Awaiting word on whether Boise State’s basketball season continues in the new Vegas 16 tournament. Awaiting word on whether Boise State’s basketball season continues in the new Vegas 16 tournament and, consequently, if Anthony Drmic gets a shot at the three points he needs to break the Broncos’ career scoring record. We’ll find out this morning. It’s weird—we all did the math before the season. Counting at least one game in the Mountain West Tournament, Drmic would have to average 13.03 points per game. Well, Boise State has played those 32 games, and his average is 13.35. Say what? But Drmic missed a game just before Thanksgiving against Concordia, when his surgically-repaired ankle desperately needed rest. Even with that, it looked like Drmic was easily on track, until his season hit a major road bump during the first half of the Mountain West. Then came his late surge, and now the three-point deficit.
Fresno State won the Mountain West championship with a 68-63 win over San Diego State Saturday. The Bulldogs, in a stark demonstration of how weak the conference was this season, managed only a No. 14 seed as they enter their first NCAA Tournament in 15 years. Fresno State has to take on Utah to begin the tourney. The MW was indeed a one-bid league, as San Diego State didn’t make the field. As Mountain West regular-season champion, the Aztecs were assured an NIT bid, and they’re seeded second with a game against IPFW tomorrow night in Viejas Arena. Oregon’s loss to Boise State in December didn’t hurt the Ducks—they’re the No. 1 seed in the West.
Idaho, sporting its first 20-win season in 23 years, will play on in the Colłege Basketball Invitational after making the semifinals of the Big Sky Tournament. The Vandals will play at former WAC foe Seattle University Wednesday night in their first postseason appearance in four years. Weber State, who beat Montana in the Big Sky final Saturday night, is a 15 seed and opens the NCAA’s against Xavier. The Idaho women learn their first-round pairing in the NCAA Tournament today following .
Boise State begins the second week of spring football with numerous areas of rebuilding on defense, of course. The Broncos lose a star safety and a star cornerback, at least one of which will be playing on Sundays. When you combine the career numbers of Darian Thompson and Donte Deayon—and add in the two years Mercy Maston played—Boise State loses 468 tackles and 37 interceptions. The Broncos have 278 tackles and just six interceptions returning, with 175 of the tackles and four of the picks coming from Chanceller James and Jonathan Moxey. There’s new energy in the secondary, though, as Ashley Ambrose and Gabe Franklin take over coaching duties for the unit. “There’s a good vibe out there with that group,” said coach Bryan Harsin.
Shea McClellin is almost certain to have a new address next season. Will it be the Big Apple? The former Boise State star is an unrestricted free agent, and the Chicago Bears are evidently letting him go his own way after picking up linebacker Jerrell Freeman from the Colts. McClellin met with the Jets on Friday, but they haven’t made a move yet on the Marsing High grad. McClellin’s move to middle linebacker last season in Chicago was a positive—he logged 81 tackles after making 80 in his first three NFL seasons combined. Bears teammates were high on McClellin all year, but the team is looking for a change.
A 2-1 loss Friday night was a wake-up call for the Idaho Steelheads, and they responded with a 3-0 blanking of Rapid City Saturday night. Philippe Desrosiers picked up his first professional shutout while making 22 saves. The Steelheads were a determined bunch—Radoslav Illo set the tone with a goal 43 seconds into the game. Rob Linsmayer and Carson McMillan also scored. McMillan has six goals and four assists in the past nine games. Idaho has won 11 of its last 15 contests and still leads the ECHL West Division by four points.
The Idaho Stampede split over the weekend with the D-League Southwest Division-leading Astin Spurs. The win came via a strong second half in a 100-90 decision Saturday night. Tibor Pleiss, the 7-1 German center, didn’t have his usual double-digit rebound night (he had “only” nine), but he led the Stampede with 24 points. Corey Hawkins and Treveon Graham also hit the 20-point plateau. The Stamps’ homestand continues tomorrow night in CenturyLink Arena against the Oklahoma City Blue.
He was so close, but the cigar remains elusive for Graham DeLaet. The former Boise State star trailed Bill Haas by one shot going into the final round of the Valspar Championship yesterday, and he stuck with Haas through the first five holes. But back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 5 and 6 sent DeLaet down the leaderboard, and he finished tied for fifth after a four-over 75. He still made $268,400, though, his biggest payday since the Travelers Championship last June, where he finished fourth and won $307,200. Charl Schwartzel, by the way, beat Haas in a one-hole playoff. Nampa’s Tyler Aldridge was three-over for the tournament and tied for 37th.
The Boise State women’s gymnastics team is peaking at the right time—not to say that it hasn’t been peaking all season. The Broncos set a school scoring record with a 197.325 while beating Southern Utah and San Jose State Friday night. The two wins upped BSU’s record to 12-0, the best in school history, going into the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Championships this Saturday in Taco Bell Arena.
The College of Idaho ski team had a week for the ages at the USCSA National Championships in Lake Placid. The euphoria continued Friday when Anton Waller stunned a 112-skier field to claim the Coyotes first men’s alpine slalom national title since 1986. Anna Granhed claimed the gold medal in the Women’s Skier-Cross, helping the Coyotes win the team national title in that event. On Saturday, the C of I men won the silver medal in the dual slalom, and the women took fifth.
In other campus notes, Boise State’s Allie Ostrander faced her first bit of adversity in her stellar young career Friday at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Ostrander was unable to finish the 5,000-meters and was forced to scratch in the 3,000 on Saturday. But the Broncos’ David Elliott took fifth Saturday in the men’s mile to earn first-team All-America honors. The Bronco men’s tennis team posted a 5-2 win over Michigan State Saturday at the Appleton Center. Tommy Tenreiro won at No. 2 singles to improve to 9-1 on the season. And the College of Idaho baseball team swept a pair of doubleheaders from Oregon Tech. Coyotes coach Shawn Humberger notched his 500th career victory in Saturday’s nightcap.
This Day In Sports…March 14, 1982:
The Idaho Vandals, led by Brian Kellerman, Phil Hopson and Big Sky Player of the Year Ken Owens, go next door to Pullman to play their first round NCAA Tournament game against Iowa. The thriller went into overtime with Idaho, the No. 3 seed in the West Region, pulling out a 69-67 win to advance to the Sweet Sixteen against Ralph Miller and the Oregon State Beavers. OSU was victorious in that one, 60-42. The best hoops team in Vandal history finished the season 27-3.
(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.)