Offseason pub in offbeat forms

One of the benefits of being part of The “Way Too Early Top 25” at ESPN.com is inclusion on its wacky lists. One of the benefits of being part of Mark Schlabach’s “2016 Way Too Early Top 25” at ESPN.com is inclusion on its wacky lists. The latest is “Potential sports broadcasters from each top 25 team.” Brett Rypien gets the honor for No. 25 Boise State. Chantel Jennings writes the synopsis: “Quarterbacks often make great announcers because they’re so accustomed to processing every tiny thing that’s happening on the field. Rypien, who earned the Boise State job as a freshman, showed a veteran poise on and off the field last season. Plus, just check out his Twitter feed—he already comments on basketball, golf, football and gymnastics. He’s ready for the job now.”

About Rypien’s Twitter feed, 140 characters don’t allow for depth in sports commentary, but the QB retweets Rickie Fowler (obviously his favorite golfer) and Bryan Harsin (regarding Boise State women’s gymnastics) and touches on college football recruiting, Kobe and LeBron, the Masters and Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer. Rypien also has something going this baseball season with former Bronco offensive coordinator Mike Sanford. The current Notre Dame O.C. is a San Francisco Giants fan. Rypien is all about the Mariners.

The NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night, with Boise State expected to extend a nice run. Since joining the Mountain West, the Broncos have led the conference in draft picks with 10. Of course, six of them came in that first draft of the era in 2012 (Shea McClellin, Doug Martin, Tyrone Crawford, Billy Winn, George Iloka, and Nate Potter). In fact, Boise State has had at least one player selected for nine of the last 10 years. Colorado State, Fresno State, Nevada, and San Diego State have each had seven draft choices since 2012.

Idaho’s annual Silver & Gold Game wrapped up spring football in the Kibbie Dome Friday night with more stratospheric offensive numbers. The offense rolled up 978 yards on 127 snaps, with most of the yardage coming from the No.1 offense against the No. 2 defense. If you’re looking for positives from the defense, there was linebacker Emmanuel Jones, who led the way with nine tackles and two for loss, including a 13-yard sack. Jones is a 6-2, 201-pound senior from Roosevelt, NY. One of the most consistent Vandals on the offensive unit this spring was Aaron Duckworth, who continued his quest to replace Elijhaa Penny as UI’s feature back with 161 yards and two touchdowns on just 13 carries Friday night.

College of Idaho’s Purple & Gold Game Saturday gave Coyotes coach Mike Moroski a nice problem to have going into fall camp. Whereas a few months ago Moroski may not have seen Boise High grad Tyler Cox as a contender at quarterback, he does now. After a slow start in the driving rain at Simplot Stadium, Cox finished 12-of-24 for 189 yards with an 83-yard touchdown and two interceptions and added 38 yards on the ground for the Gold team. Anything can happen in August. The Yotes have two key QBs coming in this summer: Darius James Peterson, highly-touted out of Marin Catholic High in the Bay Area, and Connor Richardson of Churchill County High in Nevada, where he won a state title and threw for 41 TDs.

Every game is different in playoff hockey, and Saturday night’s could hardly have been more different in CenturyLink Arena. In a pivotal Game 5 of the ECHL Western Conference quarterfinals, the Idaho Steelheads put the defending league champion Allen Americans on the brink with an unthinkable 7-1 win. The game was barely 6½ minutes old when the Steelheads had forged a 3-0 lead, and the Americans had already replaced goalie Riley Gill. The onslaught gave the Steelies’ netminder a relatively quiet night—Philippe Desrosiers made a routine 20 saves. The rout came on the heels of a 3-1 Steelheads victory Friday night that gave home ice advantage in the series back to Idaho. The Steelies take a three games-to-two lead to Allen, TX, tomorrow night.

There’s been some offseason tumult in the Colorado State men’s basketball program. Two assistant coaches have left Larry Eustachy’s staff, one of them former Idaho coach Leonard Perry. The Rams announced late Friday night that two players have left the team, one of them John Gillon, who has been an occasional thorn in Boise State’s side. Gillon was CSU’s second-leading scorer last season at 13.2 points per game. In his final two appearances against the Broncos, he scored 19 points in the double-overtime “shoulda been a BSU win” game in Fort Collins and struck for 20 points in the Mountain West Tournament quarterfinal when Colorado State ended Boise State’s season. Gillon will be immediately eligible somewhere else as a graduate transfer.

In only the third head-to-head meeting between Boise State and Idaho in any sport this school year, the Bronco men’s tennis team blanked the Vandals 4-0 Saturday night. To be fair, most college tennis matches are called when one team reaches the clinching point, and Idaho was leading in one of the suspended singles matches and even in another one when the event ended. The match started at the Appleton Center and finished in the Boas Bubbles due to the weather. Earlier in the day. Boise State stopped Gonzaga 5-0.

A couple other campus notes: Former Boise State wrestler George Ivanov is headed for the Summer Games in Rio after taking the silver medal at the World Olympic Qualifier while competing for Bulgaria Saturday. Ivanov will wrestle freestyle, representing the Bulgarians at 74 kilograms (163 pounds). The only other former Bronco wrestler to make the Olympics was Charles Burton for the U.S. In Sydney in 2000. Also, Logan France finished eighth individually yesterday at the Mountain West Men’s Golf Championships. And, after dropping three of four games over the weekend at British Columbia, the College of Idaho baseball team trails UBC by two games with one week to go for the right to host the NAIA West Championships.

You may be hearing Andrew Cashner’s name a lot the next two months. The former Boise Hawk is already being mentioned as a candidate to be dealt before the trade deadline July 31, with pitching always at a premium and San Diego looking luke-warm as usual this season. Cashner stayed in the conversation Friday night by picking up his first victory of the season in the Padres’ 4-1 victory over the Cardinals. He went six innings and scattered three hits while striking out four. Cashner’s looking to rebound from a forgettable 2015, when he went 6-16 with a 4.34 ERA. He played for the Hawks in 2008 after coming out of TCU as the Cubs’ first-round draft pick. In six appearances, four of them starts, he was 1-1 with a 4.96 ERA.

This Day In Sports…April 25, 2008:

The Idaho Stampede wrap up their 10th anniversary season with the only championship in franchise history, taking the NBA Development League crown with a 108-101 win over the Austin Toros. The Stampede, who had the best regular season record in NBADL history at 36-14, featured local favorites Cory Violette, Roberto Bergersen and Jason Ellis, and all three played key roles in the D-League Finals. But the heart and soul of the team was future Stampede coach Randy Livingston, the 13-year pro out of LSU who played in four different seasons with the Stamps and ended his playing career that night with a trophy.

(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.)