Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Off-Season Mismash

As we wait for more hard news, beginning with the opening of the spring signing period for basketball next week (April 14), here are some tidbids to nibble upon....Idaho State's women's team will have at least one more scholarship to offer for next year than Coach Seton Sobolewski anticipated, with the news that freshman shooting guard Brea Matthews is leaving the program, along with walk-on teammate Rayneiqua Edwards. Matthews is reportedly transferring to a school in California and does not intend to play basketball....Air Force's women's team is still under contract to come to Pocatello next fall, but it turns out the Bengals won't be facing their former coach, Ardie McInelley (above), who was fired with two years (and about $355,000) left on her contract. Ardie's last two Falcons teams failed to win a conference game. She finishes her Air Force career with a 57-201 record overall, just 12-124 in Mountain West Conference play. Two former Bengals, ISU Hall of Famer Holly Togiai and Cassie Bro, were on Ardie's staff at the Academy, as was current Bengal assistant Angela Munger.....There has been no confirmation out of Weber State yet, but rumors are flying on the Wildcats message board that swing-man Franklin Session, the Big Sky newcomer of the year, is transferring. This will be a story worth watching...As I've noted many times in the past, a lot of things can happen in the off-season, and most of them (trouble with the law, transfers, academic issues) are bad. The University of Georgia, who will host Idaho State on Nov. 6, is having one of those off-seasons. The Bulldogs recently kicked linebacker Montez Robinson off the team following his arrest for battery, and then suspended freshman quarterback Zach Mettenberger, one of four contenders for their starting quarterback job, from the opening game of the season after his arrest on DUI and other related charges...Former Idaho State offensive coordinator Bruce Barnum, one of the really good guys in coaching, is back in the Big Sky Conference as coordinator at Portland State. Word is "Barney" is introducing the "pistol offense" to the Vikings, which his new head man, Nigel Burton, is bringing with him from Nevada...As expected the State Board of Education approved increases in fees for the three state universities this week, thereby raising the cost of athletic scholarships to athletic departments. The board approved a nine percent increase in Idaho State fees for next year. According to figures ISU submitted to the State Board of Education in February, the athletic department anticipates spending almost $1.7 million on student aid in this fiscal year....Gus Johnson, one of my favorite NBA players to watch as a kid and a former Boise Junior College Bronco and University of Idaho Vandal, was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame, it was announced this week. Johnson was one of the first great leapers in the game, and he made his name shattering backboards with thunder dunks. Before his pro days, he played three years for the Vandals after a season with then-Boise JC in the early 1960s. While in Moscow, he displayed his great jumping ability at the Corner Club, a local night spot, where he leapt from a standing start and touched a spot on the rafters 11 feet 6 inches off the floor. The owner of the Corner Club put a nail in the rafter where Johnson reached the appex of his leap, and for years athletes and wanna-be's came from miles around to try to touch the nail. Reportedly, even 6-11 UCLA All-American Bill Walton failed in an attempt to hit the nail from a standing start. The nail remained untouched until, ironically, a junior college basketball star named Joey Johnson, who also happened to be a world class high jumper, hit it on his third try while visiting the bar on a trip to a game at North Idaho College in the mid-1980s. Here's the great irony in that: Joey Johnson's father, former Celtics guard Dennis Johnson, was also inducted into this year's Hall of Fame class. Sadly, both Johnsons, Dennis and Gus, have died, Gus of brain cancer at 48, and Dennis at just 52 years of age.

--Brad B.


Anonymous said...

Have you seen Allegiant Air has added some flights between Idaho Falls and Los Angeles for a couple times a week. They are saying it will be $69.99 one way after an initial special. Is this something ISU should look into for recruiting? It would sure save time and money driving to Salt Lake. At least I think it would.

Ross Cunningham said...

Georgia is looking to gain some Fulmer Cup points by the looks of it.