#87 Montana Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Montana Grizzlies
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #87
Conference Rank: #1 Big Sky
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Montana was the clear class of the Big Sky last season. It was a bit of surprise that the Grizzlies dominated as much as they did, but other than back-to-back losses at Eastern Washington and Idaho in mid-February, Montana did not lose a game to a conference foe. After sliding past North Dakota, Northern Colorado and Eastern Washington in the conference tournament, the team made their third postseason tournament in four years under Coach Travis DeCuire. They lost to #3 seed Michigan 61-47, but the stage is set for another big season in the Big Sky.
2017-18 Record: 26-8, 16-2
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Travis DeCuire
Coach Record: 83-49 at Montana, 83-49 overall
Key Departed Players:
Fabijan Krslovic, Forward, 7.4 ppg
Karl Nicholas, Forward, 3.5 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Ahmaad Rorie, Guard, 17.2 ppg
Michael Oguine, Senior, Guard, 15.8 ppg
Jamar Akoh, Senior, Forward, 12.8 ppg
Bobby Moorehead, Senior, Guard, 7.4 ppg
Sayeed Pridgett, Junior, Guard, 8.4 ppg
Timmy Falls, Sophomore, Guard, 4.4 ppg
Key New Players:
Mack Anderson, Freshman, Forward
Ben Carter, Freshman, Forward
Donaven Dorsey, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Washington
Eddy Egun, Freshman, Guard
Peter Jones RS Freshman, Forward
Kelby Kramer, RS Freshman, Center
Kendal Manuel, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Oregon State, not eligible
Ahmaad Rorie will again lead this team back to the postseason. The guard averaged 17.2 points and 3.7 assists during his junior season and was the most prolific outside shooter on a team that struggled from beyond the arc. Michael Oguine, Sayeed Pridgett and Bobby Moorehead will fill in the backcourt around Rorie. Oguine averaged 15.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists. The 6-2 senior is a capable shooter and a quality ballhandler. Pridgett is not a shooter, but he too can score by attacking the basket and facilitate the offense. Moorehead is the pure shooter of the bunch and, at 6-7, is also very effective on the glass. The addition of Donaven Dorsey, a transfer from Washington who missed last season with an injury, adds another big guard who can shoot the ball. Jamar Akoh came to Montana last season from Cal State Fullerton and immediately bolstered the frontcourt, averaging 12.8 points and a team high 6.6 rebounds. Without Fabijan Krslovic and Karl Nicholas, there are depth concerns in the frontcourt and the hope is that a couple of the newcomers can help out. If that happens, Montana could cruise to another conference title.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 77.2 (78th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.5 (73, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.7 (68, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.0 (114, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.5 (331, 12)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.9 (236, 11)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.6 (204, 6)
Rebound Margin: 4.6 (47, 2)
Assists Per Game: 12.6 (254, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.4 (125, 5)