Monday, April 22, 2013.
Happenings in Tampa Bay yesterday will affect two former Boise State players, and neither is named Doug Martin. New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis has been dealt to the Buccaneers, making it less likely that the Bucs will jockey for position to draft former Bronco Jamar Taylor this week. Then again, Tampa Bay may need one more corner, and it has that No. 43 overall pick in the second round. Taylor has been seen as a good fit for the Buccaneers. The Revis deal creates opportunity for 2010 first round pick Kyle Wilson in the Big Apple, though. The former Boise State great has to demonstrate that he can be the man for the Jets at Revis’ old corner spot. Reviews were mixed last season when Wilson took over as a starter upon Revis’ season-ending injury. Hmmm…the Jets have overall pick No. 39. Taylor?
Boise State has come out of nowhere as a source of first round NFL Draft picks. I got a little help on Sunday Sports Extra last night from longtime Bronco list-tracker Rod Couch, who found that Boise State is tied for 10th for most first-round picks in the past five years with four. There were no Bronco first-rounders before that. Alabama has had 11 first-round picks since 2008 and USC 10—then it falls way off. Florida has six; Baylor, Boston College, Illinois, LSU, Missouri and Oklahoma State have five first-rounders in the last five years; and Boise State joins Cal, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Tennessee with four. No non-BCS representatives here other than the Broncos.
Did Chad Chalich do enough this spring to keep front-runner status through fall camp after junior college transfer Josh McCain joins Idaho’s quarterback battle? The redshirt freshman from Coeur d’Alene was potent again in the Vandals’ Silver & Gold Game Friday night, going 22-of-40 for 332 yards and three touchdowns with one interception for the Silver in its 56-14 win. Just as important was Chalich’s dual-threat emergence—he also rushed for 102 yards and two TDs. The star of the running game was JC newcomer Jerrel Brown, who racked up 159 yards on 20 carries. It was a productive spring on offense for new coach Paul Petrino. “It was good to see some big plays being made,” said Petrino.
As exhilarating as Friday night’s 3-2 overtime win at Ontario was for the Idaho Steelheads, Saturday’s 5-0 loss to the Reign was a colossal downer. But the key is, the Steelheads were able to come home from Southern California with a split of the first two games of the ECHL Western Conference semifinals, regardless of how it transpired. When he’s hot, he’s hot—and Tyler Gron again struck in the overtime victory Friday. Gron now has five playoff goals, tied with teammate Austin Smith and one other player for the lead among rookies in the ECHL. The Steelies were completely out of sorts Saturday, though, managing only 19 shots on goal for the game. Idaho and Ontario now take the series to CenturyLink Arena for Game 3 Wednesday night.
It’s official now—Boise State hoops coach Leon Rice has brought Danny Henderson aboard as his new assistant to replace Dave Wojcik, who took the head coaching position at San Jose State. To say Rice feels good about the Henderson hire would be an understatement. "Danny is one of the finest coaches in the country at any level," Rice said. "He has a great passion and is one of the highest-level educators in the game of basketball. He is respected by high school, summer and collegiate coaches, which is invaluable in the recruitment of student-athletes." Henderson comes from Duncanville High School in Duncanville, TX. He went 708-172 during 25 years as a high school head coach in Texas and was named MaxPreps National Coach of the Year in 2012
I don’t know if “strike while the iron’s hot” is the phrase we’re looking for. Because Boise State’s hot iron—a basketball team that returns all five starters from a 21-11 NCAA Tournament team—would conceivably run into a hotter iron if the Broncos land the hoped-for early-season game against Kentucky as reported by the Statesman’s Dave Southorn. The Wildcats would at least be a hungry iron, having been left out of the NCAA Tournament last month after winning the thing last year. UK’s season then ended meekly with a first-round loss at Robert Morris in the NIT. But the Wildcats have a monster recruiting class coming in.
Two weeks ago Novak Djokovic was writhing in pain on a hardcourt at Taco Bell Arena. However, showing few ill effects from the sprained ankle he suffered in his Davis Cup win over Sam Querrey in Boise, Djokovic ended Rafael Nadal’s run of eight straight Monte Carlo Masters titles yesterday with a 6-2, 7-6 win in the final. Nadal’s streak was the longest at one tournament in ATP history, and he had won 46 consecutive matches at Monte Carlo overall. "I didn't know I would be a part of the tournament this year,” Djokovic said of the effects of his injury. “Best decision I ever made in my life.”
Senior Day was celebratory for the Boise State men’s tennis team Friday, as honorees Filipp Pogostkin and Scott Sears posted key singles victories to lead a Bronco rally past Nevada in a 5-2 win. Boise State opens the Mountain West Tournament Thursday at the Air Force Academy as the No. 2 seed. And the Boise State women’s softball team hit two walk-off homers over the weekend to take two out three in their series against San Diego State at Dona Larsen Park. The Broncos finally showed signs of life in the Mountain West race, improving to 3-6 in conference.
The heat of 2012 gave way to ideal running conditions in 2013 for the Race To Robie Creek, and there were two first-time winners among the 2,400 competitors in the 36th annual event. Former Idaho All-WAC cross country runner Markus Geiger won on the men’s side by six minutes in his first attempt at the half-marathon over Aldape Summit. Morgan Arritola, a 2010 U.S. Winter Olympian from Ketchum who competed in Nordic skiing in the Vancouver Games, was the women’s champion.
Borah High grad Stephen Fife not only got a call-up to the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday, he got the start in L.A.’s game at Baltimore. Fife was a little shaky, lasting 4 2/3 innings and allowing four runs on seven hits with five strikeouts. But the Dodgers did end up beating the Orioles 7-4 to end a six-game losing streak. The one-time Little League World Series participant would have notched his first major league victory had he been able to record one more out. Fife was an emergency fill-in for Chad Billingsley, who went on the disabled list. It was a situation much like last summer for Fife when he made his big league debut. He made five hard-luck starts in 2012, going 0-2 despite a solid ERA of 2.70.
This Day In Sports…April 22, 2010:
Cornerback Kyle Wilson becomes the second player in Boise State history to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft when the New York Jets make him the 29th overall pick. Analysts were surprised Wilson lasted that long, but Jets coach Rex Ryan was thrilled. Idaho’s Mike Iupati also became the second Vandal ever to be chosen in the first round, going to the San Francisco 49ers as the 17th overall choice. It was the first time two players from Gem State colleges had ever gone in the first round.
(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 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)