Kellen gets Jim Caldwell’s attention

Will the fourth year be the charm for Kellen Moore in Detroit? Will the fourth year be the charm for Kellen Moore in Detroit? The former Boise State great is, as he has been the past three years, considered the No. 3 quarterback for the Lions, but he’s been getting the second-team reps in the team’s OTA’s this week. And it isn’t just offseason window dressing, as multiple media reports say Dan Orlovsky has been working with the third team. “With him, he has a better grasp of the offense,” coach Jim Caldwell said of Kellen. “He’s got a better feel for the guys he’s playing with. There’s a bit on an uptick there, and I think that you see that in guys that have his kind of characteristics and makeup.”

Moore is trying to downplay his increased role, but everybody seems to be noticing it. “He had a good day, and for long stretches looked like the team’s most accurate quarterback, more so than even Matthew Stafford, who had an inconsistent day,” writes Kyle Meinke of MLive.com. “The battle, it appears, is on (for the No. 2 spot).” Despite playing well the past three preseasons, Moore has still never taken a snap in a regular-season NFL game. But the Lions signed him to a two-year contract extension this winter that is said to guarantee him more money than Orlovsky gets.

Former Boise State cornerback Cleshawn Page will be joining Grant Hedrick in the CFL. Page has been signed by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and reports to Hamilton today for two days of classroom sessions (the Ticats aren’t holding a rookie minicamp, because there aren’t enough rookies). The most memorable moment of Page’s Bronco career came in the Fiesta Bowl, when he ran back a second-quarter interception 19 yards to the Arizona 22-yard line to set up Boise State’s fourth touchdown of the day in the 38-30 win over the Wildcats.

APR is part of the big picture in the Boise State athletic department, and yesterday the NCAA announced that 10 Bronco sports teams posted perfect single-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores for the 2013-14 academic year, up from nine in 2012-13. Men’s basketball, women’s cross country, men’s golf, women’s golf, gymnastics, swimming & diving, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, women’s track and field (outdoor) and wrestling all topped out with APR scores of 1,000. The Boise State football squad earned a 973, tied for 10th in the country among FBS programs. Football has ranked in the top 10 nationally in each of the last five releases of the multi-year APR.

He was the Mountain West Player of the Year and was en fuego during the late-season stretch in which Boise State won 15 of 16 games. He led the conference in scoring at 19.4 points per game. But is Derrick Marks an NBA prospect? As a 6-3 guard, there are lots of other players out there like him. Marks is ranked 34th among 2014-15 seniors by DraftExpress.com. With European prospects and underclassmen all over NBA mock drafts, that leaves Marks’ chances of being selected next month remote at best. Does that mean Marks goes for the exposure of the D-League—or for the money of an overseas contract? We shall see.

Two former UNLV Rebels have a much clearer picture of what lies ahead than does Marks, as Christian Wood and Rashad Vaughn are both projected to go in the first round in most mock drafts. Wood was a sophomore this past season and averaged 15.7 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. He was occasionally lampooned for lackadaisical play, though. Vaughn is departing after just one year; he scored 17.8 points per game. But think about it—what is up with the Rebels? You’d imagine coach Dave Rice’s seat to be hotter than it is. Boise State swept them in Mountain West play during the winter. Shouldn’t it be the other way around when UNLV sports two projected first-rounders? (To be fair, Vaughn was out with a meniscus tear when the Broncos won the second time.)

Next up on the PGA Tour is the AT&T Byron Nelson beginning today outside of Dallas, and Graham DeLaet forges on. The former Boise State star, well past his 33rd birthday now, is still looking for his first tour victory, but right now he’d settle for a solid outing. DeLaet has missed four of his last seven cuts and faded in the final round last week at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. He’s played 15 events this season and has won $526,784. After 15 tournaments last year DeLaet had pocketed more than $2 million.

The Kelly Cup Finals are set, and what a way to do it. For the first time in the ECHL’s 27-year history, both series in the Conference Finals were decided in a Game 7 last night. The Allen Americans became the first expansion team since the Idaho Steelheads in 2004 to make the Kelly Cup Finals, coming back from a three games-to-one deficit to finish off the Ontario Reign last night, 3-1. That’s it for Ontario’s final season in the ECHL, as it’s one of the clubs making the jump to the AHL as part of that league’s first foray into the West this fall.

Then there was Game 7 in the Eastern Conference. Has anyone ever mentioned there’s nothing like sudden-death overtime in playoff hockey? How about a Game 7 OT—and a scoreless one at that? Furthermore, it went 5½ minutes into a third overtime before the South Carolina Stingrays stopped the Toledo Walleye, 1-0. There were two former Steelheads playing for Toledo: Justin Mercier, who was here last season, and Ketchum’s Cody Lampl, who last suited up for Idaho four years ago.

Former Boise Hawk Chris Rusin has resurfaced with the Colorado Rockies, and his 2015 debut was stellar. Rusin was called up from Triple-A by Colorado for a spot start Tuesday night—hopefully he proved he should stick around with the Rockies. The 28-year-old lefthander scattered four hits over seven innings at Cincinnati and left with the scored tied 1-1 (the Reds won it 2-1 with a run in the bottom of the ninth). Rusin made 24 appearances over the past three seasons with the Cubs, going 4-9 with a 4.97 ERA. He was a Hawk in 2009 and didn’t give many hints as to his big league future, going 0-4 in eight starts.

This Day In Sports…May 28, 1957:

Many will never forgive them, but Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley and New York Giants owner Horace Stoneham receive unanimous approval from the National League to move from New York City to the West Coast. Both had long complained of dwindling attendance, outdated ballparks and lack of parking space. The following April, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants became major league baseball’s first franchises in California.

(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.)