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
Junior College Recruits
The signing of Arthur Steward was exactly what the Griz coaching staff was looking for. He is an athletic guard/wing who can come in and challenge for a starting role right away. He fits the athletic direction the Griz back court is going and contribute to the team in many ways. Wood does confuse me some, he is not athletic as many of the guard prospects the Griz have been signing as of late. Like Steward he is a player who can contribute though in a lot of areas, but I have him plugged in as a bench player. He is a player with a very high basketball IQ so he should be a solid player for the Griz.
Junior College Player Grade C-plus
Over all Tinkle went young with the signing of mostly high school players but he did plug a few holes due to graduation and the transfer of a couple players with the two JC players. The high school recruits all show great promise and should contribute early in their careers. The JC should help ease the transition while the freshman gain experience, but I would not be surprised if a freshman or two does not challenge the JC right away.
Overall Talent Rating B
Immediate Impact Grade
The interesting thing about this class is that the two best high school recruits and the two junior college players are all essentially wings. Granted each player can play more than one position, but it does make for an interesting fall when they all get together and battle for playing time. I think 3 of the four will make a solid contribution next year, but I think the odd man out could be looking at a redshirt or a spot deep on the bench. Everyone I have talked to thinks Jamar is going to be something special, he may never lead the Griz in scoring any season but never-the-less a big time player for the Griz. Jamar is ready to play next year. I would also be very surprised if Steward is not firmly set in the wing rotation next year. That would leave Autry and Wood, and my money is on Autry.
From a pure talent or size perspective I think Reader has something on the two young returning Griz big men Ward and Hutchison, but they have experience over him and that does mean a lot with true big men. It is going to be a battle next year. I personally like Reader over Hutchison.
Immediate Impact Grade C+
It is an interesting class for the Griz. It is very talented but it seems to be a class with 3 small forwards, 2 shooting guards and a power forward. Tinkle has been looking to add athleticism and build a back court for the future around Will Cherry, and it looks like they have accomplished that in spades. There are a couple thing that I did find peculiar about this class (3 point shooting?) but the true strength of this class is how well it fits in the 2009 class (Cherry and Hutchison). The 2010 class seem to match up perfectly with the 2009 class. I think Tinkle is trying to build for the future while still not sacrificing the next years team.