There was a time not to long ago when Montana produced at least one and some times as many as 3-4 basketball prospects in any year that received big time division 1 interest. When I say big time interest I mean a prospect that received recruiting interest from multiple D-1 schools and multiple offers. Every year the Bobcat’s and Griz went head to head to land the best instate recruits. Since about 2000, though, big time D-1 basketball recruits has been the exception and not the rule.
In 2009-10 the top basketball recruit in the state was Josh Huestis, who not only received interest from both Montana State and Montana but from close to 25 other schools from across the nation, before signing with the Pac-10 member Stanford. With all due respect to a few other 2011 recruits the next big D-1 recruit coming up is 2012’s Riley Bradshaw from Corvallis Montana.
Those athletes who deserve a little respect and mention are Montana State 2011 commit Danny Little of Billing Skyview and Kurtis Parsons from CMR in Great Falls. Both are or have received some Division-1 attention, but is not anywhere near the attention, that Josh Huestis, Bobby Howard or Derek Selvig have received nor what currently Bradshaw is reviewing.
I am told that going into last season (his sophomore year) Bradshaw already held offers from both Montana State and Montana. Utah State and Utah were both rumored to have sent coaches to scout him last year. The list of schools looking to recruit him is only going to get longer.
The 6-2, Riley Bradshaw averaged over 15 points a game for Corvallis his freshman year, and followed that up with sophomore year by averaging 23 points, 5 assist and 7 rebounds. He was named first team All Southwestern A Conference as a freshman and All Southwestern A Conference MVP as a sophomore, and he still has two years to go.
This past spring and summer he hooked up with the Utah (there is that state again) Select AAU team and took to the tournament events. For his efforts Bradshaw accumulated the following accolades.
Now the thing you have to remember about these tournament/events is that Bradshaw as a junior to be was playing against athletes 1-2 years older than him. In the 2010 Pangos All-American LIVE he was one of only 9 underclass men players named to the Top 40 team.
Bradshaw is a true point guard, who possesses outstanding ball skills and an aggressive offensive game. He is a coach’s son and has a high basketball. He is deadly three point range but can also have the size to post up players inside. I had one person describe him as one part Scott Hatler and one part Shann Ferch.
While Riley Bradshaw is most likely the next big basketball recruit from Montana prep ranks, I am not sure whether we will get to see the Bobcats and Grizzlies battle for his services. I think Josh Huestis blazed a trail for the bigger Montana basketball prospects. Seek national attention by getting on out of state AAU teams and hit the summer tournament events to generate a national presence. I do not think the Montana D-1 schools are going to be able to count on keeping the better basketball prospects in State as they did in the past. The Montana basketball prospects are now shooting for the stars.