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.
Most of Wyoming big guns are small and quick and with a point like Estes you know they are going to look to exploit that advantage. Wyoming will field only 9 players this year due to a late no show of Beau Elders. Additionally Cameron Jackson had the flue earlier this week, but should be in the line up Tonight.
One other note. Traditionally Wyoming starts the same five player for both games and play their best players the most minutes. The Montana coaches, though, always try to start different line up of players each night and even out the minutes. This is a tradition with each team , and while as far as I know there is nothing set in stone about this practice it is what I suspect this week end.
Some players to lookout for on the Wyoming team
Dan Estes 6-0 Gillette: Estes was named Wyoming’s Gatorade player this past year for Wyoming. He is a true point guard who can score the ball or pass it. He is the type of player who does not need to score to control a game. He averaged 14 points versus South Dakota. Estes was getting serious recruiting looks from both Montana State and Montana. He signed with Mesa State.
Slade Spoonhunter 6-0 Wyoming Indian school: Slade is a scorer who works best in the transition game. He can play the point but I am guessing will play more shooting guard for Wyoming He played in one game against South Dakota and scored 20 points. He will play for Eastern Wyoming JC next year, but I am told he could be a D-1 player down the line.
Matt Mordercia 6-5 Gillette: Modercia is a natural guard /small forward who I think will be playing mostly on the inside for Wyoming. He has played inside a lot in high school, but can step out and shoot the three. He will play for Gillette JC next year but I was told he may also end up at the D-1 level after two year at the JC.
Dan Estes 5-11 Laramie High School. Wyoming Gatorade Player of the Year (21 ppg, 4 apg, 3 rpg, 2 spg)
Slade Spoonhunter 6-0 Wyoming Indian High School. Team leader in scoring (20 ppg), assists (5 apg), rebounds (5.5 rpg), and steals (3.6 spg) on state champs
Dylan Reece 5-9 Pinedale High School. Helped lead Pinedale to a 3rd place finish in 3A and a 21-6 record. (16.6 ppg, 4 rpg, 3.5 apg)
Colin Hereld 6-3 Thermopolis High School. Averaged 19 ppg, 7.7 rpg, and 3 apg and was selected unanimous All-State.
Cameron Jackson 6-4 Campbell County High School. Helped lead them to a 26-1 record and a state runner up finish in 4A (11 ppg, 3 rpg)
Matt Mordecai 6-5 Campbell County High School. Helped lead them to a 26-1 record and a state runner up finish in 4A ( 14 ppg, 6 rpg, 3 apg)
TJ Stender 6-4 Sheridan High School. Averaged 10 ppg, 3 rpg, and 2 spg and shot 61% from the field as a senior.
Patrick Wicks 6-0 Tongue River High School. Sheridan County player of the year. Averaged 18 ppg, 4 rpg, and 3 apg as a senior. All-State
Kolton Irby 6-7 Wheatland High School. Was the leading scorer (12.5 ppg), rebounder (8 rpg), and shot blocker (4.1 bpg) for the Bulldogs.
Jordan Overstreet PG / SG 6-1 Three Forks
Brian Muller 5-11 PG / SG Billings West
Blake Brumwell 6-7 C Big Sandy
Matt Miller 6-4 SG / SF Helena Capital
Jacob Hellyer 6-2 SG Billings West
Sean Condon 6-2 SG Laurel
Josh Huestis 6-8 PF / C Great Falls CMR
Corbin Pearson 6-5 SF / PF Big Sandy
Joe Stulc 6-5 SF / PF Winifred
Jordan Harper 6-3 SG / SF Great Falls CMR