How will Boise State handle what happened to it Wednesday night in Fort Collins? How will Boise State handle what happened to it Wednesday night in Fort Collins? The 97-93 double-overtime loss to Colorado State that should have been a single-overtime win was quite a jolt. Do the Broncos take the court against Wyoming feeling sorry for themselves tomorrow afternoon, or do they use this as fuel and dedicate themselves to a new steely resolve over the final six games of the regular season? The Cowboys would like to have something to say about that. Boise State beat the Pokes 81-71 last month in Laramie, but Wyoming was without conference scoring leader Josh Adams. The senior guard is averaging 24.6 points per game. Perhaps you remember Adams from the Mountain West Tournament last March. He torched the Broncos with 27 points in the semifinals—the Cowboys went on to win it all.
Adams is painted as a bad guy around the Mountain West, and he hears about it in every road venue. After all, he missed Wyoming’s game against Boise State last month when he was suspended for “sportsmanship violations.” But some say that suspension was about as legit as the outcome of the Boise State-Colorado State. This is the same Adams who donated to the GoFundMe page for Emmanuel Omogbo, the CSU guard who lost his parents and niece and nephew in a house fire last month. Adams even went over to the Rams bench and hugged Omogbo before the teams played two weeks ago. “I don’t know if (Omogbo) is a good kid; I don’t know if he’s a bad kid,” said Adams. “It shouldn’t matter if I like him or not. Nobody should have to go through that.” Adams doesn’t bother me.
Aftermath of the egregious wave-off of James Webb III’s game-winning basket at Colorado State Wednesday night: Officials talked about “protocol” in going to an inlaid video stopwatch to see if Boise State had won the game after the first overtime. The “protocol” should include a video clock that doesn’t run faster than the game clock, which is the latest issue in this debacle. Then again, numerous ESPN analysts, while decrying the Mountain West’s process, have broken the shot down and determined it took 0.7 seconds or less for Webb to get the ball out of his hands. Even CSU’s hometown paper, the Coloradoan, wondered about the fairness of it all. “It’s hard to understand how this is the right call,” wrote Matt Stephens.
The best observation of it was e-mailed to me by an unnamed former local high school star who was involved in a similar play in 1979. Amidst all the Mountain West’s official statements and attempted justifications, he says: “Using automated timing on a videotaped instant replay to overrule the real life game operation is patently unfair. That small human delay component factors into timekeeping throughout the entire game, after every dead ball, on every shot clock, at halftime, all game long and all season long. This embedded human factor cannot be arbitrarily eliminated on an isolated basis—like in the final second—to ‘get the call right.’”
The big picture: “If the human factor in timekeeping is not ‘right’ in the final second, then it’s not right throughout the entire game and invalidates virtually all shots taken at the buzzer and at the end of the shot clock. If a high school player can get to a tipped jump ball, control and shoot it within :01, which I did (possibly twice in one game) when I was 17, it’s not at all surprising that an exceptional college player like Webb can do what he did. And we all saw it.”
Have you been following the rankings this winter? They are very telling about the Mountain West’s basketball shortcomings this year. Before its loss at Fresno State Wednesday night, with an 11-game winning streak, San Diego State was still outside the Top 25, with 22 points in this week’s AP Poll. And no conference team had as much as one vote in the Coaches Poll. Now the Aztecs will, at best, revert to the bottom of the bubble. As a matter of fact, the lack of respect for the league extends to the women’s polls, too, where Colorado State had 23 points in the AP Poll and received just one vote on the Coaches’ list. That was with a 20-1 record and a 17-game winning streak—before its romp over the Boise State women Wednesday night.
NFL Combine invitations were officially issued yesterday, and there’ll be three Boise State representatives later this month. Safety Darian Thompson, offensive tackle Rees Odhiambo and defensive end Kamalei Correa will suit up and dress down for the annual meat market in Indianapolis. Correa was a recent addition, added after all the underclassmen declarations were made and NFL teams could indicate who they wanted to see. So that’s good news for Correa. Expectations are high for Thomspon, the Mountain West career interceptions leader. Odhiambo will be under the microscope as clubs try to determine how healthy he is after he missed five games last season. Nevertheless, Odhiambo was first-team All-Mountain West. Center Marcus Henry, who played in the East-West Shrine Game last month, does not have an invite at this point.
Matt Paradis isn’t exactly a household name, but the Council High grad and former Boise State star has had his share of pub on the Tonight Show. Peyton Manning was on with Jimmy Fallon Wednesday night, and he was ready. Fallon brought up his “NFL Superlatives” bit that featured Manning (and Paradis) several times during the season. Manning said that his teammates, knowing that he was booked for the Tonight Show appearance, sat around with him after the Broncos’ parade Tuesday and jotted down their own “Superlatives” aimed at Fallon. Manning said Paradis, who was particularly roasted by Fallon in the bit during the season, came up with this one: “Most Likely To Miss The First Quarter Of The Super Bowl While Trying To Get A Selfie With Lady Gaga.”
First place in the ECHL West Division seemed like it was on another planet two months ago, when the Idaho Steelheads had won only seven of their first 26 games. But the Steelheads have a chance to take the division lead depending on what happens in their home-and-home set with Utah this weekend. The Steelies are just one point back of the Grizzlies as they face off in the front end of the series tonight in CenturyLink Arena. Actually, Idaho had also climbed to within a point of first on January 9 before falling 3-1 to Utah. This time the Steelheads have to do it without Emil Molin, who got an overdue call-up to the Texas Stars of the AHL this week.
Troy Merritt and Tyler Aldridge are off to a good start at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Merritt is tied for 16th after carding a four-under 67 on a pleasant 70-degree day at Monterey Peninsula yesterday. It was pretty straightforward for the former Boise State star—four birdies and no bogeys. Aldridge is tied for 39th after shooting a two-under 70 at Spyglass. Now, can one or both make the cut?
Around the horn with hoops: Idaho improved to 15-10 overall and 7-5 in the Big Sky with a 73-67 win over Northern Colorado last night in Cowan Spectrum. The Vandals host North Dakota tomorrow. The College of Idaho has three regular-season games left, all on the road. The Coyotes visit Oregon Tech tomorrow and Southern Oregon Sunday. And the Boise State women try to pick up the pieces with a road test at Wyoming tomorrow. The Broncos saw their eight-game winning streak taken apart by Colorado State Wednesday night, but they’re still in third place in the Mountain West.
This Day In Sports…February 12, 1968:
The legendary Jean-Claude Killy of France wins his second gold medal of the Winter Olympics in Grenoble with a victory in the giant slalom. His first came in the downhill three days earlier, and he would get a third five days later in the slalom. After his sweep of the alpine events, Killy said, “The party went on for two-and-a-half days, and the whole time I never saw the sun once.”
(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.)