The early or November signing period will be this Wednesday November 9th interesting enough the NCAA has a new rule this year that a the Letter of Intent can not be accepted/sent before 7:00 AM at the athletes local time, so coaches remember to check the time stamp on your faxes.
As of right now (11-7-2011) this is what I predict or guess as to where the different Montana D-1 basketball programs are at.
One note to keep in mind, on paper you can usually count the number of seniors and add the total number of open scholarships to come up with how many athletes/spots each program has to fill. Remember though on average each D-1 program loses 1.3 (men’s stats) scholarship players each year, come the spring, for one reason or another. Coaches know this and a lot of D-1 coaches are accounting for this by “over signing” in the fall. In Big Sky men’s basketball Weber State and Montana tend to do this each year. Other will wait until the spring to fill possible open spots. On a wins and losses, point of view it is hard to argue with the over signing point of view.
The Bobcat men have 2 seniors and will sign most likely sign two players this fall. The first will be point guard Marcus Colbert of Post Falls Idaho and 6-8 power forward Ryan Shannon of Mountlake Terrace high school in the Seattle area of Washington. That would leave the Bobcat men full up for scholarships (on paper) for next year. With Antonio Biglow yet to report to MSU and claim his scholarship for next year. If the Bobcats were to need to fill another scholarship for next year in the spring I would expect them to look possibly at the JC ranks or high school depending on who possibly leaves.
The Bobcat women have only a single senior this year (Katie Bussey) but they do have a couple open scholarships. I fully expect them to sign 4 players this fall. Their two Montana priorities 5-9 guard Peyton Ferris of Twin Bridges and 6-1 PF/C Alexa Dawkins of Bozeman are already committed. Additionally I believe 6-1 PF/C Jasmine Hommes of Lynden Christian high school has also committed to Binford’s Bobcat program. Hommes as you might guaess by the last name has strong connections to the Bozeman and Montana State communities. Finally I think the Bobcats will be looking for a point guard recruit, and may have received a commit at that position also, but I can not confirm. They had Lindsey Stockton a 5-9 PG from Spokane in for a visit in September but I don’t have any other info on who they also might be looking at. The Bobcat women have quite a few injuries right now so it will be interesting to see how that all shakes out come this spring, but if the Bobcats do look to sign more I would expect them to first look at the high school ranks before they look at the JC ranks, unless they find themselves with a big deficiency coming into 2012-13, then they would dip into the JC’s fro the right player (maybe a point guard?).
The Griz men have the most work to do this year and are either behind where they usually are at this time of year or doing a darn good job of keeping themselves under the radar. The Griz have 4 seniors this year plus in the past 2 years have always over signed in the fall period, so coming into this fall in my opinion them signing 5 players was not out of the question. So far the Griz have had only one confirmed commit in 7-0 center Andy Martin from Natron Wyoming. I have heard rumbling that they may have an additional scholarship filled but I have not been able to confirm. I have also heard rumblings that they may have awarded current freshman walk-on Nick Emerson a scholarship but again I can not confirm, The Griz seem to be looking for another big man to go with Martin, as well as couple of athletic wings (shooting guard/small forward types). The one position they seem comfortable with is the point guard spot. Possibly look for the Griz to holds a scholarship or two for the spring,
The Lady Griz came out of the gate very quickly and secured commits from three Montana Athletes in 6-0 center Molly Klinker from Fairfield high school, 5-10 forward Shanae Gilham of Bozeman high school and 5-8 guard DJ Reinhardt of Missoula Sentinel by early summer, but their 4th scholarship has been difficult to fill. The Lady Griz have been looking to sign a true big girl (6-1 or better) since last year but have not managed to get that premier player they have been looking for. They went all in for Big Sky’s Tinkle this year holding offering any other players until she made her choice (Gonzaga) and since then have found themselves behind other schools in the recruiting wars for a coveted “big girl”. Robins is a very good recruiter though and it is very difficult to tell what exactly is going on in women’s recruiting so this is going to be interesting to see what happens this year.