What will Colorado State’s Gian Clavell do for an encore tonight against Boise State as he comes off what he calls the best game he ever played? Clavell is a rather obvious choice for Mountain West Player of the Week after his 37-point outburst at San Diego State Saturday. He scored a staggering 30 of those points on in the second half on 11-for-14 shooting, including the game-winning layup with 3.8 seconds left in a 78-77 win, the Rams’ first at Viejas Arena in 14 years. If it’s not Clavell bugging the Broncos tonight, it’ll be forward Emmanuel Omogbo, who notched a career-high 24 points against the Aztecs. You can do the math—the rest of the CSU squad scored only 16 points Saturday.
Colorado State coach Larry Eustachy is playing just seven eligible guys right now. The Rams confirmed three days after their New Year’s Eve loss in Boise that three of their players, Che Bob, Devocio Butler and Kimani Jackson, did not meet academic requirements in the fall semester and would be ineligible to play beginning January 17. All three played the following game on January 4, despite the knowledge that they were unable to maintain the NCAA minimum grade point average of 1.9 during the fall. CSU’s depleted squad is playing well together right now, though, and is riding a three-game winning streak. Boise State hopes its depth rules like it did Saturday at Wyoming.
Boise State returns to the scene of the most frustrating night of the 2015-16 season. It was on February 10 that the Broncos should have had an overtime victory. Instead, it was Colorado State taking home a 97-93 win in double-OT. James Webb III banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer in the first overtime, with the ball leaving his hand well in pl;enty of time, giving the Broncos an apparent victory. But the officials used a stopwatch to check it, then waved it off. Two days later the Mountain West admitted the call was wrong. This Boise State team is new and young and probably isn’t dwelling on last year’s transgression. The Rams, on the other hand, may be stuck on the fact that Chandler Hutchison banked in a three-pointer to beat them on December 31 in a game they led most of the way.
National Letter of Intent Day looms tomorrow, and Boise State’s intent is to finish the recruiting season strongly. The Broncos picked up another commitment yesterday—from another wide receiver. Damon Cole, who visited over the weekend from El Cerrito High in the Bay Area, gave his verbal, and Scout.com attributed it to Cole’s existing relationship with new Boise State wide receivers coach Eric Kiesau. Cole joins wideouts Octavius Evans of Center, TX, who committed Sunday, and Cartrell Thomas of Lancaster, TX, who’s been aboard with the Broncos since early November.
Also, there had been concern that one of the Broncos’ earliest commits, offensive lineman Isiah Moore of Mesa Community College, would reneg before tomorrow after having Arizona and UCLA circling around him lately. But Moore, who gave his verbal in mid-June last year, reaffirmed his commitment to Boise State yesterday. Scout.com lists Moore at 6-5, 315 pounds. He’s an important “keep” with the decommit Sunday of now-you-see-him-now you-don’t Sean Seawards, the offensive lineman from Scottsdale, AZ.
We may have a “not so fast my friend” in the Oakland Raiders’ proposed move to Las Vegas. Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, one of the key financial pieces in a plan to build a $1.9 million domed stadium in Las Vegas, has pulled out of the project. Adelson is not only upset that he was left out of talks leading up to the Raiders’ lease proposal, he’s also unhappy with restrictions the proposal places on UNLV’s scheduling and field markings in the 65,000-seat facility. Raiders representatives have apparently told the Las Vegas Stadium Authority board the stadium’s construction would be financed with Goldman Sachs—with or without the Adelsons as partners.
Time out today for women’s basketball. Steve Jones of Baltimore sports website PressBoxOnline.com recently wrote a feature on Mountain View High grad Destiny Slocum, who’s having a spectacular true freshman season with No. 3 Maryland. Slocum’s latest feat was an 11-assist performance in the Terrapins’ 100-81 win over Iowa last Thursday. Jones still marvels at Slocum’s game against top-ranked an undefeated UConn last month, when she scored 19 of her career-high 23 points in the second half and dished out 11 assists. “The Terps’ freshman point guard played with a level of confidence usually reserved for seniors,” wrote Jones. Maryland whittled the Huskies’ lead to five points in the fourth quarter that night.
Slocum is seen as an Olympic hopeful in 2020. She says her time on the USA U19 team that captured a gold medal at the FIBA World Championships in Moscow, Russia, in the summer of 2015 was a turning point for her. “USA Basketball was a huge perspective change for me,” Slocum said in Jones’ story. “I didn’t get a lot of minutes. I remember being happy that we won the gold medal. But I also remember thinking that this is exactly why I worked so hard, so I could play in games like this. I realized that the next time I put on a USA jersey, I wanted to be able to play and be a big factor. It really changed my perspective on how hard I have to keep working, because I wanted to be on the floor so badly but knew that it just wasn’t my time.”
“She has all of the intangibles,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said in Jones’ feature. “Destiny knows who to get the ball to and when to take over herself. Coming in, you expect freshmen to have ‘freshmen moments.’ But Destiny has never shown any nerves outwardly. She’s very secure in who she is and how she plays the game. Her motor and her passion just jump out at you. Destiny is always going to play one way, and that’s all out.” The Terps are 21-1 overall and 9-0 in the Big Ten. Slocum, who has started all 22 games this season, is Maryland’s third-leading scorer at 11.2 points per game and leads the team in assists at 5.6 per game, the third-best number in the Big Ten.
Four different Boise State athletes, Sarah Means, Shani Remme, Diana Mejia and Sandra Collantes, earned weekly honors yesterday from the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference following last Friday night’s dominating win over BYU. The Broncos as a group have climbed into a tie at No. 11 in the “Road To Nationals” national rankings. One of the teams they’re tied with is Southern Utah, who will be in Taco Bell Arena Friday night for the annual Beauty & The Beast event. The Broncos and Thunderbirds will compete alongside the Boise State wrestling team, which hosts Oregon State.
This Day In Sports…January 31, 1947:
The birthday of a legendary flamethrower. Nolan Ryan had the longest career of any major leaguer in history, 27 seasons, from 1966-93 with the Mets, Angels, Astros and Rangers. The Hall of Fame righthander won 324 games and is by far baseball’s all-time leader in strikeouts with 5,714. Ryan threw seven no-hitters, also the most in history. Amazingly, he never won the Cy Young Award. Nolan Ryan…70 years old today.
(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.)