Thursday, May 13 at 8:40 AM
Thursday, May 13, 2010.
For better or for worse, college football is now a 365 day-a-year proposition. What’s happening right now? Recruiting. And what is a focus of Boise State right now? Finding the right quarterback to sign the first Wednesday in February. The Broncos are bent on their philosophy of bringing in one quarterback per class, and they’re scouring the countryside far outside their West Coast comfort zone to secure that ideal guy. Not that Boise State isn’t set at that position currently. Spring football provided evidence that Joe Southwick is more than capable of starting someday at BSU. Those who have seen incoming freshman Grant Hedrick of Independence, OR, say he has every bit as much potential as Southwick does. The Broncos have to land the quarterback who’s really good—yet at the same time understands what’s ahead of him.
Are the Broncos behind the eight-ball in gathering commitments compared to their elite brethren? They wouldn’t say so, even though they don’t have any yet. Boise State’s recruiting rigmarole is painstaking—the screening process is thorough. To get a blitz of commits in the spring is just not the nature of the Bronco beast. With that said, the commitments started earlier than ever two years ago (last year doesn’t count since Boise State only had a handful of scholarships to give). Southwick was the first to give his verbal—around Memorial Day, 2008. Things should start shakin’ soon.
It will be the Cincinnati Cyclones—the historic Cincinnati Cyclones—who come to Qwest Arena tomorrow night to meet the Idaho Steelheads in the Kelly Cup Finals. The Cyclones last night became the first ECHL team ever, and only the sixth in pro hockey history, to overcome a three games-to-none deficit and win a playoff series when they beat the Reading Royals in a classic, 1-0. With a score like that, the first guy you look at is Cincinnati’s goalie. It was Robert Mayer getting the pressure-packed shutout in Game 7. But what a roll of the dice for the Cyclones. Just one night earlier, Mayer had been pulled after giving up three Reading goals in the first period.
This could be considered poetic justice. The Steelheads’ leading scorer in the Kelly Cup Playoffs is none other than captain Marty Flichel, with 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists) so far this postseason. Flichel had gone scoreless in his previous 10 playoff games, dating back to the 2007 Kelly Cup Finals. Flichel is the only Steelhead remaining from the ‘07 championship team, and his leadership shows. He scored the empty-net goal that clinched the National Conference Finals Tuesday night—but more importantly, he delivered the pass to Mark Derlago on what was ultimately the game-winning tally early in the third period.
At the other end of the spectrum is John-Scott Dickson, a rookie who didn’t make his debut until the Steelheads opened the playoffs against Utah on April 16. Dickson scored a goal in each of the Steelheads’ first two playoff games against the Grizzlies but had been in a drought since—until the climactic contest Tuesday. Dickson’s six-minute hat trick in the second period ingrained him into the fabric of this hockey club for good. In between-the-pipes news, Steelies goalie Richard Bachman is still with the AHL’s Texas Stars, filling in for injured backup Brent Krahn, whose status is day-to-day. That means the hopes of Bachman returning for the Kelly Cup Finals are day-to-day, too.
Both of the now-wealthy rookies out of Boise State are in the field today as the Valero Texas Open tees off in San Antonio. Troy Merritt and Graham DeLaet have had their moments in the sun—and coinciding paydays—this spring on the PGA Tour. For Merritt it was the third place finish at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. His season winnings presently total $614,350. And for DeLaet it was the third place finish at the Shell Houston Open. His take for the season right now is $468,925.
It was indeed worth the wait for College of Idaho baseball. The Coyotes finished 15th in the final NAIA Coaches Poll yesterday, well within the parameters of the at-large pool for the NAIA World Series. This will be the Yotes fifth trip to the Series, and the first since 2002. C of I won it all in 1998. The Coyotes are 37-14 this season and now await their Opening Round opponent. Lewis-Clark State, which hosts the main draw of the NAIA World Series, is No.1 in the Coaches Poll for the seventh straight week. Elsewhere, the Boise State women’s softball team advanced last night in the WAC Tournament at Las Cruces with a 9-8 win over host New Mexico State. The Broncos rallied from an 8-0 second inning hole behind four home runs. They play WAC power Fresno State today.
World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame officials had to think this one through, knowing people would wonder if it was just capitalizing on the name. But Babe Ruth, along with Olympic speedskating medalist Joey Cheek, will be inducted into the Hall on June 12 at Bronco Stadium’s Steuckle Sky Center. The WSHHF is looking for some name cache after a lack of buzz last September when an eminently qualified but generally unknown induction class included NBA center Adonal Foyle, Major League Soccer star Diego Gutierrez and world-class hurdler Tracy Mattes. If you’ve ever read about the Babe, you know he was an orphan and spent an extraordinary amount of time with kids during his incomparable baseball career in the 20’s and 30’s. During the daylight hours, anyway.
This Day In Sports…May 13, 1976:
In the last ABA game ever played, Julius Erving scores 31 points to help the New York Nets overcome a 22-point third quarter deficit and beat the Denver Nuggets, 112-106, to win the final ABA title. It also marked the retirement of the league’s signature red-white-and-blue basketball. The next season the Nets, Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers would merge into the NBA.
(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.)