The next wave of mock drafts

NBA mock drafts are getting a little more precise now that all the early entries are aboard. Sporting News still has Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison sneaking into the first round as the No. 27 overall choice by the Boston Celtics. “The Celtics have an obvious affinity for wings, which makes sense given the pathway of the modern NBA,” writes Chris Stone. “Hutchison would be a nice late first-round addition. The 6-7 senior is an improved 3-point shooter who massively increased his volume this season. He can make plays as a driver off the catch and has the physical tools to be a competent defender.” Hutchison would also be a good personality fit with Boston coach Brad Stevens.

Hutchison has been invited to the NBA Draft Combine May 16-20 in Chicago. That’ll probably be the litmus test for Round 1 versus Round 2. sees Hutchison just missing the first round next month—going No. 32 overall to the Memphis Grizzlies. And also tabs Hutchison as a second-rounder, the No. 36 overall pick to the Sacramento Kings. In fact, sees Memphis using that No. 32 pick on Nevada’s Caleb Martin, who beat out Hutchison as Mountain West Player of the Year and declared early for the draft—but did not hire an agent. There were 130 early entries into the draft pool this spring, including those who did and didn’t sign with agents. That affects Hutchison at least a little bit.

Tim Duryea hasn’t been officially announced yet as Leon Rice’s top assistant at Boise State, and he might not be until a little contract squabble is worked out in Logan. When Utah State promoted Duryea to head coach to replace Stew Morrill in 2015 after spending 14 years as Morrill’s assistant, it was reported as a five-year deal. Apparently there was a typo on the contract, though, listing the term as “beginning on March 30, 2015, and ending on June 30, 2019.” That could cost Duryea $379,000, the amount he was guaranteed for the final year. The Duryea family is not happy. “We have supporting documents that say it is five years,” Duryea’s wife, Angie, told “The intent was five years and they are trying to weasel out of it. Seventeen years and this is what we get.”

Playing time is always an issue in college sports these days, and it appears there’s another casualty at Boise State. Sophomore defensive end Derriyon Shaw has tweeted that he’s leaving the Broncos to “further his education and football goals at another school.” Shaw, a 6-2, 236-pounder from North Las Vegas, did not play in a game last season as a redshirt freshman. Boise State is fairly log-jammed at the STUD end position, led by Jabril Frazier, Curtis Weaver and Sam Whitney.

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl gets the best kickoff situation it could hope for again this year, set for a 2 p.m. kickoff on ESPN on Friday, December 21. The 22nd edition of Boise’s bowl will be played in the daytime again—on a day when fans have an opportunity to take an afternoon off. Now, if they’d only do that. The sparsely-attended Hawaii Bowl has a chance at a bigger turnstile count as it moves away from Christmas Eve for the first time since 2007 (when Boise State played East Carolina). This year the game will be played on Saturday, December 22. Maybe…maybe…a few more fans will be able to travel from the Mainland.

Just like that, the Idaho Steelheads are right back where they were two weeks ago: in a three games-to-none hole in a Kelly Cup Playoff series. They escaped the Allen Americans in the first round—but a comeback now against Colorado in the ECHL Mountain Division Finals would be miraculous. The Eagles scored in each period and led 3-0 last night after J.C. Beaudin’s second goal of the night early in the third. A desperate Steelheads rally produced tallies by Steve McParland and Cole Ully, pulling them to within a goal with 1:40 left in the game. But that was it. Colorado skated away with a 3-2 victory and looks for a sweep in Game 4 tonight in CenturyLink Arena.

Troy Merritt is back on the course today in the Wells Fargo Championship at the famed Quail Hollow layout in Charlotte, NC. Fellow former Bronco Graham DeLaet wishes he was, too. DeLaet, who was inducted into the Boise State Athletics Hall of Fame three weeks ago, is still battling back problems that sound like they’re becoming demoralizing. “When injuries take it away from you, it really sinks in how lucky I’ve been to play a game for a living,” tweeted DeLaet on Tuesday. “You miss the boys, the competition, the preparation, but most of all, that fire in your belly.” That doesn’t sound so good. DeLaet had been targeting The Players Championship for his return to the PGA Tour—but that’s a week from today.

On 2018 Idaho Gives Day, I hope you’ll consider joining me in contributing to the Idaho Youth Sports Commission. John Blanchette, the longtime columnist at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, wrote last weekend about the Spokane Youth Sports Awards in June. Blanchette came up with 23 nameless nominations in a piece that could just as easily have been written about the mission of the Idaho Youth Sports Commission.

Here are a few that directly tie in to the IYSC. “I nominate any football player who takes a pass on graduating early and enrolling at college in time for spring ball and instead runs track or plays center field—or just enjoys being a senior. I nominate any athlete who uses her Twitter account for shout-outs to parents, coaches, cheerleaders, the band, gymnastics judges, basketball referees, volleyball officials or track meet timers. I nominate any athlete who tells Mom and Dad she loves them for coming to every game. But the first time they get on the coach about not getting the ball enough, she’s taking up the oboe.”

This Day In Sports…May 3, 1980:

At a time when 500 career home runs was a big deal, Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants hits his 521st and final homer in a 3-2 win at Montreal. McCovey would retire two months later at the age of 42. He spent 19 of his 22 big league seasons with the Giants, winning the National League Rookie of the Year award in 1959 and MVP honors in 1969. McCovey is one of only 22 major leaguers in the modern era to play in four different decades. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)