Friday, June 28, 2013.
The next chapter in the career of Dan Hawkins formally began last night with his debut as a head coach in the Canadian Football League. And Hawk’s Montreal Alouettes won a thriller, rallying with two fourth quarter touchdowns to edge the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 38-33. The Als recovered from a miserable third quarter that saw the Bombers outscore them 20-1 (you can do that in the CFL). Hawkins’ euphoria is a far cry from his debut at Boise State, a 32-13 loss to Lou Holtz and South Carolina in 2001. And a much further cry from Hawk’s debut at Colorado, an unfathomable 19-10 loss to Montana State in 2006.
Now that he’s been gone from Boise State’s sidelines for 7½ years, it’s interesting how Hawk is viewed. His legacy with the Broncos is not tainted by his sour experience at Colorado from 2006-11. Chris Petersen, BSU’s offensive coordinator during Hawkins’ five years, gets the lion’s share of credit for the Broncos’ remarkable run of success. Petersen is the rightfully respected face of the program. But remember, this Golden Era is entering its 15th year. It was Hawkins who got Boise State into the Top 25 for the first time in 2002—he went 53-11 and was the visionary for the places the program could go. And I think most Bronco faithful still recognize that.
When Boise State’s move to the Big West in non-football sports “didn’t work out” at the end of the year, we theorized that the happiest people on campus had to be in the Bronco basketball program. They got to stay in the Mountain West, which was on its way to the No. 1 spot in college hoops RPI rankings. Fans were also beneficiaries as they enjoyed what didn’t turn out to be Boise State’s last basketball season in the MW. But how many knew they were watching the eventual top overall pick in the NBA Draft when the Broncos beat UNLV 77-72 in February? The Rebels’ Anthony Bennett was taken first by the Cleveland Cavaliers last night, shocking many an NBA expert.
Bennett had a big game on an otherwise frustrating night for UNLV in Taco Bell Arena. He scored 25 points, 19 of them in the second half. In the second game between the Broncos and Rebels in March, Bennett came off the bench and had 11 points in a 68-64 UNLV win at the Thomas & Mack Center. And lo and behold, the Mountain West had another first-rounder last night, as New Mexico’s Tony Snell was taken 20th overall by the Chicago Bulls. San Diego State star Jamaal Franklin fell to the second round, going to the Memphis Grizzlies. And in a mild surprise, Colorado State seven-footer Colton Iverson was selected late in the second round by the Indiana Pacers.
Nicholas Duncan is following in the Aussie footsteps of his future Boise State teammates, Anthony Drmic and Igor Hadziomerovic. Like Drmic and Hadziomerovic did two years ago, Duncan is representing Australia at the FIBA U19 World Championships, underway in the Czech Republic. Duncan, an incoming Bronco freshman, helped lead Australia past Senegal 90-46 yesterday to open the tournament. Duncan was a starter, scoring 11 points and going 4-for-4 from the field. The Emus, as the Aussies’ national junior team is known, face Serbia this morning in their next Group C game.
Yasiel Balaguert is a study in box score contrasts for the Boise Hawks. The Dominican outfielder is batting just .239 through the first 14 games of the season, but man does he pick his spots. Balaguert belted his second home run of the season last night, a two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth that gave the Hawks a 5-3 victory over the Hillsboro Hops. The two runs batted in give Balaguert 17 for the season, five more than anyone else in the Northwest League. I said yesterday that the game was the third of a five-game series. Still trying to get used to the Hawks being in the same division this year as the Oregon teams. The Boise victory actually wrapped up the Hillsboro series, and the Eugene Emeralds come in to start a three-game set tonight.
Here he goes again. Graham DeLaet fired a three-under 68 and is tied for second after the first round of the AT&T National in Bethesda, MD. The Boise State alum is two shots behind leader Roberto Castro after stringing together three birdies over the final six holes on the famed Congressional Country Club course. A story this week on the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s website calls DeLaet “Canada’s top golfer by a wide margin” and marvels at the fact he’s accomplished that as a native of Saskatchewan. “Hailing from the Prairies is unique in a Canuck context because most of this country's elite players come from Southern Ontario or B.C.” Here’s to the Frozen North.
We’re just four weeks away from the new calendar location of the Albertsons Boise Open. It would be nice to see Boise State product Troy Merritt start to build some kind of momentum, but it’s not happening this week. Merritt carded a five-over 77 yesterday in the first round of the Web.com Tour’s United Leasing Championship in Newburgh, IN. Merritt has missed the cut in two of his last three events and hasn’t finished in the top 25 since the end of April.
It’s going to be a scorching day in Boise, and it won’t be appreciably cooler today in Jerome, where the Idaho Women’s Amateur plays its second round. The final group will go off at 9:20 this morning, and an interesting group it is. It includes the first round leaders, Caldwell’s Gabby Barker—and Caldwell’s Tyler Barker. Yes, they are sisters. Gabby is going into her senior year at Vallivue High, and Tyler is her older sibling. Both came in at even-par 72 yesterday. Meridian’s Gabrielle Giesbrecht, playing in the first flight, is two shots back with a 74.
Former Idaho Steelhead Justin Dowling is getting the chance he wanted—consequently, he won’t be back in Boise anytime soon. The Steelheads were a means to an end for Dowling last year, and he has now signed an AHL contract with the Texas Stars for the upcoming season. The 22-year-old forward was leading the Steelies in scoring and was second overall in the ECHL when he was called up to Texas in January. Dowling passed his AHL audition, racking up 30 points in 38 games for the Stars thereafter.
This Day In Sports…June 28, 1997:
One of the most bizarre title fights in boxing history, as Mike Tyson bites off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear during their heavyweight championship bout in Las Vegas. Tyson’s transgression happened in the third round after Holyfield had dominated the early action. Referee Mills Lane deducted two points from Tyson but allowed the bout to continue. Later in the round, Tyson bit Holyfield’s other ear, and Lane disqualified Tyson after the bell sounded.
(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.)