MISSOULA – Another men’s basketball season will tip off on campus before we know it. Montana basketball fans can’t wait.
The Grizzlies have returned to practice preparing for what could be a special run in Dahlberg Arena. The Griz bring back six of seven rotation players from a squad that rolled through the Big Sky Conference, won the conference tournament, advanced to the NCAA Tournament and even gave eventual runner-up Michigan a tough test in the first round.
So expectations are sky-high, but head coach Travis DeCuire doesn’t want to talk about the goals of March. He loves the grind of October.
“I don’t really have expectations for this team,” said DeCuire. “I didn’t last year. I think in years past we’ve been known to get a little ahead of ourselves sometimes. You set goals, you want to accomplish things, you want to play in the NCAA Tournament, but if you spend too much time talking about that, you don’t enjoy the process. So we’re going to enjoy one day at a time.”
“Everything that happened last year is out the window,” seconded senior point guard Ahmaad Rorie. “So I think we have a very humble team. We have good leaders. (DeCuire) has just been harping on us about just staying hungry, so I think that’s been a real good thing to see. A lot of people are competing right now, so it’s a good sign.”
DeCuire admits he’s dealing with a difficult situation right now. With half of his team established veterans and the other half brand new, practice can look a little one-sided.
He wants everyone to feel a sense of urgency from the opening tip of the season versus Georgia State on Nov. 9.