The Montana Grizzlies have announced the signings a five state of Montana products to robin Selvig’s Lady Griz program. In a press release the Lady Griz have confirmed that guard Lexi Nelson of Butte, forward Carly Selvig of Glendive, Jordan Sullivan of Sidney, guard Tory Hill of Anaconda and Kelli Cole of Bozeman will all join the Lady Griz program for the 2010-11 season. These five signing should fill all currently open scholarships for the Lady Griz this year and barring some other unforeseen defection should finish their class.
Here is a press release from the University of Montana:
Lady Griz stay in state for 2010-11 signees
by: Joel Carlson of UM Sports Information
University of Montana women’s basketball coach Robin Selvig announced Thursday that Kellie Cole, Torry Hill, Lexie Nelson, Carly Selvig and Jordan Sullivan have signed National Letters ofIntent and will join the Lady Griz program next year.
All five players are from Montana. Cole is from Bozeman, Hill is from Anaconda, Nelson is from Butte, Selvig is from Glendive and Sullivan is from Sidney. Selvig and Sullivan are cousins and also nieces of Coach Selvig.
Hill, Selvig and Sullivan have played together on the Big Sky Hoops AAU summer basketball team. Cole and Nelson have been teammates on the Spokane Sandpipers AAU team.
“It was a great year for recruiting in Montana, so we were hoping to get these kids,” Selvig said. “All of them could have gotten recruited by a lot of schools.
“We always want to get the best players we can, regardless of where they come from, but Montana has been good to us over the years. We always want to get the best Montana players if they’re good enough.
“This is a talented class with great kids. These are all basketball bums who’ve lived in the gym. Basketball is really important to all of them.”
Cole, a 5-9 guard, is currently a senior at Bozeman High. She averaged 14.1 points per game as a junior during the regular season last winter to earn all-state honors.
Cole led the Hawks to an 18-7 record and a fourth-place finish at the 2009 Class AA state tournament, where she earned second team all-state tournament honors.
“Kellie is someone who the more we saw, the more we liked,” Selvig said. “She had a great year of summer ball, and she comes out of a great high school program.
“She’s more of a two or three, but she has the chance to become a complete player. She’s good-sized for a guard, she can shoot off the dribble or get to the hole, and she’s got three range. She’s a great kid that can do a little bit of everything, and like all these kids, she a good athlete.”
“Signing with Montana was one of the easier decisions I’ve had to make,” Cole said. “I’m just thankful for the opportunity to play for such a great coaching staff and program. It is an awesome feeling to know I’ll be getting a quality education while doing something that I’ve worked so hard for and that the scholarship is fulfilling my dream of playing college basketball.
“I felt that the Lady Griz would be a good fit for me. It is great how much community support the team receives, and it will be nice to be away from home but not too far away.
“I am excited to learn from the current players and looking forward to giving my best for an already hugely successful program.”
Hill, a 5-7 guard, is currently a senior at Anaconda High. She has been a key member of back-to-back Class A state championship teams. Hill teamed with current Lady Griz redshirt freshman Alexandra Hurley on the Copperheads’ 2008 title-winning team, then earned tournament MVP honors on AHS’s 2009 championship team.
Hill averaged 23 points per game during the 2008-09 regular season, then upped that average to 29.6 during the divisional and state tournaments.
“Torry is someone we’ve seen play for a lot of years and someone we’re very excited about,” Selvig said. “We like getting kids from successful programs because they are typically very fundamentally sound. That program has had a great run, so that’s certainly a plus.
“Torry can play the one or the two. She’s a good handler, a good passer and a really good shooter with range. She is a very intelligent player with good basketball instincts. You can tell she’s played a ton of basketball.”
“I have many reasons I decided to play for Montana,” Hill said. “My decision started with the comfort level I have with the coaches and the chance I’ll have to learn from every one of them. The excellent coaching staff has created a winning program with a respected reputation.
“I liked how competitive the program is and its history of great players. I am looking forward to that level of competition. The Lady Griz have consistently been winning the Big Sky Conference for quite some time, along with defeating many other top schools, and that has given them the chance to play in the NCAA tournament most years. I find this to be quite impressive and also a great opportunity.
“Being one of the top programs in the West, it has made the Lady Griz a very popular team to watch. The fan support for the team is unbelievable. It’s amazing how much Missoula and other communities support them.
“Another reason I chose Montana is that the girls are super kind and extremely great basketball players. And I like the fact that I’ll be able to play with my former high school and AAU teammates like Ali Hurley, Jordan Sullivan and Carly Selvig. This makes me eager to begin my Lady Griz career.
“One of the most important reasons that I decided to stay in Montana is so my parents, family and friends can watch me play.”
Nelson, a 5-6 guard, is currently a senior at Butte High. She averaged nearly 22 points per game as a junior, ranking second in Class AA, and led the Bulldogs to their second straight Class AA runner-up finish.
The Butte High career scoring leader was named all-state as both a sophomore and junior.
“Lexie is a prototype point guard,” Selvig said. “She’s quick, she’s smart and understands the game, she can create, she can score and she’s an outstanding leader. She’s just the total point guard package, and she just lives to play basketball.
“We don’t have a lot of point guards in the program right now, so getting both Lexie and Torry should shore us up in terms of point guards for a couple of years.”
“There is no doubt in my mind that I have made the right choice to attend Montana next year,” Nelson said. “Coach Selvig and his staff have had great success year in and year out. I am very honored to play for such a professional coaching staff.
“I have followed the Lady Griz since I was young, so I am very excited to become a part of such a prestigious program. It’s a great opportunity to play ball with extremely talented players and great teammates.
“The Griz fans support their teams and create an incredible atmosphere. Their support is one of the best in the nation.
“I know how fortunate and blessed I am to have this great opportunity to attend the University of Montana and play for the Lady Griz. I will work very hard to contribute to the program for the team’s continued success.”
Selvig, a 6-2 forward, is currently a senior at Dawson County High. She averaged 10.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game as a junior in leading the Red Devils to a third-place finish at the Class A state tournament, where she earned all-tournament honors.
Her father Doug, Coach Selvig’s brother, was a four-year letterwinner (1980-81 to 1983-84) on the Griz men’s basketball team and still ranks eighth in career assists (361) and 24th in career points (1,000).
Her mother, Anita (Novak), played for Coach Selvig from 1981-82 to 1984-85. She scored 1,158 career points, which ranks 15th in Lady Griz history, was an All-Mountain West Conference selection as a junior and senior and was twice voted the team’s outstanding defensive player.
Her brother, Derek, is currently a sophomore on the Griz men’s basketball team.
“Carly has tremendous potential, a very big upside at the collegiate level, and she may still be growing,” Coach Selvig said. “Her great defensive instincts are what really stand out to me. She’s a great shot changer and shot blocker. She also has some perimeter skills.”
“Ever since I started going to their basketball camps when I was little, I’ve wanted to go to Montana and play for the Lady Griz,” Carly Selvig said. “I know the team is always good, and it seems to be more like a family than just a team. It’s just a very comfortable fit.
“I don’t think it will be a big deal to play for Robin. I know who he is and how he coaches and that nothing is going to be handed to me.
“The fan support was very important to me. We get good support here, and I didn’t want to play somewhere where that might change.
“My parents were both supportive through the whole process and were going to support me in any decision I made. I’m happy to keep the family tradition going. I know my parents are happy to get to see me and my brother play.”
Sullivan, a 6-2 forward, is currently a senior at Sidney High. She averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds as a junior on SHS’s 15-8 team. The Eagles lost a challenge game to get into the Class A state tournament.
Her mom, Sandy (Selvig), who is Coach Selvig’s sister, was a member of Coach Selvig’s first three Lady Griz teams (1978-79 to 1980-81). She led the team in assists and steals as a junior and was voted the team’s outstanding defensive player as a senior.
“What I love most about Jordan is her size and versatility,” Selvig said. “She can defend guards and she can defend big kids, and she’s a good scorer who can score both inside and out. She’s got the complete package.
“She’ll be a luxury because we’ll be able to move her around like with do with Lauren (Beck) now. There are a lot of ways she can play.
“She’s a tenacious defender who just plays harder than everybody else, and she has got great instincts for the game.”
“There were a few things that played a part in my decision to sign with Montana,” Sullivan said. “Because my uncle coaches there and my mom played there, I’ve been a Griz fan since I was little.
“I also knew I would get a great coach, which is funny because he also happens to be my uncle. But knowing how successful he has been for 30 years, it just shows what a solid program it is. I didn’t want to risk going somewhere that I didn’t really know the coach that well. That is definitely not the case at Montana, because I know Rob pretty well!
“I really love the Missoula area and campus, and the school has great law and journalism programs, which are two areas I’m interested in. And the fan support for the Lady Griz is huge. Everyone knows everyone else in Montana, so I know how much support will be behind us. And my family will get to see me more often than if I’d gone somewhere far away.
“The rest of the class is a great group of girls. I’ve played with Carly and Torry for a while, and I know Kellie and Lexie are very good players. I know that it will be a successful group to play with and one that is a lot of fun, so that was also a key to my decision.”
Montana will lose 6-0 guard/forward Lauren Beck, 5-5 point guard Shaunte Nance-Johnson and 6-3 center Shadra Robison to graduation after the 2009-10 season.
“We needed to recruit guards this year,” Selvig concluded. “We don’t have many guards in the program, especially point guards, so that was a priority.
“We’re high on the guards we signed, but we also added two girls with size that are versatile. What we did was cover all the positions.”