Wednesday, April 28, 2010.
As accommodating as Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore is with the local media, the mass interview situations leave a lot of informational stones unturned. Enter the Sporting News Daily online edition. It has a feature called “My Profile,” which gives you “what you won’t find on Facebook, even if you are approved as a friend.” Moore was yesterday’s subject. Did you know he’s a country music fan? That he watches “Seinfeld” and one of his favorite flicks is “Top Gun?” That he likes the Weather Channel? That the talent he’d most like to have is speed (in capital letters with an exclamation point)? That his favorite physical attribute is his hair?
There are some things Kellen says that will not surprise you. His favorite value in others is integrity. His greatest love is his family, and his heroes are his parents. Moore’s motto: “Do what’s right, do your best, treat others as you want to be treated.” That last item is insightful. Among the things on Kellen’s bucket list: “Take a dance class.” He could invent his own dance based on his scrambling style—and call it “The Scoot.”
It’s premature by definition: Andrew Perloff’s annual “Way Early NFL Mock Draft” for 2011 at SI.com. Perloff already has the first round sketched out. Boise State has some big games this season, and one player who you’ll see in those games is in Perloff’s first round. He’s not from Virginia Tech, or Oregon State, or Fresno State. He’s from Timberline High School. Perloff has Bronco offensive lineman Nate Potter forsaking his senior year and being drafted 30th overall by the Dallas Cowboys. “The Cowboys will likely have to focus on a long-term answer at left tackle,” writes Perloff. That’s high praise for a guy who just moved to guard. Potter is the only non-BCS player on the first round list.
Potter is also 25th on Tony Pauline’s projection of the top 40 draft prospects for 2011. But where is this business about Potter declaring early coming from? Then again—if he’s still predicted to be a first-rounder, say, next January, why wouldn’t Potter go? There are some Boise State opponents in Pauline’s group. At No. 16 he has Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea, whom he compares to Sedrick Ellis. Beaver wide receiver James Rodgers, who Pauline says is “one of the true game breakers available next April,” is rated 40th. And Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick is No. 29. Pauline writes: “This terrific athlete has really developed as a signal-caller the last two seasons. He has big-time abilities and could be rated much higher in a year's time.” It’ll be interesting to see if that happens.
It seems appropriate to wrap up Virginia Tech’s spring game last Saturday. First of all, about 40,000 fans showed up for it. That tells you what kind of Hokie mania Boise State will be facing when the Broncos play at FedEx Field in Washington on Labor Day. The throng was anxious to see the vaunted one-two ground game punch of Ryan Williams and Darren Evans, but that was not on display. Williams was out with bruised right knee, and Evans carried only five times for eight yards in his first game-type action since tearing his ACL last August. It sounds typical of the type of spring game that doesn’t tell you a whole heckuva lot.
The Idaho Steelheads had the luxury during most of the regular season of alternating two remarkable goaltenders, Richard Bachman and Rejean Beauchemin. That has not been the case through one series of the Kelly Cup Playoffs, as Bachman has gone all the way while Beauchemin heals an injury. No matter. Bachman was close to spotless in the four-game sweep of the Utah Grizzlies, allowing just seven goals with a save percentage of better than 94 percent. Beauchemin could be activated for the ECHL National Conference Finals against Stockton, starting Friday night in Qwest Arena. The Thunder counter with Andrew Perugini between the pipes. Perugini has won seven of nine starts in the postseason, but he’s yielding 3.12 goals per game.
The NBA Development League season is over, with Rio Grande Valley capturing its first championship on the merits of 94-91 victory over the Tulsa 66ers last night. The Vipers won it on a buzzer-beating three-pointer by former Texas standout Craig Winder, finishing a 10-2 run at the end of the game. It was Game 2 of the best-of-three D-League Championship Series.
You’ve gotta wonder where Jeff Samardzija would be now had he opted for an NFL career instead of going with baseball. The former Notre Dame wide receiver, who started his pro baseball career in Boise, has been given numerous chances at sticking with the Chicago Cubs, but each time he’s been sent back to the minors for more work. Samardzija was sent to Triple-A Iowa last weekend—he’s complied an ERA of 8.53 in the last year-plus. Some say his big league career is at a crossroads, but Cubs manager Lou Piniella says that’s not the case. Publicly, at least.
The Boise State men have to go the conventional—and more difficult—route at the WAC Tennis Championships beginning Friday in Fresno. There will be no bye this year, as the Broncos are seeded No. 3. They open play against No. 6 New Mexico State. Then, if they win, they face host Fresno State Saturday. If BSU makes it to the title match, Hawaii is likely waiting. On the other side, the Boise State women have landed the No. 1 seed as they seek their first WAC title.
This Day In Sports…April 28, 1988:
The Baltimore Orioles set a new American League record for consecutive losses when they drop their 21st straight game, 4-2 to the Twins at the Metrodome. Off to the worst start in big league history, 0-21, the Orioles had already replaced manager Cal Ripken Sr. with Frank Robinson, who had lost the last 15. The Birds would finally snap the sorrowful streak the next day against the White Sox, ending up two games short of the modern major league record of 23 consecutive defeats set by the 1961 Phillies.
(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 1350 KTIK/The Ticket. He’s also handled color commentary on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football the last five seasons.)