MISSOULA — Northern Colorado’s Jordan Davis, Weber State’s Jerrick Harding and Montana State’s Tyler Hall make up the top three scorers in the Big Sky Conference. They all also share something else when they play the Montana Grizzlies. The KPAX Athlete of the Week is hounding them every step they take.
Bobby Moorehead has become Montana’s go-to defender. The 6-foot-7 Tacoma, Wash. native routinely locks up whoever is the best option on the opposing side. This might come as a surprise to anyone who watched Moorehead play defense as a freshman for the Grizzlies. He even admits as much himself.
“I was probably a liability as a freshman,” Moorehead accepted. “Coming out of high school, I didn’t have to guard anybody. I love my role now. I didn’t love it at first. But I wanted to play, so I had to learn how to do something else besides maybe knock down a couple shots every once in a while.”
“It’s a job he owns as a senior. As a freshman, it was a task,” explained head coach Travis DeCuire. “Bobby was a scorer in high school, and so I think it was difficult for him to grasp how important it was to defend to win. But he is a very intelligent basketball player, and it didn’t take very long for him to figure it out.”
Moorehead shot 39 percent from the 3-point line and 41 percent from the field as a freshman. He has not been able to match those numbers over the following three years, so he turned to defense to earn his playing time.
Moorehead added it can be frustrating to play great D and still see a great opponent make a tough shot, but he continues to spend most of his energy on defense possession after possession, freeing up other Grizzlies to concentrate on scoring.
First-place Montana wraps up the regular season with games at Portland State on Thursday and Sacramento State on Saturday. One win would clinch the Grizzlies the top seed in the Big Sky Conference tournament next week.