July Evaluation Period: Bobcat Women

scouts_chaunice_576This is the third in a series of four posts, looking at what positions the Montana State men’s, Montana State women’s, the Montana men’s as well as the Lady Griz basketball programs may be looking to evaluate and ultimately fill roster spots next year. This post will cover the Montana State women’s program.

The Bobcat Women’s program will graduate all conference candidate point guard Erica Perry, and potential starter at center Jamie Thornton. Additionally they will have two more open scholarships to given them a total of four to play with. MSU head Coach Tricia Binford prefers to recruit freshman classes but may drop into the JC ranks if needed. While info on women’s recruiting is extremely hard to come by I believe the MSU coaches are mainly looking at high school kids currently. If they were to sign a JC they more typically sign them in the spring.

The signing of a quality point guard is a must, and has to be the priority for the Cat’s. With Perry graduating, there will be a huge hole in the depth chart and talent at this position. Whomever they sign better be ready to play, right away. On the positive side this is a position Binford is very good at evaluating talent and recruiting players. Do not be surprised if Binford were to sign two points. Additionally if Binford were to sign a JC this would be the only spot where I could see her doing so. I see Binford recruiting points who are duo threats. Good team leaders but also capable of scoring off the dribble if defenses cheat too much. Tory Hill or Chaunice Powell are the type of players that I believe Binford would covet.

danielleloveThe second area I could see the MSU coaches identifying as a priority would be a big who could play the center spot or forward in Binford’s system. Binford does not stock pile a lot of really big women players on her team. She likes bigs that can run the floor, have good lateral movement and who can shoot. Binford is willing to give up size (both height and weight) to get the player she wants. Still tough look for the coaches to look for a 6-2ish big girl possibly, in the mold of Nubia Garcia. Everett Washington prospect Danielle Love may also fill that role although she may end up being more of a combo forward in college.

Now we get to the big advantage that the women program has over the men’s program, fifteen scholarships. This gives them so much more flexibility to take chances with players or just recruit a player they really like regardless of position. I think a lot of “best player available” theory will go into the last two scholarships. Like I said before the Bobcat’s may chose to pick up another point guard prospect with one of these scholarship, but I figure will have to look hard at picking guard regardless. By the time the Cat’s get around to committing to their last scholarship it could very well just be that best player available thing I keep talking about. This actually might be where a Danielle Love fits in. She may be a natural combo forward in college and the Cat’s are loaded at the small forward but she simply may be too good to pass up, if the Cat’s manage to be fortunate enough to land her.

By the way there is another option for that 4th scholarship. The Bobcats might not sign anyone at all. In Binford’s tenure at Montana State has never signed all 15 of her scholarships.

Here is something else to keep in mind.

Keep your eye peeled on Australia. In reading asst. Coach Justin Scanson blog he has been taking some trips to Australia the last couple of years, so do not be surprised if the Bobcats pull a rabbit out of a hat from down under.


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