Broncos football: Dusting off some good ones

Boise State is teaming up with KBOI and KTIK to help fill the sports void with classic broadcasts of Boise State football. After a Spring Preview Show this Saturday afternoon, memory lane will begin April 18. Fans will vote beginning next Monday on which games will air. Since I’ll be seriously outvoted here, I’ll toss out five Paul J. Schneider classics from the 20th century. I include games from the Tony Knap, Jim Criner, Skip Hall, Pokey Allen and Dirk Koetter eras. Ironically, two of the games are losses, but they included incredible Broncos comebacks that fell just a bit short.

In chronological order: the two-point loss at UNLV in 1974 in a game Boise State trailed by 31 early in the third quarter; the Grambling game in the 1980 Division I-AA Playoffs I talked about last Friday; the rally that ended in a 59-52 triple-overtime loss at Nevada in the 1990 I-AA semifinals, the streak-breaking 1994 win over Idaho on the blue turf (that turned into a sea of humanity); and the first of Boise State’s 12 bowl victories—the riveting 34-31 win over Louisville in the 1999 Humanitarian Bowl.

THIS AUSSIE IS FLYING SOUTH

It seemed perfectly natural when Riley Abercrombie committed to Boise State men’s basketball. Coach Leon Rice has had a lot of success with Australians, from Anthony Drmic to Igor Hadziomerovic to Nick Duncan. But Abercrombie, the redshirt freshman forward who entered the transfer portal last week, is going to continue his career at Rice. Abercrombie is from Wollongong, Australia, but he went to high school in Houston. He averaged 1.4 points in 17 games for the Broncos this past season, as a broken wrist last fall put him behind the eight-ball.

All those hours in practice going against Boise State’s four Division I transfers (among others) forced Abercrombie’s hand. “I knew it was going to be really hard to break into the rotation next year, so after talking to the coaches, we just all kind of decided that the best thing might be to leave,” Abercrombie told B.J. Rains of the Idaho Press. He’ll have to sit out next season with the Owls unless he can get a waiver. Emmanuel Akot, the transfer from Arizona, would seem suited for the spot Abercrombie would have competed for next season at Boise State. Akot is 6-8, 203 pounds—Abercrombie is 6-9, 210 pounds.

AN ALL-AMERICAN IN THE BRONCOS MIX

In addition to all those Division I transfers waiting in the wings for Boise State basketball, the ones who influenced Abercrombie, is a first-team JC Division I All-American. Naje Smith has captured the honor from the NJCAA after averaging 23.3 points and 8.5 rebounds for Cochise College in Arizona. Smith had previously been named Arizona Community College Association Player of the Year. He’s a candidate to replace Derrick Alston should Alston not return next season to join Division I transfers Emmanuel Akot, Mladen Armus, Devonaire Doutrive and Marcus Shaver, Jr.

THE CLUBS ARE STILL IN THE BAG

The golf world was turned on its ear Monday, but at least it gives fans hope. The British Open had already been canceled. The PGA Championship was moved to August (where it had been). The U.S. Open was pushed into September—and the Masters into November. The first possible PGA Tour event would be a tournament June 17-21, during the original U.S. Open week. When they left off, former Boise State star Graham DeLaet was still trying to get back on the course after back problems forced him to withdraw from the Farmers Insurance Open in January, and ex-Broncos teammate Troy Merritt had tied for 24th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational a month ago.

This Day In Sports…brought to you by HOFFMAN AUTO BODY…absolutely great since 1958!

April 7, 2010, 10 years ago today: Anthony Tolliver, who had started his season as a member of the Idaho Stampede, picks a perfect time to register a career-high 34 points for the Golden State Warriors. Tolliver’s performance in a 116-107 victory at Minnesota helped make the Warriors’ Don Nelson the winningest coach in NBA history with his 1,333rd win, surpassing Lenny Wilkens. Tolliver played 45 minutes and went 14-of-22 from the field. He’s still playing—and was with the Memphis Grizzlies when the NBA season suddenly ended 3½ weeks ago.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)

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