Tuesday, March 16, 2010.
It took until the Ides of March this year for Boise State’s football schedule to finally be released. Now we can all digest it. September should be super, October should be ordinary, and November should be numbing. In successive weeks in November, the Broncos face Hawaii, Fresno State, Idaho and Nevada, with the last three all played on Friday and shown on either ESPN or ESPN2. That gives Boise State six ESPN network appearances, with at least one more likely to come. The Broncos’ game at Idaho November 12 is slated for ESPN2, giving the Vandals an appearance on one of ESPN’s two feature networks for the first time ever in the regular season.
Since 2007, ESPN has plugged Boise State into what it hoped would be the WAC championship game on Thanksgiving weekend. And so it is again in 2010. The projected contender is once again Nevada, which will host the Broncos in Mackay Stadium November 26 in what will be Senior Day for Wolf Pack quarterback Colin Kaepernick. With its Tuesday night game at Bronco Stadium against Louisiana Tech on ESPN2 October 6, Boise State will have now played on every day of the week in the regular season. Playing on a Tuesday night is causing some consternation around Bronco Nation. Boise State is still in a position that it has to play where ESPN tells it to. The flip side of that would be: Tuesday is two days after the weekend, and Thursday is two days before the weekend, so what’s the difference?
There’s an asterisk on the Oregon State game September 25, which will also serve as a rather late home opener for Boise State. The WAC/ESPN schedule says “ESPN or ESPN2.” The Broncos’ version says “ABC/ESPN/ESPN2.” Right now the BSU-OSU game remains on Saturday—could it conceivably be the ABC prime time telecast? Could College GameDay finally come to Boise? Uh, does it all depend on what happens on Labor Day against Virginia Tech?
Two intriguing names are among those being tossed about as possible successors to Greg Graham as Boise State men’s basketball coach. Would former Idaho Stampede coaches Bryan Gates and Larry Krystkowiak be interested in the job? That would be nice. I’ve long said that Gates, who is now an assistant with the Sacramento Kings, would be a great college coach. He took a group of pro players with one agenda (a shot at the NBA) and got it to play as a team, winning the 2008 D-League championship. That’s a very difficult thing to do. Imagine what he could do with college players. One possible stumbling block—I think Gates still needs a degree. He could always go to summer school. Krystkowiak, incidentally, is currently coaching in Germany.
Another name advanced in some quarters is that of former Eastern Washington and Utah coach Ray Giacoletti, now an assistant to Mark Few at Gonzaga. The Broncos may have to get in line for Giacoletti, though, as he has already talked to Hawaii athletic director Jim Donovan about the vacant Rainbow Warriors job. Giacoletti told the Honolulu Advertiser he’s "very interested in the Hawaii job. It is a unique job (and) in a lot of ways I think it would be the right fit for me and my wife. I think it fits who I am."
The College of Idaho is also looking for a new men’s basketball coach, as Mark Owen has resigned after 10 seasons “to explore new opportunities.” Owen is one of the good guys in local sports, dating all the way back to 1980 when he helped Boise High to its first state boys championship in 33 years. As a C of I player, he remains the school’s career assists leader. As a coach, Owen guided the Coyotes to five NAIA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the national quarterfinals in 2001. He spent 10 seasons as Marty Holly’s assistant with the Yotes before being elevated to the top job when Holly moved full-time to his athletic director’s post. Owen’s final season was a challenging one, as the C of I finished 9-17.
The Idaho Stampede haven’t had much luck against the Sioux Falls Skyforce this season, but they could use some tonight in South Dakota. The Stampede don’t have a lot of room for error as they battle uphill for the final National Conference berth in the D-League Playoffs. The Stamps are currently a game and a half behind Utah for that spot with 10 games left on their schedule. Idaho dropped two games to the Skyforce six weeks ago—one at home and one on the road. Donell Taylor scored 29 and 31 points in the losses. The Stampede hope to have Taylor in uniform tonight after a bout with an undisclosed ailment.
You’ve heard all the feature performers’ names for the Idaho Steelheads as the team compiles what looks to be the best regular season in franchise history. But there have been lots of guys doing the yeomen’s work. Take defenseman Guillaume Monast, for example. Monast has scored only four points, all assists, in 56 games. But he is fifth in the ECHL in plus/minus at plus-26. That means while he’s been on the ice, the Steelheads have scored 26 more goals than their opponents. Watch Monast as the Steelheads try to lock up the National Conference’s top spot in the Kelly Cup Playoffs—and a first-round bye--against the Utah Grizzlies tonight in Qwest Arena.
Former Boise State star Graham DeLaet has a PGA Tour paycheck for the first time since January. DeLaet carded a 1-over-73 yesterday at the Puerto Rico Open, but he was 10-under for the tournament and finished in a tie for 24th yesterday in the rain-delayed event. That means the Canadian rookie takes home $26,483 after failing to make a cut last month. He’s now won $120,669 for the season.
This Day In Sports…March 16, 1987:
At Hec Edmundson Pavilion in Seattle, Boise State falls to Washington, 73-68, in the second round of the NIT. The Broncos led by three at the half but ended up being called for a staggering 31 personal fouls in the game. Arnell Jones, Jeff Kelley and Greg Dodd all fouled out, hurting BSU down the stretch. Chris Childs led the Broncos with 21 points as the season finished at 23-7—the best yet to that point.
(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 also handles color commentary on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football.)