(Editor’s Note: Montana Tech media release)
BUTTE — Montana Tech head men’s basketball coach Adam Hiatt announced the 2019 Oredigger recruiting class Tuesday. The class includes a pair of transfers and four high school standouts from Montana.
“We are beyond thrilled with this year’s recruiting class. Our program has substantially improved as a result,” said Hiatt.
The Orediggers are adding size in 6-foot-8 center/forward transfer Cody Baumstarck, 6-4 forward Bridger Deden, 6-7 forward Sam Gray, and 6-6 forward Bridger Larson. Local standout Cade Holter is traveling the least having played for Butte Central the past four years. Sindou Diallo is a 6-3 guard/forward transferring back to the northwest after playing in Arizona and Texas.
“We have added size, length, playmaking, toughness, and winning. These fantastic recruits, along with the core group of returners from this past season, will give all Digger fans an exciting 2019-20 season to look forward to,” added Hiatt.
Hiatt just finished his third season at the helm with the Orediggers and one of the best seasons for Montana Tech in 20 years. The Orediggers finished with the most wins since 1999 with an overall record of 17-15, including the most conference wins since that same year. Tech picked up its first postseason win since 1999, defeating Rocky Mountain College in the first round of the Frontier Conference tournament.
Cody Baumstarck 6-8 C/F JR Worland, Wyo. Sheridan College
Played two years for coach Matt Hammer at Sheridan College, where he averaged 3.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg while shooting 68.9% from the floor during his time as a General. Recorded career highs of 22 points and 18 rebounds this past season. As a sophomore he helped the Generals to a 31-4 record, a co-Region IX championship, and a trip to the NJCAA National Tournament. In his two years at Sheridan he won 59 out of 68 total games. Cody is a graduate of Worland HS, where he led his team to a 3A state runner-up finish in 2017, posting season averages of 16.0 ppg, 12.3 rpg, and 3.0 bpg. He was an all-State selection and played in the Montana-Wyoming all-star series. Cody will study Mechanical Engineering.
Quote from coach: “Cody is an exceptional recruit for us. We feel very fortunate that he is a part of our program. He will be an immediate impact player with his ability to run the floor, rebound, and score in the paint and on the perimeter. He shared time with a couple Division I players at his position while at Sheridan, but when he got opportunity he was incredibly productive. Cody will have a major breakout season next year and will be an exciting player to watch.”
Bridger Deden 6-4 F FR Missoula, Mont. Missoula Hellgate High School
Played three years for coach Jeff Hayes. He helped the Knights to a 21-2 overall record, a Western AA Divisional championship, and a Class AA state runner-up finish. A stat stuffer and all-around player, Bridger averaged 9.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.9 spg while shooting 62.7% from the floor and 47.8% from distance. Two-time all-conference selection, he had a remarkably consistent career, tallying nearly 600 points, 300 rebounds, 200 assists, and 100 steals as a varsity player. Bridger will major in Business.
Quote from coach: “Bridger committed to the program in the fall, and we are grateful that he did. He was one of the most balanced and versatile players in the state this past season for one of the best coached teams. He has great vision, toughness, and competitive spirit. As he grows and develops as a player he will be an extremely valuable asset for our program.”
Sindou Diallo 6-3 G/F JR Tacoma, Wash. Western Texas College
Started 18 of 23 games as a sophomore for coach Andre Owens at Western Texas College. He averaged 10.0 ppg, 3.5, rpg, 1.4 apg while shooting 45.6% FGs in arguably the deepest junior college conference in the country. Sindou scored in double figures and collected 4 or more rebounds in 12 of 23 games. He played his freshman season at Mesa Community College, where he started 19 of 23 games, averaging 12.9 points, 3.0 rpg, 1.5 apg, shooting 49.3% FGs and 42.5% from distance. He was named 2nd Team all-Region I as a freshman. Sindou graduated from Curtis HS in 2017 and was an SPSL 1st Team performer and the conference DPOY. Sindou will study Professional Technical Communications.
Quote from coach: “There are very few players as athletic and explosive as Sindou Diallo in any conference, let alone the Frontier. He played this past season in a junior college league full of high-level talent and proved he could consistently finish at and above the rim, from mid-range, and from deep. He is a relentless defender and has an incredible motor. We expect big things from Sindou.”
Sam Gray 6-7 F FR Billings, Mont. Billings Central High School
Played three years for coach Jim Stergar. He competed in three straight state championship games with the Rams. As a senior, he helped lead his team to a 21-2 record, an Eastern A Divisional championship, and a Class A state championship. Sam led the Rams in scoring (12.7 ppg) and rebounding (6.1 rpg), while tallying 1.8 apg and shooting 55.5% from the field. Sam was an all-State selection and will represent the state in the Montana-Wyoming all-star series. Sam will pursue an Applied Health and Science major.
Quote from coach: “Sam has potential to be a tremendous big in our conference. He has a high level of skill. He has range to three and good footwork on the interior. He comes from a great high school basketball program and has been well coached. He was a two-sport star in high school, which will benefit him in adapting to the physical play of college basketball. Sam is a huge recruit for our program.”
Cade Holter 6-1 G FR Butte, Mont. Butte Central High School
Four year varsity player and three year starter for coach Brody Kelly, and was the team captain for the Maroons. He led his team to a 21-4 overall record, a Western A Divisional championship, and a 3rd place finish at the Class A state tournament. Cade averaged 11.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.4 apg, and 2.8 steals while shooting 65% from the field. He was a first team Southwest A and all-State selection. Cade plans to pursue a Business degree.
Quote from coach: “First and foremost, Cade Holter is an impressive young man. He has unrivaled leadership qualities for such a young player. He is as tough and gritty as they come, and is a winner. He knows how to play with effort and precision, having played for Coach Kelly at Butte Central. He will be a valuable member to our program in the years to come.”
Bridger Larson 6-6 F FR Sidney, Mont. Sidney High School
A four year letter winner for the Eagles, Bridger Larson was a dominant inside-outside player in Class A. As a senior for coach Chad Quilling, he recorded averages of 17.3 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 1.8 apg, 2.5 blocks, and 1.2 steals per contest. He scored a season high 31 points vs Glendive in the Eastern A Divisional tournament. A two-time all-Eastern A performer, Bridger was also a Class A all-State player as a junior. He plans to study as an Engineering major.
Quote from coach: “We have had our eye on Bridger Larson for the better part of two years. We have high expectations for him. He has great basketball instincts, length, and toughness. He is a position-less basketball player with his ability to take advantage of matchups on the perimeter and interior. Digger fans should be looking forward to Bridger Larson’s career.”