This year both the Bobcat and Grizzly men’s’ programs lost a freshman recruit just before the season started. The Griz lost 6-5 Thurman Woods, a combo forward from Compton California. For the Bobcats they lost 6-5 Frenchman Marco Bourgault, a sharp shooting wing player. In both cases the recruits were on campus, signed up for classes, and uniform assigned, before they found out that they had problems with the NCAA clearing house. I thought I would update you on what these players have been up to since leaving their respective program.
Woods left the Griz programs just before classes started when the NCAA still had not cleared him for to play D-1 ball. I am told the Griz coaches were pretty confident that Woods would eventually be cleared this year, but he did not want to take the chance, and be forced to sit out this season.
Woods left Missoula and enrolled at Santa Ana Community College close to his home town. For Santa Ana CC this season, Woods has started 2 of 5 games at the power forward spot. He is Santa Ana’s second leading scorer at 12 points a game and their leading rebounder with an 8 rebounds a game. Additionally he is shooting 43% from the field, and 39% from three point range. The strange thing about his stats is that according to the official team stats put out by Santa Ana CC he is only averaging 13.4 minutes a game. I am not confident that his minute averages are correct but it really makes his scoring and rebound averages even more impressive.
I have been trying to find out Woods recruiting status but have not been able get a clear picture as of yet. If the Griz coaches were correct and he eventually did bet cleared by the NCAA Clearing House he would be labeled as a “NCAA qualifier” and would be able to sign with a D-1 program for the 2010-11 season. If he did not then he would have to get his Associate Degree (two years) before he could move on to the D-1 level. I am told the Griz coaches would like to get Woods back in a Griz uniform, but it is still up in the air as to whether that will happen.
Bourgault was 2-3 weeks into classes at Montana State when the NCAA Clearing house ruled he was a half credit short of meeting his core requirements. The translation of high school credits from foreign countries has been a sticking point this year and the rulings caught both Montana State coaches and Marco Bourgault by surprise. Bourgault decided that to attend Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg in Massachusetts.
Currently Notre Dame Prep is ranked as the #4 on the ESPN top 25 high school programs in the country. They have 11 player who are projected as D-1 player this and next year. Marco began the season as Notre Dame’s starting shooting guard, and was really starting to get some attention from some high-major programs. In late November Bourgault was having his best game of the season with 10 points in the first half before going down with a knee injury, just before the half. I do not believe he has played since, but I do not know how serious the injury was.
From what I have heard the Montana State coaches are continuing to follow and keep in touch with Bourgault, but I am not sure if he will bounce back to MSU after this year. I have heard that he is getting a lot of attention from quite a few schools back east and he likes the attention.
From what I can gather both players would have contributed this year to their respective program, in a significant way. I would also like to point out that a player rejoining a team after having left it for what ever reason is very rare in D-1 ball so I would not hold your breath waiting for either to be suiting up for the Bobcats or Griz.