A little bit of this and that from BengalBlog Land:
Congratulations to incoming Idaho State women's basketball recruit Morgan Wohltman (left), who was named to the Arizona Republic's All-Arizona first-team. The 5-11 guard from Gilbert, Arizona earned all-state honors for the second year in a row, after leading her team to back-to-back Arizona large-school state championships.
Joining Wohltman on the first-team was a future opponent, Amy Patton, a 5-9 point guard who has signed with Northern Arizona. Patton of McClintock was named the Player of the Year over Wohltman. That should lead to a nice rivalry over the next four years.
Speaking of incoming Bengal recruits, Shannon Byrne, a 6-3 forward from Puyallup, Wash., had a nice senior season, averaging 13.5 points, 7 rebounds and 2.6 blocks a game. Kaela Oakes, a 5-5 point guard from Chandler, Ariz. averaged 9.2 points, 2.9 assists and 2.2 steals in her senior season. I couldn't find any stats on 6-1 Ashleigh Vella, the 6-1 forward from Australia, and ISU's other early signing.
The late signing period for both men's and women's basketball begins April 15. The ISU men have an open scholarship now that guard Kal Bay has decided to leave the program. Before Bay's announcement, Bengal coach Joe O'Brien said he was looking in the junior college ranks for a point guard, potentially as a walk-on for one season, if necessary. That apparently won't be necessary now. The women, meanwhile, are looking to add one high school player and one JUCO this spring.
Before leaving the topic of women's basketball entirely, the St. Louis Post Dispatch has an excellent article on their website (http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/stories.nsf/othersports/story/A489F26BBCF4C7BC8625758C00044B71?OpenDocument) about the problem of ACL tears in women's basketball. It features a photo of Montana's Mandy Morales with both knees iced up, and points out that women's basketball players are three to six times more likely to suffer ACL tears than their male counterparts. ISU's Chelsea Pickering was felled by an ACL tear this past season.
Our Deepest Condolences to a Member of the Bengal Family
On a sad note, our thoughts and prayers go out to former Bengal Edgar Malepeai and his family on the passing of Edgar's wife Brenda this week. Edgar played football and rugby at Idaho State in the 1970s, and has been a Big Sky football official for many years, in addition to serving as a State Senator. Brenda is a former professor at ISU. She had been battling cancer for the last several years. Hang in there, Edgar, we're all thinking of you and your family.
Well, That's One Lumberjack We Won't Have to Worry About
Bengal fans have been disappointed twice by running back Deonte Williams -- first, when he turned down an Idaho State scholarship offer to play for Northern Arizona; and then when he ran over, around and through the Bengal defense last fall for 194 yards and three touchdowns. Williams was named the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year, but he won't be adding to those accolades this season -- according to the Arizona Daily Sun, Williams has transferred out of the NAU program. No indication where he will wind up.
Kudos to the Cub
Most of you have already seen the excellent posts on the ISU Bengal Message Board (disclaimer: the message board is NOT officially linked to Idaho State University) by BengalCub, who has been interviewing incoming ISU football recruits. It's really been fun getting to know these kids on a more personal basis. There are a lot of holes to fill on the Bengal roster and we're all looking forward to many of these young men filling them come next fall. Thanks, Cub, for taking the initiative.
And thanks for being Bengal fans -- it ain't always easy, but it's always fun.
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