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UND (4-5) @ Montana (3-5) 12/6 8 PM

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UND went down to Florida and went 2-1 in the FGCU tournament and got some decent momentum.  Now UND heads back onto the road once again to some old conference stopping grounds, as they head out to Missoula to take on Big Sky power Montana.

About Montana:  When you think of the Big Sky Conference, you think of two teams: Weber State and Montana.  These two teams have been the powers, year after year, and these were the teams that the Huff teams and the Q teams needed to get back in order to each the top of the BSC back when UND was in the conference.  Since UND has left, the Griz has been top dog in the conference and was predicted to be near the top once again.  This year.... something weird happened... they lost to NAIA Montana Tech.  Now, this could have been a massive fluke and will be laughed at after another BSC title, or is this a sign that perhaps the 2 time defending champs will not be making it a 3 peat.  They have the team to do it, but the BSC will be tough with Weber and EWU fighting them for the crown.  

About the Coach: The Griz are lead by Travis DeCuire (112-62, 71-22 BSC play), who is in his 6th year at his alma matter.  In previous threads, I had mentioned about how DeCuire, while was (and still is) a very good coach, he was missing one thing.  The one thing that Griz fans really want... an NCAA tournament appearance.  In 2018, he finally cashed in.  Then last year, he made it back to back NCAA tournament appearances.  It wouldn't be a surprise if they do make it 3 in a row.  He had quite the shoes to fill when he replaced Wayne Tinkle, and he has done a great job in doing so.  While he has turned down bigger jobs to stay in Missoula, I do have the feeling that it will be only a matter of time before he does go to a bigger school. 

Key Players: Sayeed Pridgett (6'5 Senior Guard) and Kendal Manuel (6'4 Senior Guard)

Montana has a rich history of great guard play and these two live up to that billing.  Pridgett is a do it all guard stat stuffer who will be in the running for BSC player of the year and Manuel is a great secondary scorer.  Both are dangerous from 3 (although their numbers do not show it yet).  Pridgett can crash the boards and shared the ball and get steals, so UND needs to take care of the ball. 

Stats:  Pridgett 18.8 ppg, 52.9% FG 28.6 3% 66.7 FT% 7.9 RPG 3.5 APG 2.3 SPG

Manuel 12.3 ppg, 36.1% FG 26.5 3% 88.2 FT% 3.4 RPG 2.0 APG

Series History: Griz Lead the all time series 18-6, including  2-12 mark in D1 player.  UND has not won in Missoula in its D1 history, both of their wins were in GF.

My Thoughts on UND so far:

-Rebraca is the team's MVP and has gotten much improved in the offseason.  He might average a double-double this year.

-The senior class has been mostly solid (Stewart), stepped up (Walter) and has struggled (Brown)

-DAE has had moments of greatness.... and freshman mistakes.

-Tournament was a big step forward for this year, can they build on it

-Moody has struggled, they need to get him going. 

-I think they can finish better than 6-10 in the conference. 

Keys:

1) Get the shooters rolling

2) Rebraca needs to be a star

3) Take care of the ball

4) Be prepared for a hostile environment

The Call:

This will be a good test for UND as they will be taking on the best of the BSC on this trip.  UND has seen where midpack Summit teams have beaten the best of the BSC and vice versa.  UND is fully capable with their talent to get two wins, but they are also still getting things together where they could drop both of them.  I think this is going to be the tougher of the two only because UND has historically have struggled in Missoula.  I think Rebraca has another big night and Stewart has a solid night, but I think they fall a bit short.  However, it comes down to a final possession and UND actually plays decent in Missoula.

Griz 76-73

Game is on Pluto TV!

*Editor Note:  My apologize for the lack of previews this past weekend as I didn't get the necessary time to write them.  I was spending time at home celebrating with my family and friends (I recently got engaged and it was the first time seeing them since the announcement so that took up a lot of my time).

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57 minutes ago, SWSiouxMN said:

UND went down to Florida and went 2-1 in the FGCU tournament and got some decent momentum.  Now UND heads back onto the road once again to some old conference stopping grounds, as they head out to Missoula to take on Big Sky power Montana.

About Montana:  When you think of the Big Sky Conference, you think of two teams: Weber State and Montana.  These two teams have been the powers, year after year, and these were the teams that the Huff teams and the Q teams needed to get back in order to each the top of the BSC back when UND was in the conference.  Since UND has left, the Griz has been top dog in the conference and was predicted to be near the top once again.  This year.... something weird happened... they lost to NAIA Montana Tech.  Now, this could have been a massive fluke and will be laughed at after another BSC title, or is this a sign that perhaps the 2 time defending champs will not be making it a 3 peat.  They have the team to do it, but the BSC will be tough with Weber and EWU fighting them for the crown.  

About the Coach: The Griz are lead by Travis DeCuire (112-62, 71-22 BSC play), who is in his 6th year at his alma matter.  In previous threads, I had mentioned about how DeCuire, while was (and still is) a very good coach, he was missing one thing.  The one thing that Griz fans really want... an NCAA tournament appearance.  In 2018, he finally cashed in.  Then last year, he made it back to back NCAA tournament appearances.  It wouldn't be a surprise if they do make it 3 in a row.  He had quite the shoes to fill when he replaced Wayne Tinkle, and he has done a great job in doing so.  While he has turned down bigger jobs to stay in Missoula, I do have the feeling that it will be only a matter of time before he does go to a bigger school. 

Key Players: Sayeed Pridgett (6'5 Senior Guard) and Kendal Manuel (6'4 Senior Guard)

Montana has a rich history of great guard play and these two live up to that billing.  Pridgett is a do it all guard stat stuffer who will be in the running for BSC player of the year and Manuel is a great secondary scorer.  Both are dangerous from 3 (although their numbers do not show it yet).  Pridgett can crash the boards and shared the ball and get steals, so UND needs to take care of the ball. 

Stats:  Pridgett 18.8 ppg, 52.9% FG 28.6 3% 66.7 FT% 7.9 RPG 3.5 APG 2.3 SPG

Manuel 12.3 ppg, 36.1% FG 26.5 3% 88.2 FT% 3.4 RPG 2.0 APG

Series History: Griz Lead the all time series 18-6, including  2-12 mark in D1 player.  UND has not won in Missoula in its D1 history, both of their wins were in GF.

My Thoughts on UND so far:

-Rebraca is the team's MVP and has gotten much improved in the offseason.  He might average a double-double this year.

-The senior class has been mostly solid (Stewart), stepped up (Walter) and has struggled (Brown)

-DAE has had moments of greatness.... and freshman mistakes.

-Tournament was a big step forward for this year, can they build on it

-Moody has struggled, they need to get him going. 

-I think they can finish better than 6-10 in the conference. 

Keys:

1) Get the shooters rolling

2) Rebraca needs to be a star

3) Take care of the ball

4) Be prepared for a hostile environment

The Call:

This will be a good test for UND as they will be taking on the best of the BSC on this trip.  UND has seen where midpack Summit teams have beaten the best of the BSC and vice versa.  UND is fully capable with their talent to get two wins, but they are also still getting things together where they could drop both of them.  I think this is going to be the tougher of the two only because UND has historically have struggled in Missoula.  I think Rebraca has another big night and Stewart has a solid night, but I think they fall a bit short.  However, it comes down to a final possession and UND actually plays decent in Missoula.

Griz 76-73

Game is on Pluto TV!

*Editor Note:  My apologize for the lack of previews this past weekend as I didn't get the necessary time to write them.  I was spending time at home celebrating with my family and friends (I recently got engaged and it was the first time seeing them since the announcement so that took up a lot of my time).

Congrats on your engagement  and thanks for the previews!

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If brown is our best to start we are in deep trouble 

he brings zero to the team now

Eikens shouldn’t shoot the 3 

 

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Just now, Kab said:

If brown is our best to start we are in deep trouble 

he brings zero to the team now

Eikens shouldn’t shoot the 3 

 

Disagree.  He was our best player on the floor on Sunday against Campbell.   There is more to the game than making shots which he has to do, no doubt, he was finding ways to effect the game in other ways,  but he has a lot teammates that are giving the ball away at an epic rate that are costing the team several possessions. Everyone has to improve, Billy included.  I just think that assessment is harsh

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It is amazing that we could lose a game like this by less than 10 points. UM had far better talent with much better depth. It may have even closer if it weren’t for a bunch of turnovers!

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I have been very lukewarm on Marlon for much of his career.  But I do tip my cap to him for a good portion of the non conference season as he seems to at least to this point be making fairly good decisions.  8 assists to 2 turnovers.  If he is able to bring a lot of these performances with him into Summit League play the team will have a good shot at beating some of the preseason expectations at the very least.

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