Sam Ukwuachu got a lucky break when he was put first and got dismissed from the Boise State team last week. Chris Petersen did the kid a favor. Gave him a wakeup call and a chance at playing in the NFL. Now he can work on becoming a better person and not settling for his less than best effort. And, the sacrifices were on both sides. Boise State lost a dominating player who MAY have grown into a NFL player at a position that is a difference maker for any team: a pass rushing machine coming off the edge with long arms. Ukwuachu lost a spot on a guaranteed winning program with a stellar reputation for producing players and men. He also now has a reputation as a reclamation project.
How many other coaches, teachers or relatives in Ukwuachu’s life held him accountable to his mistakes?
If they had, I wonder if he would have been in this position in the first place. If he had been thrown out of a class, kicked off the pee wee football team or had his video games taken away, MAYBE he would have learned this lesson by now. That is why these are the hardest decisions for Chris Petersen. In his own way, he loves them but must set them free.
And what did Ukwuachu do anyway?
I don’t have the exact reason but based on what I do know, I think he just didn’t want to follow the TEAMS’ rules. Petersen tells them that the standard they have to live up to is to excel not just “stay out of trouble”. The only legal blemish he has had in Idaho is a minor in possession of alcohol charge that didn’t stick. The prosecutor dismissed the charges. The fact the event happened on his recruiting trip probably raised some eyebrows but he was signed to a scholarship anyway. He was held out of the spring game April 13th for personal issues. He was dismissed from the team May 7. Did he go to study hall? Did he show up for practice/meetings/work outs? Did he go to class? Were his grades on target? Those seem the most likely rules he broke to me.
We haven’t heard the last of Sam Ukwuachu and, in time, he will thank Chris Petersen for holding him accountable to a higher standard.
When Jamar Taylor started falling in the NFL draft from the late first round to the late second round it was a familiar feeling. The effects of the doubters who question the quality of competition he faces in the Mountain West Conference were again running the show. Just like the weekly poll voters question how good Boise St. really is, the NFL seemed to be following suit. Only 7 MWC players were drafted and only one Brice Butler, a USC transfer, a WR. Taylor was the 8th corner selected. Of the 7 taken before Taylor, one was from a “peer” school, the others all BCS conferences. D.J. Hayden of Houston played in Conference USA where only 8 players were drafted. Go figure. But, Boise St. is addressing this problem head on. President Kustra tried to give former AD Gene Bleymaier a bonus if he scheduled more BCS games and put Boise St. in the Big East where, for a year, they would have been in a BCS conference. Coach Petersen works at decorating the Boise St. facility walls with former Broncos in the NFL, writes them hand written notes and throws a party for all former players in the spring. The active NFL players attend Boise St. games at home or on the road and stand on the sideline. The future Boise St. schedule is now loaded with BCS games. Chad Crippe of the Idaho Statesman pointed out that 25 of the 29 future non-conference games scheduled for Boise St. are against either BCS schools or BYU. That’s an upgrade that will keep both Coach Pete challenged and future Bronco NFL prospects in the Big School spotlight.
The Bryan brothers will play for TEAM USA in Boise this weekend in Davis Cup tennis. It isn’t the first time they have been here playing tennis. I met them in 1999 with their Dad, Wayne, who accompanied his two sons to Idaho to play World Team Tennis on the Idaho Sneakers. I did a few interviews with Wayne and he told me all about the book he was writing on how to raise kids to play sports and be good at it. It took him seven years to write How to Raise Your Child to be a Champion in Athletics, Arts and Academics. It was first published in 2004. Wayne didn’t believe his boys should play more than one organized sport, have very limited time alone, learn how to play a musical instrument, have no toys and watch minimal TV. The boys lives were scheduled and monitored and he explained they were encouraged to have fun with a purpose. Or else.
How can you argue with the results? They play in a band, with their Dad, got Stanford scholarships, and are the ALL TIME Men’s Doubles champions.
Of course, they had natural advantages. Both are about 6’3” 190 (Bob is actually 6’4”), Mike is right handed; Bob left, and they are identical twins. Wayne got his law degree, married a professional tennis player and became a tennis pro near where I graduated High School in Camarillo, California, about 50 miles north of LA. He coached the boys to every national championship they could win. He made them alternate disqualifying against each other in singles play so they wouldn’t have to compete. He had them play doubles as well and the results are history in the making.
Bob has now had a child of his own, says he won’t coach her in tennis or spoil her but admits he has set up a mini Toys R Us in his home. Both boys admit they love video games. They have moved in different directions though in the last year. I look forward to reading the book they write on raising kids and how it was to have their upbringing. In the meantime, the results speak for themselves.
You have to check out Drop Madness The Road to the Final Drop brought to you by Commuteride. This bracket inspired contest is the brainchild of a longtime Idaho Sports Talk listener, the former @FakeJohnPatrick, who wishes to remain anonymous. Jp worked with him in creating the contest and the seeds were provided by our committee of one.
First , what is a drop? Well, usually it is when something is said that aired on the show that is embarrassing to somebody. We don’t use drops not coming from local newsmakers. And, the bigger the stage, the better the drop to me. I am always pushing for Jp to edit down stuff and add them to the list. He usually pushes back and doesn’t add them. He loves routine, classic hits and rinse and repeat usage, so it doesn’t surprise me. It is very difficult to hit just the right drop at just the right time for maximum impact. And, when they don’t work , it really sounds like you are forcing the issue. So, at the end of the day, the only reason the 64 made it into Drop Madness was because Jp thought they were funny and has been hitting the same buttons for years. I laugh along most times and it’s a very important part of the show. We have drops that go back 20 years. Idaho Sports Talk began in 1985 and has used drops almost since we began.
Below, you will find the Lock Stock and Barrel Bracket formerly known as the Jeff Caves Bracket. To the left is the seed they are in the tourney and to the right is what I think. To me, the easiest drops come during the show. Comedy is a regular part of the show. But, when I work on the Boise State football broadcast that is a different story. So, when I got out of line there, that is funny. Mixing the order of sayings, mispronunciations and just using the wrong words, eh, take it or leave it.
13. You're a Bowl Pig (1)Calling an Orange Bowl Committee guy a name? On a throw away half time show? When he is here to maybe pick Boise State? Easily, the best example of tasteless radio.
1. Where is Bush Hamdan (2)Coach Pete classic. The question actually came from a fan in the audience at the coaches show.
3. Fiesta bowl scream (2 point conversion)(3) No cheering in the press box?
6. Hang loose brah(4) Nice work with a new Boise St signee Kamalei Correa. Maybe the new sign off of the show. Better than “ Quit takin’ it easy, take a chance (which has motivated people to change jobs and get married)”?
2. I need my beads. Where's my arabacus.(5) At least it was during a game.
4. Kevin Jurovich ties his socks(6) Never found this funny.
5. We seek things to give you some thoughts... (7)Post Game show audio, filling with no callers.
7. Coach Mike Massmussen (8)The coach was on the phone and I blew his name.
14. Redskins-Yankees game 7 of the World Series (9)Funnier, cause everybody knows it is wrong, than the rest below
8. Ted Shashinski (10)Nobody knows him.
11. Chuck Bedardnick (11)At least he came to Boise.
10. Fire on the log(12) I like “Glass by the wine” too.
12. Like a deer with headlights on(13) I have a picture on the studio wall somebody sent me.
16. Steroid Andro-Stuh-knee-dion (14)Real old but works with steroid stories.
9. Tiger Woods sex addition(15) From the old beat down.
15. Unanimous, by a 3 to one margin 1(16) I don’t even think it’s funny. But, of course, I think losing 90-30 is pretty unanimous.
Trying to follow who is in or out of the NCAA tourney requires a special skill. Most fans do not make that kind of investment into the process and just wait for the selection show. The fans we have spoken to on KTIK, and there were very few, or I have to spoke to in person, really only want to know whether Boise State is in or not. I have not heard many arguments either way.
The process is complicated and features teams not on the radar of most fans.
In college football, post season bowl predictors are really only concerned with 10 teams going to BCS games and maybe 4 more who have a shot. It is one thing to ask a college football fan in Boise to follow Notre Dame or Florida football to understand who is in or out of the BCS bowl games. But how much can we expect local college basketball fans to know about the following basketball schools either in or on the bubble for the 2013 tourney?
Florida Gulf Coast, Morgan State, James Madison, Southern Mississippi, Ole Miss, Liberty, Valpo, Harvard, Iona, LIU-Brooklyn, Belmont, Bucknell, Davidson, South Dakota State , Western Kentucky.
This time of year in college basketball, 72 teams will be dancing and another 20 “on the bubble”. It’s like following the major league baseball draft vs. the NFL draft. Once the tourney field is set and the games start, the Cinderella stories are defined and fans are spun stories by studio hosts on the schools to follow. Once the field is down to the Sweet 16, the real conversation games begin.
Derrick Marks may be the best Boise State basketball player we have heard the least about. After his electrifying 38 point performance versus Colorado State, I think most fans want to know more. With his chest thumping on the court and swagger, I wouldn’t think he was shy.
He almost went to Albany University out of Plainfield Central High in Illinois but changed his mind and pledged to Boise State, committing in the Fall of 2010. He lists his hometown as Chicago. Plainfield is 40 miles southwest of Chicago and mostly a nice suburb of about 40,000. Ernie Banks lives in Plainfield. When Marks committed to Boise St., he said he liked the facilities and the offense. Leon Rice said he just hoped nobody else tried to take Marks away from Boise State and couldn’t believe his luck.
Marks Freshman year at Boise St, were filled with great game moments but not enough in practice. Marks admitted that. His work now in practice has paid off not only scoring but with assists as well. He has shown he will pass the ball when others have a hotter hand and Boise St. has benefitted. Earlier this season, Marks and three others were suspended. Marks was only suspended one game and Leon Rice told us on KTIK that it wasn’t a huge issue but one he had to deal with.
I have heard Marks has the eye of NBA scouts given his size, strength and ability to create his own shot. At 6’3” and 205 lbs, Marks has great size for a point guard. He is as tall as Russell Westbrook but weighs 20 more pounds. He is 3 inches taller and 30 lbs bigger then Chris Paul. His quickness will be tested as he matures but for now he has the complete package. I will be making a point to get to know more about Derrick Marks very soon.