Did Anthony Drmic’s scoreless night at Utah State affect his chase of Boise State’s career scoring record? Did Anthony Drmic’s scoreless night at Utah State Tuesday affect his chase of Boise State’s career scoring record? Well, no, since he’s been ahead of the curve all season. The Bronco senior currently has 1,722 points, 222 behind Tanoka Beard’s record of 1,944 points set 23 seasons ago. Boise State has at least 17 games remaining, and Drmic (assuming he stays healthy) would need to average 13.1 points per game at the most to break Beard’s mark and 16.4 to become BSU’s first 2,000-point scorer. The strangest thing about the win in Logan is that Drmic took only four shots—just three from beyond the arc. The hard-playing Australian now tries to get back to normal when Fresno State comes to Taco Bell Arena Saturday afternoon.
Zach Haney has helped change the dynamic of this Boise State basketball squad. Coming off a redshirt year, it was hard to predict what the 6-11 forward from Humble, TX, would bring to the table. Haney has turned out to be invaluable off the bench and has reduced the Broncos’ reliance on the three-pointer to win games. At Utah State, he tied his career high with seven points for the third time in the last five games—Haney is 12-for-15 from the floor in that stretch. But it’s the way he does it. He scores effort points, and going to the hoop is second-nature for him. And, contrary to what the CBS Sports Network crew said on the telecast from Logan, Haney does not look like Quentin Tarantino.
Tuesday’s Boise State win at Utah State kicked off the Mountain West week. There were four more matchups last night, and the team that was facing the most pressure was UNLV. And what happened? The Rebels again came from ahead to lose, this time blowing a 10-point lead in the final six minutes in a 66-65 defeat at Colorado State. UNLV is by far the most talented squad in the conference, but it sure doesn’t play well together. Another key pairing featured the Broncos’ next two opponents, with Fresno State hosting Nevada. The Bulldogs built a 30-5 lead midway through the first half and buried the Wolf Pack 85-63. Elsewhere, San Diego State cruised past San Jose State 77-62, and Wyoming downed Air Force 64-52.
This sounds very much like Kelsey Young’s situation a year ago. Barry J. Sanders, the son of the NFL great, has been granted his release by Stanford and will take advantage of the graduate transfer rule. Sanders was stuck behind Christian McCaffery, just like Young would have been had he not transferred to Boise State. Sanders rushed for 672 yards and five touchdowns over the past three seasons, almost a carbon copy of what Young did in his three years with the Cardinal. So why wouldn’t Sanders follow Young’s path to the blue turf? Probably because he’d be stuck behind Jeremy McNichols here. Sanders is considering Oklahoma State, where his dad starred.
Former Boise State offensive coordinator Brent Pease is reportedly set to take the same post at UTEP. Pease was fired as wide receivers coach at Washington by Chris Peterson last month. With the Miners, Pease will be reunited with head coach Sean Kugler—both were on Petersen’s first Fiesta Bowl-winning Bronco staff in 2006 (Kugler left for the NFL after one season as BSU offensive line coach). Pease, the Mountain Home High grad, was O-coordinator for the Broncos in 2011 after five seasons as their wide receivers coach. Pease has also served as an OC at Kentucky, Baylor and Florida.
Dirk Koetter’s first shot as an NFL head coach may take place not in Philadelphia, but in the very building where he currently works. Tampa Bay fired Lovie Smith after two seasons yesterday, and Koetter, the former Boise State head coach and currently the Buccaeers’ offensive coordinator, has instantly emerged as the front-runner. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport says the Bucs “will go through the process” but appear to have their minds made up.
The PGA Tour season resumes today with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua on Maui. It’s not an event we’ve spent a lot of time on in the past, but the key word here is “champions.” The field includes just 32 players, and Troy Merritt is a champion after winning the Quicken Loans National last August. There’s no cut this week, so Merritt will be in the money. The former Boise State star played three events during the fall portion of the PGA season, logging a top 25 finish in one and missing the cut in the other two after a breakthrough year during the 2014-15 campaign that saw him win $2,092,669.
Back to hoops—the Idaho Stampede were racked by the Canton Charge 122-103 in the opening game of the D-League Showcase in Santa Cruz yesterday, but better times might be ahead for the club. Pierre Jackson has rejoined the Stampede, who still held his D-League rights. The press release indicates Jackson hasn’t played since being waived by the Philadelphia 76ers at the end of training camp in October. But man did he make an impact in Idaho during the 2013-14 season. Jackson averaged 29.1 points per game and scored a D-League record 58 points in a February contest versus Texas. Not long after that, Jackson left for Istanbul, Turkey. The former Baylor and College of Southern Idaho star was originally the 42nd overall pick by the Sixers in the 2013 NBA Draft.
When Boise State media relations guy Mike Walsh sent out the release last week on former Bronco Rob Heyer signing to play pro basketball in Australia, he included a list of nine other Boise State alums playing pro basketball and what they’re up to. I wanted to do it justice before it gets too far away from us. The biggest name is Derrick Marks, who has moved into the starting lineup for Orsi Derthona Basket Tortona in Italy. Marks, the reigning Mountain West Player of the Year, was averaging 14.4 points per game and was shooting 53 percent from the field. Ryan Watkins is playing for his third Hungarian team this season, Atomeromu SE Paks, and was averaging 10.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Watkins, one of the Broncos’ all-time great rebounders, recently received a league player of the week honor from Eurobasket.
Among other Boise State pros, Igor Hadziomerovic is back home in Australia, playing for CTI Melbourne United. Hadziomerovic sounds like he has a role Down Under much like he had here, averaging 12.5 minutes and 3.6 points per game. Reggie Larry, who has logged some time with the Idaho Stampede, had a huge season in Chile’s top league for CDU Catolica. Larry averaged a league-best 28.9 points per game in the regular season that just concluded, plus 12.5 rebounds per game. Ike Okoye is also playing in Chile.
Reggie Arnold is the leading scorer for Belfius Mons-Hainaut in Belgium’s top league. Daequon Montreal, playing for the Dandenong Rangers in Australia, was named MVP of his league. Tre Nichols averaged 28.8 points per game for the South West Slammers in Australia last season. And Thomas Bropleh has appeared in nine games for the Texas Legends of the D-League this season. Bropleh was deactivated 10 days ago and hasn’t played since.
This Day In Sports…January 7, 2008:
Ohio State makes its second straight appearance in the BCS Championship Game, hoping to avenge its 41-14 rout at the hands of Florida the year before. The Buckeyes started strong against LSU, forging a 10-0 lead after a 65-yard touchdown run from Beanie Wells. But the Tigers roared back, scoring 31 unanswered points on the way to a 38-24 victory. LSU became the first team to win the BCS national title with two losses.
(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.)