Archive for June, 2010


Lady Griz get first commit

I have heard from a couple sources that Robin Selvig and his Lady Griz coaching staff have gotten an oral commitment from Haley Vining from CMR high school in Great Falls Montana.

Vining is a 5-7 (although I have seen her occasionally listed at 5-8) point guard who was an all State selection this past year as well as a Great Falls tribune Super State selection. She was also an All State Soccer selection this past year.

This past season she averaged 15 points and 6 assists a game this past season. Her assists totals lead the AA this past season. She also second in the AA in three point shots with 39.

Vining is a true point guard, who can shoot the three ball or drive the lane and dish or score the ball. She also is an excellent defender.

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MT / WY All-Star Girls (Round 2)

The second game of this years Montana / Wyoming Girls all star game was not quite the nail biter as the first. In Saturdays night game in Billings the Montana girls forged an early lead and never allowed the Wyoming Girls to get back in it. The Montana Girls rode a dynamite 14 point first half performance by Jordan Sullivan to forge a 49 to 27 point lead and cruised to a second half victory. The final score Montana 95 Wyoming 73.

Sullivan cooled off a little in the second half and finished with 21 points, but girls like Jordan Bagley -who 12 of her 14 points in the 3rd quarter- stepped up to provide a scoring spark.

The Wyoming girls made some runs in the 3rd and 4th quarters but the lead was too big and they were not able to sustain a run for any significant amount of time. Still the Wyoming group was scrappy and great shooters. If they had had any height at all to match up with Montana big girls they might have been able to control the tempo a little more.

Montana’s Lexi Nelson did not score the ball like she had done the previous game (23 points). She took a only 3 shots but was intent on running the show while she was in. She did though provide a great defense effort and her over all scrappy play did impress me.

Continue reading ‘MT / WY All-Star Girls (Round 2)’


MT / WY All-Star Boys (Round 2)

The odds were really against the Wyoming boy’s All-Stars last night. They had lost to the Montana boy’s Friday by 61 points, they now moved to the Montana home floor in Billing. To make things more difficult their roster was reduced to only eight players when they lost Cameron Jackson when he went down to illness, they had previously lost another player when he simply decided not to show up. Still though they gave the heavily favored Montana boy’s a real contest.

Montana lead for most of the game but the Wyoming boys would not go away, and even lead a handful of times. It was not until a late 4th quarter push by Montana lead by Josh Huestis that Montana was able to put Wyoming behind them for good. Huestis who had a pretty quiet night for the first three quarters before scoring 12 points in the final quarter and finishing with 19 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocked shots on the night.

Wyoming stayed close most of the night with some great perimeter shooting and great leadership by Gillette’s Daniel Estes who finished with 19 points as well as Slade Spoonhunter with 13 points. In the end though I really thing the short bench for Wyoming hurt them in the forth quarter.  In the end the Montana Boy’s pulled out a 91 to 75 point win.

One down side to the evening came very late in the 4th quarter when Wyoming’s 6-5 Matt Mordecai “hard fouled” Montana’s 5-11 Brian Muller and sent him sprawling. Mordecai had been playing a rather physical brand of defense the in both games so was not in good favor with most of Montana big guy’s and a nanosecond after the “hard foul” on the Montana’s 6-5 Pearson and 6-5 Stulc got real up and personal with Mordecai and expressed their displeasure with his play. The refs interceded and escorted Mordecai to the bench.

Continue reading ‘MT / WY All-Star Boys (Round 2)’


MT / WY All-Star Girls (Round 1)

The first game of the Montana / Wyoming All-star series was doozy. Unlike the Boy’s game that took place later in the night, the girls was one of the best games in the 35 year history of the series.

First though I want to apologize for not doing a preview for the girls games. Believe it or not I had one almost complete but I got side tracked and could not get it up before the game.

The Wyoming team did not have a single player who topped 5-11, and I do not believe even a single player who signed with a division 1 team. Montana on the other hand had 3 players 6-1 or taller and 5 player who will be playing D-1 ball next year. Wyoming wanted to push the ball and shoot it, and that is what they wanted.

It was a back and forth with the Montana team forging a double digit lead and Wyoming answer it with remarkable display of shooting. My over all take on the game was it was clear that Montana had the most over all basketball talent but at time Wyoming could not miss. Wyoming put up and hit some shots that were amazing.

In the last minutes of the game in regulation Wyoming forged their biggest lead of 6 points and look to be in control, but Montana gutted out a small come back to tie the game by the end of the forth and then took control of the game in over time for the win.

Butte’s Lexi Nelson was the star for Montana. The frenetic pace that Wyoming was trying to establish, perfectly suited her game and took advantage of it while players like Selvig and Sullivan struggled at times. Nelson ended up with 23 points to lead all scorers. In a side note at the very end of the 4th quarter with no time left, Lexi was fouled and sent to the line with the game tied. Nelson who is one of the State of Montana’s all time best free throw shooters in history with a +90% average was sent to the line for two shots. She missed both and the game went to over time.

Continue reading ‘MT / WY All-Star Girls (Round 1)’


MT / WY All-Star Boys (Round 1)

Last night the Wyoming and Montana All-Start laced it up it their first games. In the boy’s game it really was not much of a game. The game started out a little slow at the beginning of the first quarter but then the Montana boy’s got it going. the Montana coaches went with a troupe substitution pattern, subbing in five players at a time. The starting line up (Brumwell, Pierson, Stulc, Miller and Overstreet) seemed to be the more effective line up the first half playing better as a unit and letting the game come to them. the second unit (if you can call it that) seemed to be trying to hard to pound the ball into Huestis and Muller really seemed to be hoisting up a lot of forced shots.

By the second half though both units were playing much better all around ball, and the coaches seem to switch up the line up much better. With Brumwell, Huestis and Pierson shutting down the interior Wyoming went to the perimeter hoisting up a load of 3 point range shots but simply could not hit them.

It was a dominating performance by the Montana boy’s, and by late in the third quarter it really got to be rat ball. The team also started to get a little chippy and there were a few “hard fouls” that really hurt the enjoyment of the game at least by me.

The teams now return to Billing tonight for the second game in the serious, and it should be interesting to see how both teams react to Friday’s blow out. In the early 1990’s a Montana team routed Wyoming by 66 points in Casper only to lose to Wyoming in Billings. Word on the street back then was that the Montana boys got too confident, and the Wyoming boy’s got pissed. This is actually a pretty talented Wyoming team with some great shooters, and if they shoot the ball better in Billings it they could turn the tables.

Continue reading ‘MT / WY All-Star Boys (Round 1)’


MT / WY All-Star Game Preview (Boys)

The Annual Montana / Wyoming Basketball games are tonight in Sheridan Wyoming. The Girls play first and the Boys are the night cap. This is a look at the Boy’s game. I am going to spend a little more space here on the Wyoming teams assuming that most of the readers of my Blog might be more familiar with the Montana players.

In years past the general rule of thumb has been that the Wyoming will bring the more physical team to the game while Montana may have the better overall talent. This year maybe a little bit of a departure from years past because the smaller Wyoming team will certainly this year look to push the ball up the court and stay away from an half court game. Montana will feature 4 players listed at 6-5 or better on its roster including D-1 player 6-8 Josh Huestis ( Stanford) and 6-7 Blake Brumwell (Montana State), while Wyoming will have only two players over that height in 6-7 Kolton Irbyand 6-5 Matt Mordercia. As I understand it though Mordercia is more of a perimeter player than a true banger. Still though I am told that despite their lack of height this Wyoming team will still play quite physical.

As last year, Wyoming also played an All-Star game last week-end against South Dakota all star team, but this year only 4 of the same players will be on this years Montana / Wyoming team.

I think this is one of the most balanced and deep teams that Montana has fielded in years. While Montana should have a definate advantage in the half court game I also believe they can run with Wyoming, with the right line up on the court. Especially Montana big man Huestis who can run with anyone. I hope, though, we get the chance to see Huestis play the 4 spot for Montana and let him flex his scoring ability.

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We have a winner in the Kirsten Tilleman Sweepstakes

I have heard from three sources that former Bozeman Hawk high school standout as well as current Oregon State power forward Kirsten Tilleman has decided to transfer to Cal. State Santa Barbara. Tilleman will continue with her education at Oregon State for the 2010-11 while she finishes up her degree and then transfer to Santa Barbara for the 2011-12 season. Tilleman will have two years of eligibility at Cal State Santa Barbara.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that Tilleman’s commitment is non-binding until she signs a finical Aid agreement. Since she will not play for Cal State Santa Barbara until 2011-12 she will not be able to sign with them until mid November at the earliest. Tilleman could change revise her plans at any point.

Continue reading ‘We have a winner in the Kirsten Tilleman Sweepstakes’


Early look at the 2010-11 Bobcat Men

With summer approaching and recruiting for 2010 over , with the possible exception of walk-on, I thought I would take a preliminary look at the next years Bobcat men’s team. Below I will break it down who I think, as of now are projected starters, major rotation guys as well as bench players, and finally I will give you my depth chart as of the first week in June. As always I reserve the right to change my mind come this fall.

Favorites for Starting positions

Bobby Howard combo forward– Howard really came on strong for the Bobcats in conference season last year earning First Team All Conference. He averaged 15 points and 7 rebounds a game during conference and the coaches will be looking to matching or bettering those numbers especially the rebounding next season. I think Howard will be the guy who will be facing pressure to be the leader on and off the court, but he should be up to the challenge. Look for the Bobcats to look to play Howard at the small forward some next year also.

Eric Rush point shooting and wing guard – Like Howard, Rush is going to looked at to be a leader for this team. Rush was also a double digit scorer for the Bobcat, but his biggest asset is flexibility to play any where from the point to the small forward. I see him starting at the shooting guard, but he could start at the point or wing if another player emerges at the shooting guard. Where ever he starts he will play all 3 perimeter spots for the Bobcats and they will need to get 30-35 minutes a game from Rush.

Danny Piepoli shooting guard / small forward – After spending the past two years as a key reserve, Piepoli will be looked to hold down the other wing position along side Rush. Danny has steadily improved his game over the last two years and his emergence as the leading contender for an open starting position, led to Austin Brown to transfer looking for a place he could start. The Bobcats will be very young next year as with Rush the Coaches will be looking for Piepoli to give them a solid 30-35 minutes a game.

Rod Singleton point guard – Singleton was recruited to be the Bobcats starting point guard for 2010, so at this point you have to pencil him as the starting point guard. Singleton is a pure point guard but can also score the ball so he may get some looks as a shooting guard if Trujeque becomes a viable option at the point. Of the four player in this Singleton is the one player I could see possibly moved out of the starting line up. If a player like Allou or McCall make a strong argument for a starting role, do not be surprised if Huse move Rush to the starting point guard to make room in the starting five, but it would take a very strong effort by one of these players to move Singleton out.

Continue reading ‘Early look at the 2010-11 Bobcat Men’


Griz Sign Idris Lasisi

I have heard that Wayne Tinkle and his Montana coaching staff has finished up it’s 2010 recruiting with the signing of Idris Lasisi of Sheridan junior college in Wyoming. Lasisi is a 6-2 195 pound shooting guard who hails from Sint-Pieterscollege high school in Leuven, Belgium. Lassis just finished up his freshman year at Sheridan and is a late D-1 qualifier,, and will have three years of eligibility at Montana.

For Sint-Pieterscollege high school in 2008-09 Lasisi averaged 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals a game. Last season for Sheridan Lasisi averaged 10 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assist while shooting 48% from the field, 43% from the three point range and 71% from the free throw line. Lasisi has also established himself as a defensive stopper and was named Region IX all defensive first team. He was also named to the Region IX all tourney team as Sheridan made it to the Region IX championship game.

Lasisi answers one question I have had about the current crop of Griz recruits three point shooting. The Griz lost it’s three best 3-point shooting players to graduation or transfer from last years team, The recruits signed earlier are not strong three point shooters, but Lasisi should help right away as a dead eye three point shooter. Lasisi also brings decent athleticism and a strong defensive presence to the Griz line up.

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Rating The Griz 2010 Basketball Class (part 2)

Rating the Talent

High School Recruits

This a another great recruiting class for the Montana Grizzlies. This recruiting class has really solidified their back court into one of the best and highly ranked group in the Big Sky. I think Jamar has the potential to vie for the league freshman of the year while Autry could be a all league type player down the line. When matched with this year freshman Will Cherry they seem to fit the Griz like a glove. I think the Griz needed to land a dynamic big man this year, one who could down the line who could be an aggressive offensive threat and I think they got that Reader. Reader, I think is a little bit a sleeper nationally but should be another great pick-up. Weisner does get the project tag, but only because it is not clear yet what position he will ultimately play. He is though a very talented player who is a coaches son, and he will be a factor after a little seasoning.

Freshman Player Grade: A-minus

Continue reading ‘Rating The Griz 2010 Basketball Class (part 2)’

June 2010

Mslacat on Twitter

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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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