MISSOULA – Montana takes on their biggest challenge of the year Tuesday night. And guard Ahmaad Rorie had this date circled on his calendar for a long time. The transfer from Oregon returns to Eugene to take on the Ducks.
Rorie started 15 games for Oregon as a true freshman a couple years ago. But saw his playing chances limited with a new recruiting class, so he transferred to Montana. Now the Tacoma Washington native leads the Grizzlies, scoring nearly 14 points a night.
He can’t wait to meet his old team, and has some experience in a similar situation. Rorie transferred once in high school, and said he struggled when he went against his old school for the first time. So he won’t let himself get too excited.
“I’m pretty sure when the game starts I’m going to have nerves,” admitted Rorie. “I haven’t been back there since I first left the school. So I mean I’ll probably be nervous a little bit. But as we start going I’ll shake it off. I actually do still have some friends on the team. I’m still cool with all of the coaches. So I mean, not any animosity though. I feel like it will be just competing. They’re not going to take it easy on us. We’re not going to take it easy on them. So it’s going to be a good game.”
“Ahmaad has to approach this the same way he approached the Wyoming game,” said Griz head coach Travis DeCuire. “I’ve seen this happen a lot when kids are playing common opponents that they either grew up with, or teams that they transferred from or what not. Some have had success. Some haven’t. Most of the time when they are too hyped up for it, they haven’t had success.”
Rorie and the Grizzlies accept the underdog roll, but expect to compete with Oregon. DeCuire said his team must stay patient on offense and find good shots.
The 22nd ranked Ducks are 18 and a half point favorites. Montana shoots for the upset in Eugene at 8:00 Tuesday night.