MISSOULA – You can tell the Montana Grizzlies are shooting for the moon this season. Montana just finished a tough non-conference men’s basketball slate with a 7-4 record, wrapping it up by snapping the nation’s longest home winning streak at South Dakota State. But head coach Travis DeCuire admits he was hoping for two or three more wins.
The Grizzlies have built a solid resume, and now the real work begins. Big Sky Conference play tips off Saturday. The defending Big Sky champs went 16-2 in league last year, and they once again will be favored in almost every game they play until late March.
But after a ton of travel and strange schedules over the past couple months, the team looks forward to conference play for another reason.
“Just the routine,” said senior forward Jamar Akoh. “We play Thursday, Saturday, there are some Monday games, as well. But there’s kind of a routine where we know what we’re doing, so yeah, that’s probably what I’m most excited about.”
“The consistency of the schedule, that’s my favorite part,” seconded senior forward Bobby Moorehead. “We can get on the same lifting schedule every week. And just home one week, away the other. So it just makes it a little bit easier to acclimate to the schedule of the games.”
The routine is pretty packed to start. Montana will take the court four times over the first eight days of conference play.
The first contest takes the Griz to Northern Arizona. They’ll take on the 2-8 Lumberjacks at 2 p.m. Saturday.