Opportunity’s a-knockin’ at Lucas Oil Stadium

A lot of time has been spent talking about Kellen Moore being out of his element at the NFL Combine this week and Doug Martin being smack in the middle of it.  The other five Boise State representatives in Indianapolis fall in between.  In Tony Pauline’s rundown of “who has the most to gain” at SI.com, the Broncos’ Shea McClellin and George Iloka are fifth and sixth on the list.  “McClellin has made a steady climb up draft boards,” writes Pauline.  “He was a devastating pass rusher at defensive end for Boise State, then made the seamless transition to linebacker at the Senior Bowl.  He's another hybrid prospect who will jump up draft boards with good postings in the 40.  A time no worse than 4.72 seconds could move him into the late part of the second round.”  Don’t know how Pauline settled on 4.72, but it sounds attainable to me.

On Iloka, Pauline writes: “In a position group lacking talent, Iloka impressed teams during the Senior Bowl.  He's currently the top free safety on draft boards around the league.  If Iloka performs as expected (4.50 seconds and 25 reps on the bench at 225 pounds) he'll likely secure a spot in the early part of the second round.”  Wes Bunting of National Football Post.com said the 40 time is key yesterday on Idaho SportsTalk.  Safety, cornerback and wide receiver are “stopwatch positions,” according to Bunting.  “The guys who run fastest tend to go a little bit higher.”

This is what many Kellen Moore watchers have been hoping for.  The former Boise State quarterback will participate in Jon Gruden’s 2012 QB Camp, sitting down with the Monday Night Football analyst for intense X’s and O’s on a segment that will air on ESPNU April 12.  Gruden has flustered many an NFL Draft prospect in the first two seasons of the show, but I’m betting Moore will be in his element.  Kellen is one of 10 quarterbacks invited to participate this spring—a one-hour special featuring all of them is scheduled for April 19 on ESPN.  Meanwhile, Moore’s name will remain part of the program en perpetua.  The quarterbacks room in the new football complex will be named after him.

Longtime Washington State assistant Mike Levenseller will not be Idaho’s offensive coordinator after all.  Vandal coach Robb Akey revealed yesterday that former WSU quarterback Jason Gesser, whose first college coaching job was as Idaho running backs coach last season, has been promoted to OC.  That means Akey still needs running backs, offensive line, and wide receivers coaches.  The consensus is that Levenseller will still land on the Vandal staff in the receivers’ post.

Boise State gives Wyoming another try tomorrow at 7200 feet after being pulled down by the Cowboys at 2800 feet four weeks ago.  That 75-64 Bronco loss in Taco Bell Arena may have been the most discouraging of the first Mountain West rotation, coming three days after one of Boise State’s best efforts of the season, the 77-72 overtime loss to UNLV.  But Wyoming shot 66 percent from the field that day and 50 percent from beyond the arc.  What are you gonna do?  Laramie’s been a tough spot for the Broncos, who are 1-6 all-time there with the only win coming during Bobby Dye’s second BSU season back in 1984.

Igor Hadziomerovic has the look of a point guard since his return from injury for Boise State.  The freshman Australian is an accomplished dribbler and clearly loves to handle the ball.  The Broncos move the energy meter when Hadziomerovic starts the offense.  Since missing more than two months due to a broken foot, Hadziomerovic has yet to resume a scorer’s role.  He’s scored only four points in three games, all from the free throw line and has attempted only three shots from the field.  Expect that to change.

As the strongest basketball conference in the West, the Mountain West has a chance at four NCAA Tournament berths next month, according to Andy Glockner’s “Bubble Watch” at SI.com.  Glockner sees UNLV, New Mexico and San Diego State as locks.  On the bubble?  Colorado State, which has an RPI of No. 30 and a strength-of-schedule rated No. 13.  Think about those numbers.  Writes Glockner: “The Rams did the deed against New Mexico, taking down the league-leading Lobos for a huge profile-improving win.  They now travel to San Diego State before hosting UNLV.  Get one of those two and make the MWC semis?  Could be enough.”

Tomorrow is Senior Day already for the Boise State women, who have overachieved somewhat in their first Mountain West season.  The Broncos, picked to finish last, look to be headed for a sixth seed in the conference tournament, sitting at 4-8 currently (13-14 overall).  Attendance has been a much harped-upon subject as Boise State has moved up to the Mountain West, and it’s no less important on the women’s side.  Crowd counts are all over the board in the league.  The Broncos are fifth in the conference in women’s attendance, which doesn’t sound so bad.  But look at the progression: New Mexico 6,725, Wyoming 3,235, TCU 2,795, Colorado State 1,232, Boise State 823, UNLV 708, San Diego State 613, and Air Force 578.  Katie Isham, Heather Pilcher and Nicole Brady will be making their final Bronco home appearances tomorrow. 

The Idaho Steelheads will be facing an Idahoan tonight when the host Utah in the second of a three-game series.  Former Steelheads defenseman Cody Lampl, the first true Idahoan ever to play for the team, is still going with the Grizzlies after his trade to Utah during the offseason last year.  Lampl’s penalty minutes have accelerated since the move.  He had 97 PIM’s in 95 games with Idaho over two seasons—and has picked up 84 PIM’s in just 32 games this season with the Grizzlies.  Lampl, who grew up in Ketchum, goes way back with the Steelheads.  As an 11-year-old, he attended the Steelies’ second game in franchise history in 1997 in what was then the Bank Of America Centre.

It’s championship week for several Olympic sports at Boise State, and one of them is hosting.  The Bronco wrestling team goes into the Pac-12 Championships Sunday at Taco Bell Arena.  With only six teams sponsoring wrestling in the conference, it will be a one-day meet divided into two sessions.  No. 15 Stanford comes in as the favorite.  Boise State is in serious rebuilding mode this season, with four freshmen and nary a senior among the 10 starters.  The Broncos are led by sophomore Jake Swartz, ranked 10th in the nation at 184 pounds.

This Day In Sports…jumping ahead a day to February 25, 1982, 30 years ago tomorrow: 

Boise State fires Mike Mullally as athletic director after a public outcry over his priority seating plan in Bronco Stadium and names 28-year-old assistant athletic director Gene Bleymaier to the post.  That would begin a Bleymaier tenure that would last almost three decades, encompassing the installation of the blue turf in 1986, a move to Division I-A and the Big West in 1996, a move to the WAC in 2001, and Bronco football’s climb into the top 10 early in the new century.  Bleymaier was fired by president Bob Kustra in August, 2011.

(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.)