SCOTT SLANT: The Rams’ relentless ramp-up

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Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

It’s natural to drift toward San Diego State as the preseason favorite in Mountain West men’s basketball next season. The Aztecs are reloading. But you may not have noticed that the only conference team in Jeff Borzello’s “way Too Early Top 25” at ESPN.com is none other than Colorado State at No. 24. “If continuity is your thing, Colorado State checks all the boxes,” writes Borzello. “The Rams didn’t have a single senior on this past season’s team, and they haven’t had anyone hit the transfer portal this spring. And if not for Cinderella conference tournament runs by Oregon State and Georgetown, Niko Medved’s team would have been in the NCAA tournament. It shouldn’t come down to the final few spots this time around, though.” The Rams and Boise State split a pair of games in Fort Collins last season.

BIT PART FOR HUTCH IN THE PLAYOFFS

Chandler Hutchison got his first taste of the NBA Playoffs Tuesday night, and it wasn’t just from the Washington Wizards bench. The former Boise State star played eight minutes in the first half—then didn’t return until 2:45 remained in the game in the Wizards’ 118-100 play-in game loss at Boston. For the game: 10 minutes, four points, two rebounds as Washington heads for a do-or-die game against the Indiana Pacers Thursday night. Hutchison averaged 5.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 18 regular season games after being traded to the Wizards at the end of March. Hutchison actually started in last Friday night’s 120-105 win over Cleveland, scoring six points in 22 minutes. But in Sunday’s regular season finale, he played only 10 minutes off the bench and went scoreless in a 115-110 win over Charlotte.

FIRST REAL INTRA-CONFERENCE TRANSFER

The first example of the Mountain West allowing transfers within the conference without sitting out a year—following the NCAA’s lead—is Jordan Kress moving from New Mexico to Colorado State. Kress, a wide receiver, had more receptions than any other Lobo the past two seasons, 40 of them, for 754 yards and eight touchdowns. That’s a lot of catches at New Mexico as the offense emerges from Bob Davie’s old triple-option offense. Kress played high school football in Loveland, near Fort Collins.

Former Boise State linebacker Tyson Maeva, now at Fresno State, doesn’t fall into that category. Maeva was dismissed from the Broncos program shortly after the 2018 First Responder Bowl and ended up at Florida International the past two seasons. He transferred to Fresno State the old-fashioned way, taking advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted byb the NCAA due to COVID. Maeva had 166 tackles in three seasons as a Bronco. Expect him to start as a Bulldog.

AN INTERIM ALOHA

The working title of the facility is T.C. Ching Field, and it’s starting to take shape on the Hawaii campus. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser posted renderings Tuesday of the retrofitted Clarence T.C. Ching Athletic Complex that will be used for the Rainbow Warriors’ six home games this coming season. The facility will add portable prefabricated stands on one side. Still, the stadium will initially seat only 9,000 fans. UH football was forced to relocate when the 46-year-old Aloha Stadium was deemed unfit due to safety issues. Aloha Stadium will be torn down and rebuilt, supposedly in time for the 2023 season, although that seems like wishful thinking. Boise State is next scheduled to play at Hawaii in 2022, so T.C. Ching Field it is.

NOTES FROM THE CALDWELL CAMPUS

The College of Idaho women’s softball team split its NAIA National Championship Opening Round games Tuesday. Actually Tuesday and today. The 15th-ranked Coyotes dropped a 3-2 heartbreaker to Freed-Hardeman of Tennessee to start the day in Columbia, MO. The Yotes didn’t take the field until after midnight Mountain time this morning for an elimination game, and they survived with an 8-4 victory over Ottawa University of Arizona. C of I could play three games today. Also, the final NAIA Coaches Poll of the spring football season has C of I ranked No. 18. The Yotes, who had a 3-1 record and earned a share of their second straight Frontier Conference title, but missed the NAIA Playoffs due to a tiebreaker. It’s College of Idaho’s 21st straight appearance in the poll, dating back to November, 2018.

NOTHING TO LOSE ON DAY 3

It’s all about the experience now for Boise State men’s golf, as the Broncos dropped to 11th place Tuesday at the NCAA Albuquerque Regional. Boise State came in at three-over in the second round, two shots worse than the first, and is 12 strokes out of the No. 5 spot that would allow it to advance to the NCAA Tournament with 18 holes to play. The Broncos started strong and pierced the top five at one point, but they faded. Leading the Broncos on Day 2 was their top player, Hugo Townsend, who carded a one-under 71.

This Day In Sports…brought to you by FRANZ WITTE NURSERY…the flamingos have flown to Nampa!

May 19, 1973: Rick MacLeish scores the game’s lone goal, and goalie Bernie Parent—the Stanley Cup MVP—is impenetrable as the Philadelphia Flyers defeat the Boston Bruins, 1-0, to win the Cup four games to two. Led by Parent and center Bobby Clarke, the Flyers, who began play in 1967, were the first expansion team to take the NHL title. Their physical play earned them the nickname “Broad Street Bullies,” and the Flyers and their fans insisted that the playing of Kate Smith’s “God Bless America” brought them luck. Smith was on hand to sing in person before that decisive Game 6.

(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.)

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