Friday, Apr 2 at 11:04 AM
Friday, April 2, 2010.
As Boise State players wrap up spring break, let’s do a reset on the longest spring football session (from start to finish) in school history. Spring ball has been as noteworthy for who’s not there as who is. Sure, it’s opening the door for the up-and-comers, but some guys are missed. Probably the biggest hole is in the running game. You know it’s going to be superior this fall, but it’s hard for it to contribute to offensive rhythm this spring with D.J. Harper and Matt Kaiserman out recuperating from last season’s injuries, and Jeremy Avery and Doug Martin limiting their carries to preserve their bodies. The defense did indeed look dominant in the first scrimmage of the year. But you’re not seeing the Boise State offense you’ll see on Labor Day in Washington D.C. The Broncos will hit it again Monday.
Could it be that Fresno State will start spring football Wednesday without a new signed contract for coach Pat Hill? The Bulldogs announced a contract extension for Hill back on December 13 and said it would be finalized “after the holidays.” According to Matt James in the Fresno Bee, it’s still not done. Hill has one season left on his current contract, and the lack of extension would soon take its toll on the recruiting trail. “It looks like Fresno State would like to stall this out for another year, and have the option of walking away from Hill without having to pay.” Time’s a-wastin’. Writes James: “Can we not get someone's people to call someone else's people and get this thing done already?”
Idaho is set for its initial spring scrimmage tomorrow morning, the first step toward establishing new go-to guys in the running and passing games. The difference DeMaundray Woolridge made during his one season with the Vandals last year was enormous—980 yards and 18 touchdowns. And Max Komar grew into a major force as a senior, with 63 catches for 1,052 yards and 11 TDs. Those two were big-play men (Komar, of course, caught the touchdown pass against Bowling Green with four seconds left in the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl).
New Boise State basketball coach Leon Rice had obviously thought this through, because he’s acted quickly to fill two of the four spots on his staff. Rice has hired Dave Wojcik away from Wake Forest to be his associate head coach. Wojcik joined the Demon Deacons just a year ago after four seasons at Tulsa. Rice has also picked up Jeff Linder, the associate head coach at San Francisco, as his No. 2 assistant. Rice watched Linder’s work from the Gonzaga bench last season. Linder had assisted the previous two seasons at Weber State.
Rod Jensen is coming home, as he’ll be introduced today as the new head basketball coach at the College of Idaho. Jensen, fired at Boise State eight years ago after going 109-93 over seven seasons, has spent the last five years at North Carolina Greensboro. Certainly his coaching modus operandi has evolved over time, but Jensen’s emphasis is still on defense, his calling card dating back to his time on Bobby Dye’s Bronco staff from the mid-80’s to the mid-90’s. And the Coyotes could be a great fit for him. As C of I sports information director Mike Safford Jr. said on Idaho SportsTalk yesterday, a lot of teams in the Cascade Conference don’t play very good defense.
The only thing the Idaho Stampede have left to play for is an “even-steven season.” The Stampede showed in Wednesday night’s wild 165-153 overtime win over Rio Grande Valley that they haven’t lost the impetus. The Stamps are 23-25, so they’ll have to close out their season with a sweep of the L.A. D-Fenders tonight and tomorrow night in Qwest Arena to finish at .500. The draw of these games is the same as it always is at the end of a Stampede campaign: you know you won’t be seeing many of these guys play again. Will these be Coby Karl’s final appearances in a Stampede uniform? Lance Allred’s? Donell Taylor’s? The injured Roberto Bergersen may have already played his final Stampede game.
Mark Derlago got his just reward yesterday. The Idaho Steelheads forward was named first-team All-ECHL to cap a regular season that has seen him etch his name into the record book. Derlago’s 91 points (with two games to go) are the most by a Steelhead since the team joined the ECHL in 2003. He’s top five in the league this season in all scoring categories, including first in power-play goals with 18. Steelheads forward Tyler Spurgeon and goalie Richard Bachman were second-team All-ECHL. And Bachman was promptly recalled by the AHL’s Texas Stars, so he’ll miss the final two games of the regular season tonight and tomorrow night in Bakersfield.
The biggest story among former Boise Hawks in spring training has been Chicago Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin. Yes, that’s Chicago Cubs outfielder. Colvin was projected as an Iowa Cub during the offseason, but he’s been one of baseball’s top hitters this spring and has ended up on the Cubs 25-man roster. Colvin, who came to Boise in 2006 as a first-round draft pick out of Clemson, is batting .453, second-best in the majors. In Chicago, they’re already wondering if it’s just a mirage, dredging up the name of another first round pick and former Hawk, Ryan Harvey, who to this point has been a bust and is now trying to make the Rockies’ roster. But Colvin has been consistent throughout his minor league career, and especially so in the Cactus League.
Boise State’s two PGA Tour rookies, Graham DeLaet and Troy Merritt, got out of the gates better than they have been yesterday in the first round of the Shell Houston Open. DeLaet, who’s made one cut since his hot January start, shot a one-under 71 and is four shots behind co-leaders Kevin Stadler, the 2006 Albertsons Boise Open champion, and Cameron Percy. Merritt, who hasn’t played on a weekend since the end of January, carded a one-over 73.
This Day In Sports…April 2, 1966:
By the luck of the draw, the New York Mets acquire the rights to USC pitcher Tom Seaver. Originally, Atlanta had signed Seaver, but the deal was voided by baseball commissioner William Eckert because the agreement was reached before the end of the college baseball season. The Mets, Philadelphia and Cleveland then bid for Seaver’s services, and the Mets’ name was pulled out of a hat.
(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.)