Archive for March, 2010


Bobcat men receive a commit from Tre Nichols

I heard earlier today that the Bobcat basketball staff has received a commitment from Tre Nichols who played this past year at McLennan Community College in Texas. Nichols signed with Texas State out of high school and played for them his freshman year before moving on to McLennan CC this past year. Nichols is listed as a 6-0 (that might be very generous) point guard, but is not a true point. He might be considered the favorite term of coaches right now a “combo guard”. We used to call that a scoring point guard.

In high school he was a very highly touted point guard out of Killeen High School in Killeen Texas. He committed early to Texas State and then saw his stock rise considerably his senior year. He was receiving interest from Baylor, Texas Tech, Rice and Houston, but he decided to honor his commitment to Texas State. During his senior year he averaged 20 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 5 assists a game all garnering all conference awards. and Rivals both had him rated as a 2 star prospect.

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Great Falls Trib Girls Super State Team

The Great Falls tribune has posted their annual Girls SuperState team today. There is always some debate about who should and should not bee on the team I think they got it pretty much right. Personally there are a couple players I might have included over others, but they got the must be on the list right, and the ones we differ on really could go either way. There is not a Jos Tinkle in the crowd but I think Lexi Nelson and Jordan Sullivan are on the next tier. Torry Hill might also be there but blew an ACL mid season. The other thing to remember though these awards are for their 2009-10 high school basketball season not a career award nor a projection as the best college prospect.

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Bobcats get a commit from Tre Johnson

Tre Johnson 6-7 Hug High School Reno Nevada

I have heard that the Bobcat basketball staff has received a commitment from Tre Johnson of Hug High school in Reno Nevada. Johnson is a 6-7 200 pound power forward prospect who led Hug to a 15-10 record and named to the Nevada: “Unofficial” all-state basketball team, as well as numerous other all conference/State teams.

Johnson senior year he averaged 19 points, 4 blocks, 10 rebounds, 2 steals a game while shooting 58% from the field, 60% from three point range (although he only had 5 attempts) and 65% from the free throw line.

Johnson is a major athlete, with good speed and great jumps. He was getting a lot of attention from D-1 bowl division teams as a wide receiver, but he wanted to play basketball in college – smart kid. I do not think the Bobcats have seen an athlete of his caliber on the front line in a very long time. Offensively I hear he still has a tremendous upside, even beyond what is now considered to be a great get for a Big Sky school. Johnson will contribute next year and will be another forward (along with commit Jordan Salley) who can play above the rim.

Johnson played on the same AAU team as fall Bobcat signee Chris McCall. I don’t know how much this had to do with his decision, but I think it does show the work both Huse and Assistant coach Starr did to develop a good relationship with the Powerful Las Vegas Prospects AAU team.

It has been no secret I have been coveting Johnson all since last summer and you can read more about him here.

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Update on future Griz: Kareem Jamar

Kareem Jamar 6-5 Westchester High School La Verne, California

Kareem Jamar’s star has star began to rise about a year ago, and fortunately for the Grizzly’s Wayne Tinkle jumped on board early and got a real steal in Jamar. A known commodity in California as a journeyman type player who was projected low major prospect about 12-18 months ago. He good quicks and athleticism although not outstanding, and had somewhat suspect perimeter shooting. Last summer in the AAU circuit he showed unveiled to the college coaches a new found perimeter game that really started his rise on the recruiting charts. This rise continued on this winters during the high school season as his star really shined. The Griz though, by this time already had a commitment from Jamar.

Jamar played for Westchester high school in Los Angeles, California which just won its second strait Div.-1 state championship this past week end. Westchester features a minimum 4 players who will sign this year with two D-1 teams this year, and who knows how many underclassmen will eventually sign. Westchester played a national scheduled this year playing tournaments in Oregon, Nevada, and the northeast. They were ranked in national high school top 25 for most of the season.

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Bobcat Recruit: Darian Thibodeaux

I have heard that the Montana State coaching staff is recruiting Darian Thibodeaux from Navarro Junior college in Texas. Thibodeaux is a 6-3 175 pound shooting guard whose reputation is that of a three point shooter with out standing range.

Navarro JC has been ranked in the JC Div 1 to 25 most of the season, and qualified for the National Junior college tournament this past year making into the semi finals. Navarro features 5-6 players who could sign with D-1 schools this fall including Thibodeaux.

For the season Thibodeaux averaged 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists while shooting 41% from the field, 33% from the point line (on 200 attempts) and 66% free throw line (I would expect better). During the NJCCA tourney though picked up his game and was named to the all tournament team. In the quarter finals he scored a career high 30 points including 8 three pointers. Thibodeaux is not just a three point shooter I hear he has a pretty good intermediate game also that he uses to set up his three point game and visa versa.

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Update on future Bobcat: Jordan Salley

Jordan Salley 6-7 Lutheran High School La Verne, California

Last spring and heading into the summer Jordan Salley was becoming a very hot commodity in recruiting circle with his outstanding play during the high school season and spring AAU ball then he blew out his knee in late June of 2009. While quite a few schools back off Montana State was one of the schools that stuck with Salley. His relationship with coach Huse and Starr was strong enough that in December of 2009 before even taking an official visit to Montana State he committed. His knee is now almost 100% and he is firmly committed to signing this April 14th.

Salley did not play this year with Lutheran high school but he was a part of the team all season and accompanied them to Bakersfield as they won the State 5A championship. Lutheran is a junior dominated team (Salley was their only senior on the roster) this season, but have 4 players that are getting looks from Pac-10 schools. Despite this all season when reading articles on Lutherans outstanding play this season, there is almost always the line “and they are doing it without their best player Jordan Salley”

As a junior Salley averaged 17 points, 11 rebounds 3 blocks while shooting 62% from the field and 60% from the free throw line. He had 30 rebounds in one game and scored over 25 points 5 times that season. His stats could be even better but his play (and stats were) limited in eight 30+ point blow out by Lutheran.

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Shawn Reid wins Idaho 5A MVP

Montana State Bobcat fall signee was named 5A Boys All-Idaho Basketball Team MVP. He won the award over a handful of very impressive players, including 6-6 Josh Fuller a University of Utah signee. Also on the team is his teammate Marcus Colbert, a 5-11 point underclass man, who the Bobcats might want to keep an eye on. Here is portion of the article on Shawn from the Idaho Statesman.

Player of the year: Shawn Reid (senior guard), Post Falls Trojans

Why he is Player of the Year: The two-time Inland Empire League MVP guided Post Falls to its first state championship in 46 years and posted 16 points and eight rebounds in a 68-60 win in the state final against Eagle. Reid (6-foot-4) averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds and 2.9 assists during the season, and 17.3 points and eight rebounds at state.

Coach’s comment: “Shawn Reid is the most versatile player in the state,” Post Falls coach Mike McLean said. “His ability allows him to influence every facet of the game, and caused matchup problems for every opponent we played this year.”

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Update on future Bobcat: Kate Webb

This is the last of what I am calling the signed non-Montana recruits. Next up will be the out of state commits

Kate Webb 5-8 Runaway Bay, Queensland Australia

Kate Webb is the toughest and at the same time also the easiest of the these updates toughest because I have had a very hard time finding any info about what she has been up to since she signed with the Bobcats. The easiest because since I have not been able to find out a lot I do not have a lot to write.

I have to imagine that as the 2010 recruiting season started to gear up two of the Bobcat coaching staff goals were to establish Australia as a viable recruiting ground for MSU and to land a dynamic point guard that is so important in Big Sky play. As the Bobcats first commit last summer they accomplished to achieve both of those goals when Webb said she was going to be a Bobcat.

To the later goal, the Big Sky conference is a point guard league were the successful team need to have a dynamic point guard running the team, and with All-Conference point guard Erica Perry graduating this spring the point guard spot needed restocking. Webb fits the bill to a tee. Despite her young age Webb is a veteran point guard having played on local, regional, and national teams through Australia as well international. She is a very intelligent player, with great court vision and good defender. She does not have the speed of Perry but she has better 3 point shooter at the same point in Perry’s career. She is good enough shooter that Binford mentioned at her signing that she may see some times at the off-guard.

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Update on future Grizzly: Vaughn Autry

Vaughn Autry 6-2 Junipero Serra high school Gardena, California

Autry had one of the more convoluted recruiting paths of any of the Montana recruits this year. Last summer during the AAU circuit he was a pretty hot commodity and was getting a lot of attention from Big Sky, Mountain West and WAC teams. When Utah State offered Autry they told him that given their graduations from this years team he had the opportunity to step in and contribute possibly start as a true freshman. Autry thought it over and went a head and committed. Jumping ahead to late October and Utah State has a change of mind and rescinds their offer. Unfortunately most of the schools who were recruiting Autry before committing to Utah State have filled their needs. Montana steps in late and Aurty sees an opportunity, much like Utah State, to contribute early in his career, and he trips to Missoula. With in the span of a week or two Autry goes from a Utah State commit to a Montana commit.

This season for Serra high school Autry averaged 16.2 points, 2.7 assists and 2.4 rebounds. This weekend Serra will be playing for the California State Division 3 championship. Autry is the second leading scorer for Serra that features 3 senior who look to sign with D-1 programs.  Autry is a very athletic player who is known as much for his defense as he is his offense. He is more of a scorer than a pure shooter as outside of 15 or so feet he is a little iffy. Instead he likes to drive to the rim, or stop up short and take the short jump shot. He is not afraid of contact and can score against bigger opponents. I had one person tell me he already has a “college player physique” which should make the transition easier to the D-1 level.

Autry is projected to play the combo guard role for the Griz, meaning a player who can play both the point and shooting guard spot, which should give the Griz some flexibility to go along with Will Cherry. On the other side of the coin the big knock in general on “combo guards” is that they usually are neither a point guard nor shooting guard. In either case Autry will need to improve his shooting range and consistency. I also think that current Griz players Stockton and Cherry may be more the prototypical point guards for the future.

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Update on future Bobcat: Emily Allen

Update on my updates. In general, the order in which I am doing the updates is as follows. First on the out of state signees, then the out of state commits and finally the state of Montana signees. I updating the out of state folks first because I think these are the guys and gals that reader may have the least chance to follow this past winter, and who you would most be curious about. Other than that that I am updating recruits in somewhat random order, based on who I feel like doing at any given time. The other thing that comes into play is that a few people have been helping me round up stats or other information to do these update. I actually had Michael Weisner’s update done before a few others but was waiting to publish it on some info from someone from Walla Walla.

Emily Allen 6-0 Runaway Bay, Queensland Australia

As I have said before the high school age recruit from Australia. The whole Australian basketball system is set up differently than the over here in the states, so it is hard to follow. You also have to remember, that because the Aussie school year ended last November, both Kate Webb and Emily Allen have already graduated and are on an extended summer break, before enrolling at Montana State.

I believe the Montana State coaches first started recruiting Australia in the spring/summer of 2008. As in most cases it usually takes a year to establish yourself in a new recruiting ground, so while their they did not land any Australian recruits in 2009 it appears their effort have paid off very well with the 2010 class. I also think that as long as the program can afford it (hint hint boosters) they will continue to have a presence in Australia.

Emily Allen is a 6-0 wing who is capable of playing three positions for the Bobcats. Those spots are shooting guard, small forward and in a pinch the power forward spot. While not a perfect comparison I see her as a mixture of current Bobcats Lyndi Seidensticker and Sarah Strand. While a good three point shooter she is not quite the pure shooter these two Bobcats are, but I think she is better at getting to the rim and a rebounder than these two. The area of improvement that Allen may have is to put on a little more muscle, with her style of play it will become important that she is physically ready to compete with other D-1 teams.

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March 2010

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  • CHAMPIONSHIPS November 18, 2014
    This past weekend we opened up at Boise State, my Alma Mater, where they had an Alumni Reunion and recognized our 1993-94 Big Sky Champion Team who was also nationally ranked. What an amazing season that was, and what an fantastic experience to be a part of. Although our Bobcats didn't win that night, it was a nice distraction to have dinner after the g […] (Coach Binford)

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  • To whom this may concern... August 6, 2010
    I am talking to you Dan Muscatell. I am talking to all of you on twitter begging me for more blog. I know you missed me, little did I know that you were craving more blog. I put it on the to-do list and then moved it straight to the top.Montana Coaches Association - 2010 ClinicThis event gets better every year for me. It's not that the speakers are any […]
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  • Stock Watch: Week One November 18, 2009
    I’m back! Now that the season has started it’s time to fire TW Courtside back up for another season. Things look a whole lot different in the Big Sky this year, thanks to graduation. This will be an exciting year!This past week we finally got a chance to see all of the Big Sky teams in action. Albeit, it is always tough to gauge teams at this point because m […]

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