It appears the men’s basketball team may have taken a page from the women’s program and dipped their toes once again in the international recruiting ranks. Unlike Binford’s Bobcat women who have made a beach front in recruiting some quality players from Australia, the Bobcat men have decided to look to Germany for possible future Bobcat. I am told that this spring Bobcat assistant coach Brian Priebe visited the Munich area of Germany and scouted the talent at a national under 20 tourney and it appears that the Bobcats have come away a couple verbal commitments from player who want to wear the Blue and Gold.
The Bobcats tried recruiting a couple international players in 2009 in Frenchmen 7-0 Michel Swita and 6-5 Marc-Antoine Bourgault but that did not work out as well as they hoped. Swita was slowed down by some nagging foot injuries and by the time he got healthy simply did not have the quickness left to compete. Bourgualt was a different case, he definitely was a player who could have made an immediate impact for the Bobcats, but by the time that NCAA clearing house had done a complete review of his French high school transcript the ruled he was a 1/2 credit short of core subjects to be D-1 Qualifier. Currently Swita is looking for a D-2 school to play for and Bourgualt will be playing for a Iowa JC next year.
The problem that befell Bourgualt, is pretty typical of what is happening to the majority of foreign players who are signing with D-1 schools the last couple year. On paper it appears to the D-1 compliance departments that an athlete is a qualifier, but when the NCAA Clearing House translates the transcripts and does the voodoo that they do athletes are coming up so short. In a some cases the amount of the athletes defined deficiency can be measured with a micrometer. The other problem colleges have been experiencing with getting foreign players qualified by the Clearing House is that their determinations are not typically coming until October well after school has started. This puts the colleges and athletes in a terrible bind especially if it is ruled the athlete is designated as a non qualifier.
This brings us back to the Bobcats latest recruits/commits that coach Priebe is rumored to have secured. The two athletes are forward Jermaine Julien Lippert, and guard Johannes (JoJo) Kriegereit, and they will be playing next year for Sheridan Junior College just south (OK and a little east) of Bozeman. Both Lippert and Kriegereit graduated from high school over a year ago and believe have been in the American equivalent to prep school last year. Both currently are awaiting a ruling from the Clearing House as to whether they will be an “NCAA qualifier”, but that will most likely no come until October or November. It is my guess that both were placed at Sheridan JC by the Bobcat coaches for 2010-11 to let the NCAA do their stuff and then sign them after wards. If one or both are ruled a “Qualifier” then they could sign with the Bobcats this fall and join the Bobcats team as a sophomore (eligibility wise) for the 2011-12 season. If an athlete is labeled a “Non-Qualifier” then they must spend two year at the JC level and complete their associate degree before being allowed to play D-1 ball. Both have committed to play for the Bobcats in either case.