Wednesday, Mar 10 at 3:07 PM
Wednesday, March 10, 2010.
There was much anticipation in February, 2009, when Boise State signed two gems from the group of Amsterdam teens who had come to Boise to play high school football. There was no need to look up “star” ratings on the recruiting websites. They didn’t know who these guys were. Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe out of Boise High and Geraldo Hiwat out of Capital High were raw talents. They had outstanding senior years, and Hiwat would make some noise during BSU fall camp, but it was a given that both would redshirt so they could learn. Now, it’s time for the Dutch Connection to put their new football smarts to work in spring ball.
In his first press conference of the spring, coach Chris Petersen mentioned Tjong-A-Tjoe getting into the mix with an already-deep defensive line. Same with Hiwat in the already-deep wide receiver group. Tjong-A-Tjoe will stand out—how could he not at 6-3, 282 pounds. As for Hiwat, here’s some analysis from another former Eagle, Kyle Efaw, in an interview for the Capital High newspaper, The Flight. “His best attribute is his athletic ability,” said Efaw. “I think he’ll play quite a bit next season. He’s taken a big stride understanding the game of football. That will make him even more dangerous.” The pioneer from Holland, Bishop Kelly grad Cedric Febis, has quietly blazed the trail. Febis has become a key reserve in the Bronco secondary, backing up George Iloka and thriving on special teams with 23 tackles and two pass breakups last season.
What if Anthony Thomas, La’Shard Anderson, Reggie Arnold, Ike Okoye, Daequon Montreal, Kurt Cunningham and Paul Noonan were all “on” in the same game? Tomorrow would be the day for it to happen if Boise State’s season is going to live to see another day. All season long, when some of those seven have been hot, the others have not—and it’s been impossible to predict who would be in which camp from one night to the next. But more of them were hot than not last week, as the Broncos look to be peaking going into the WAC Tournament. It conjures up memories of the 2005 tourney, when Boise State also went in as a No. 8 seed. That year the Broncos had to survive a play-in game against Tulsa. Then they beat top-seeded Nevada and Fresno State by one point apiece before falling by 15 to UTEP in the championship game.
The price Boise State pays for its ugly start in WAC play is an appointment tomorrow afternoon with the WAC surgeons, the Utah State Aggies, at the conference tournament in Reno. USU, the No. 1 seed and winner of 15 straight games, is peaking as well. I like what Fresno State had to say after getting pummeled by 37 points in Logan two weeks ago. "They have like 100 (dang) plays," said Bulldog forward Sylvester Seay in the Fresno Bee. "We can only go through so many of them. It's like taking a test and guessing what things the teacher's going to put on the test. You go out there and the teacher puts the opposite of what you studied. It's nobody's fault. It's just tough." Sounds like TCU quarterback Andy Dalton describing Boise State football.
“Indefinitely” means “forever” for Idaho guard Kashif Watson as the Vandals open WAC Tournament play tomorrow night against Nevada. Watson was suspended indefinitely last Friday by coach Don Verlin for Twitter comments critical of the coach. Verlin said on Idaho SportsTalk the other day that Watson wouldn’t be back for the tournament. Watson is a senior, so that’s it.
Boise State faces host Nevada tonight in the first round of the women’s WAC Tournament. That would seem like a daunting task, but the Wolf Pack are seeded third and the Broncos sixth. And BSU handed Nevada a 65-51 loss exactly a month ago in Taco Bell Arena. The Broncos go in with the reigning WAC women’s Player of the Week, Janie Bos, who—among other things—pulled down 28 rebounds in a pair of wins last week. Boise State goes for its 20th win of the season tonight.
The Idaho Stampede haven’t been home in 2½ weeks, but they are back in Qwest Arena tonight to host the L.A. D-Fenders. When the Stampede left, they had dropped 11 of their previous 15 games. But the Stamps took four of six on their road swing—never mind that all four wins were against the same team, Albuquerque. Donell Taylor has been Mr. Consistency for the Stampede since arriving the first week of January, scoring in double-figures in all 24 of the games he’s played. One guy who’s anxious to get going is former Boise State star Roberto Bergersen, who finally played three minutes last Saturday after missing seven straight games with an illness.
The Idaho Steelheads gun for their 40th win tonight when they open a three-game series at Victoria. It would mark the 10th straight season the Steelheads have reached the 40-victory plateau. With 15 games to go, the Steelies should easily eclipse their team record of 44 wins in the ECHL era. They’d have to be rather hot down the stretch to reach the club’s all-time record, 52 victories in 2002-03, the last season of the WCHL. The Steelheads go on their Canadian sojourn this week with two of the top 15 scorers in the league—Mark Derlago is fourth with 69 points, and Evan Barlow is 14th with 57 points.
Let’s see—high today only 46 degrees? Unfortunately, it looks like the Boise State men’s tennis team may not be able to make its season outdoor debut at the Appleton Center, although that is the Broncos’ intent as they host the College of Idaho this afternoon. BSU was allowed an extra date on its schedule due to a rainout at Fresno State. If it’s below 45, the Broncos and Coyotes will probably play at the Boas Bubbles. Alex Bothe is expected to make his Boise State debut today; the Australian sophomore has been cleared to play by the NCAA.
We haven’t heard the name of Ontario’s A.J. Feeley in a long time. That’s because he hasn’t thrown an NFL pass since 2007. Feeley was on the Carolina Panthers roster last year, though. And now the former Oregon Duck is a St. Louis Ram. The Rams signed Feeley as a free agent for a reported $6 million over two years. That kind of money could signal that St. Louis has plans for Feeley—the Rams could make him a “bridge” quarterback if the club ends up taking Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford with the first overall pick of the NFL Draft. Feeley was a fifth-round draft pick by the Eagles in 2001. Meanwhile, Cody Pickett has been signed by the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL. The former Caldwell Cougar and Washington Husky was released last month by Toronto, for who he started seven games last season.
This Day In Sports…March 10, 1985, 25 years ago today:
Dallas coach Dick Motta, the favorite son of Fish Haven, Idaho, becomes the fourth coach in NBA history to win 700 regular season games when his Mavericks defeat the New Jersey Nets, 126-117. He joined NBA coaching greats Red Auerbach, Jack Ramsay and Gene Shue as members of that exclusive club. Motta cut his coaching teeth at Grace High School—and later at Weber State.
(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.)