Now that all of the players are on campus, I am going to get started previewing the four Montana State and Montana basketball programs players. First up is the Montana State Bobcat men’s program player. Part 1 will cover the Back Court and for the purposes of these posts that will include the point guard (1), shooting guard (2) and the small forward (3) positions.
Back Court (guards and wings)
In Huse’s system the shooting guard and small forwards are simply considered wings. The bigger player (height or physically) for defensive and rebounding purposes could be considered the small forward while the player with the better ball skills could be considered to shooting guard. Huse is also not averse to playing two point guards at the same time. As a result a lot of players at the 1, 2 and 3 are interchangeable
Erik Rush 6-5 SR (PG, SG, SF)
Put quite simply the most versatile player on the team. He can play all three back court positions and play them well. He has great combination size strength, athleticism, ball skills and the ability to score any where on the court that creates match up problems for opposing teams no matter where he plays. From what I hear he has had a great off season and looks like a beast this season. He will have a great season, but I think the key to having great statistical season that will earn him Big Sky honors may be narrowing his scope. I think if he has jump around between all three positions all season, he may not have the sparkling stats as other players but he will still be the team MVP.
Danny Piepoli 6-6 SR (SG, SF)
It is finally time for Danny to shine. Piepoli has been a terrific role player for the Bobcats the past 3 years, but this year should start, play 30-35 minutes a game, and be one of the important offensive cogs for the Bobcats. Much like Rush I am hearing Piepoli really had a great summer. He should the Bobcat’s dedicated zone buster, and look for him to feast off assists from Rush when teams double team him.
Rod Singleton 5-10 JR (PG)
Pencil Singleton as the starting point guard. For the Bobcats to be successful they will need a dynamic point guard that takes command of the team, and Singleton will get the first shot at it. Singleton is a pit bull at the 1 spot and is tough as nails but can also score the ball. Aside from Rush he is the only point guard on the roster with any college experience, so that will give him the edge out of the box.
Chris McCall 6-4 FR (SG, SF, PG)
As the gem of the 2010 recruiting class, he is not disappointing. He really has been impressing the folk I have talked the. He is a great shooter that and can really score the ball. The area of his game that has surprised a lot of people has been his ball handling skills, he can play the point. He is going to be a great scorer for the Bobcats and could be the first guard off the bench.
Casey Trujeque 5-8 FR (PG)
The other freshman who figures to see regular minutes in the guard rotation is Casey. Casey is a point guards point guard, even as a freshman he knows how to control the tempo of the game, and no one on the team can pass the ball like him. He does play like a freshman. The area of concern I have and is can he be a scoring threat. Huse needs his point guards to be able to score the ball. They do not necessarily need to huge scores, but they must command the attention of the other team’s defensives and hit the open shot when presented to him. As a 5-8 (maybe not that tall) freshman it is an area that he will need to prove because teams will test him there.
Shawn Reid 6-5 FR (SG, SF)
Reid is a very versatile player who can play either wing spots. He is a younger version of Rush, a better rebounder but not the ball skills that Rush had at that age. He has the opportunity to earn playing time this season, but he will have to play to his strengths. His Strengths are his athleticism, strengths, and rebounding. He has a big upside, but will need to adjust to the athleticism and size at Division one level.
Tor Anderson 6-3 FR (PG, SG)
Much like Reid Anderson also brings a lot of versatility to the team and that may be the thing that earns him playing time. A true shooting guard but he can play the point guard spot in a pinch. His strengths are his perimeter shooting, passing, and handling. I believe he will challenge Reid for a spot on the active roster.
Ryan McIntyre 6-2 FR (SG, PG)
McIntyre is the guy I know the least about, but as a walk-on you have to consider he is looking at a redshirt year. Feel free, though, to prove me wrong. His strengths are he is a terrific perimeter shooter, good ball skills and tough as nails. I also believe physically he really could benefit from a redshirt year. He needs to put some muscle on his think frame.
Tre Johnson 6-7 FR (SF, PF)
Johnson is a talent. The coaches are going to want to get him on the court. May be more of a power forward right now, but is being groomed as a small forward. See part two for more info.