#104 Montana Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Montana Grizzlies
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #104
Conference Rank: #1 Big Sky
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After back-to-back outright conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances, Montana took a step back last year. They still went 14-6 in conference play and had a chance at taking home another title before losing three of their last four games, so the step back was not a big one. On paper the Grizzlies could take another step back this year too with Sayeed Pridgett, Kendal Manuel and Jared Samuelson no longer available. Those three accounted for 43.1 points per game. That gave Coach Travis DeCuire some work to do on the recruiting trail.
2019-20 Record: 18-13, 14-6
Coach: Travis DeCuire
Coach Record: 127-71 at Montana, 127-71 overall
Key Departed Players:
Sayeed Pridgett, Guard, 19.8 ppg
Kendal Manuel, Guard, 15.1 ppg
Jared Samuelson, Forward, 8.1 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Derrick Carter-Hollinger, Sophomore, Forward, 6.7 ppg
Timmy Falls, Senior, Guard, 6.6 ppg
Josh Vazquez, Sophomore, Guard, 5.1 ppg
Kyle Owens, Sophomore, Forward, 4.6 ppg
Nack Anderson, Junior, Forward, 3.3 ppg
Eddy Egun, Sophomore, Guard, 2.0 ppg
Key New Players:
Josh Bannan, Freshman, Forward
Robby Beasley, Freshman, Guard
Freddy Brown III, Sophomore, Guard
Hunter Clarke, Freshman, Guard
Naseem Gaskin, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Utah
Darius Henderson, Junior, Forward, Transfer from UMass Lowell
Cameron Parker, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Sacred Heart
Cameron Satterwhite, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Northern Arizona
Michael Steadman, Senior, Forward, Transfer from San Jose State
Brandon Whitney, Freshman, Guard
Five players are back from last season and four of them are sophomores. Derrick Carter-Hollinger was the most productive of the bunch as a freshman, averaging 6.7 points and 4.9 rebounds. Josh Vazquez saw more minutes than any other freshman last year and proved to be a capable outside shooter. Senior Timmy Falls will be a leader on the floor after averaging 6.6 points and 2.8 assists last season. Falls is not the only ball handler on the team though since two of the five eligible transfers are capable of running the point as well. Naseem Gaskin comes from Utah where he redshirted for a year before transferring. The 6-4 sophomore will finally be able to show what he can do. Cameron Parker is a true point guard. While at Sacred Heart he dished out a record 24 assists in a single game. As a sophomore last season he was averaging 9.9 points and 7.8 assists before an injury ended his season early. Cameron Satterwhite comes from Northern Arizona via Loyola (IL) as a graduate transfer. He will at least add another outside shooting threat to the team. Darius Henderson from Umass-Lowell and Michael Steadman from San Jose State will add options in the frontcourt. Steadman spent just one season with the Spartans after a stint in the junior college ranks, but in that year he led the team with 13.2 points and 8.5 rebounds. Coach DeCuire deserves a lot of credit for putting together a very good roster. This is still a young team though and there are a ton of new faces who will need to be ready to make a big impact right away. If those pieces come together, the Grizzlies will find themselves back in the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.8 (186th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.5 (153, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.3 (20, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.3 (210, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.6 (312, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.8 (53, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.3 (126, 3)
Rebound Margin: -2.6 (289, 10)
Assists Per Game: 12.5 (227, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.9 (70, 4)