MISSOULA – The Montana Grizzlies knew they were biting off a tough non-conference men’s basketball slate this year. Then the games started and everyone on the schedule just kept winning. Only one of the Grizzlies’ 11 opponents has a losing record, and they combine for 72 wins and only 34 losses.
The 5-2 Griz are proving they can hang with the difficult competition and have reason to believe they could do even more when the squad reaches full strength. Jamar Akoh and Timmy Falls sat out both of Montana’s losses.
“Lack of health, lack of depth carries over and plays a roll,” said head coach Travis DeCuire. “I still think Georgia Southern and Creighton are good teams. So, you don’t say, ‘Oh, we would have won those games.’ But sitting at 5-2 right now, I think we’re in a good spot based on the level of competition. Now we’ve got to see what we can get from here.”
“These teams are going to give us a difficult look, whether it’s moving the ball on offense or playing the next team that’s really good at offensive rebounding (UC Irvine),” added point guard Ahmaad Rorie. “The next team is good at defense (North Dakota State). So when teams throw different things at us, I think we’re able to adapt and show that we can play with anybody.”
Falls is back on the court, but the Griz still don’t know when Akoh will return from his wrist injury. The next game is yet another tough challenge. Montana goes to 8-2 UC Irvine on Saturday.