary of KTIK’s first Letter Of Intent Day show. So for JP’s and Caves’ and Prater’s sake, let’s look back on the 1998 Boise State signing class. It was Dirk Koetter’s first season, and he had taken the Bronco job in December, so he got a late start on the recruiting trail. But it went amazingly well. One of the signees, safety Quintin Mikell, is still in the NFL. Mikell anchored the group that, as seniors, would win Boise State’s first WAC championship and get the Broncos’ first win ever over a BCS school, the victory over Iowa State in the Humanitarian Bowl. The class also included Tony Altieri, Lou Fanucchi, Bobby Hammer, Scott Huff, B.J. Rhode, Matt Strohfus, Jay Swillie, Rob Vian and Billy Wingfield. Oh, and one guy who wasn’t on the signing list. He was a walk-on, Brock Forsey, who would go on to become one of the top-scoring players in college football history.
Is this a “ye of little faith” moment? I had little faith. But it took one day for Titus Young to land a new NFL opportunity, and it will be alongside his former Boise State running mate, Austin Pettis. Young, cut Monday by Detroit, was claimed off waivers yesterday by the St. Louis Rams. Coach Jeff Fisher and the Rams don’t have anything invested in Young like the Lions did, so it was worth a shot. Maybe Fisher can make some headway with the headstrong wide receiver. St. Louis averaged just 18.7 points per game last season, and wideouts Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson and Steve Smith are all unrestricted free agents.
Here’s a post-Super Bowl trivia nugget from a Scott Slant reader. Teams with a former Idaho Vandal starting at offensive guard had won six straight Super Bowls, with the streak ending in the 49ers’ loss to the Ravens last Sunday (it wasn’t Mike Iupati’s fault, though). Jerry Kramer was at guard for the Packers in the first two Super Bowls, Mark Schlereth won rings with the Redskins and twice with Denver, and Jake Scott started on the Colts’ offensive line that was victorious six years ago. Thanks, Nick.
Roster flux continues for the Idaho Steelheads, but this time it’s in their favor going into tonight’s game versus the Utah Grizzlies in CenturyLink Arena. After losing defenseman Patrick Cullity to Springfield of the AHL Monday, the Steelheads got goalie Tyler Beskorowany back from the AHL’s Texas Stars. The Steelies have also signed one of their old standbys, defenseman Kory Scoran, who has played parts of five different seasons with Idaho. Scoran scored 16 points in 37 games for the Steelheads last season. As for Utah, the Grizzlies bring in the newly-named ECHL Player of the Week in Colin Vock. Utah scored eight goals in two games last week, and Vock had six of them via a pair of hat tricks.
The Idaho Stampede landed nary a representative on the D-League All-Star team, which will be divided into “Prospects” and “Futures” squads during NBA All-Star Weekend a week from Saturday in Houston. Fourteen of the 20 All-Stars have NBA experience. The Stampede are enjoying an extended homestand, with another pair of games in CenturyLink Arena against the Santa Cruz Warriors Friday and Saturday.
This Day In Sports…February 6, 2011:
Boise State has two alums in the Super Bowl for the first time—and two Super Bowl champions for the first time. Starting left guard Daryn Colledge and fullback Korey Hall earned rings in Green Bay’s 31-25 win over Pittsburgh at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. Hall became the first former Bronco ever to record a Super Bowl offensive stat, as modest as it was. The pride of Glenns Ferry gathered in a two-yard pass from MVP Aaron Rodgers during the Packers’ first touchdown drive. Super Bowl XLV was the most-watched television event of all time.
(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.)