(Editor's note: Montana State University media release)
BOZEMAN -- A new campaign officially begins on Wednesday when the Montana State men's basketball team completes its first preseason practice ahead of the 2019-20 season.
A mix of returners and newcomers spent the summer training in Bozeman, but adjustments will take place over the next few weeks ahead of the season opener at Utah State on Nov. 5. With 41 days between Wednesday's opening practice and the first game of the regular season, the focus on the court turns from instruction to preparation for the upcoming schedule.
"It'll be exciting and eye opening for a lot of the newcomers," head coach Danny Sprinkle said. "It'll be better because we have more hours to watch film. You only get a certain amount of time, so we've been trying to have great pace on the court and just trying to throw a lot at these guys. Now we've got to build on it."
Three starters return for the 'Cats this fall. Senior Harald Frey leads the backcourt after an All-Big Sky Second Team campaign as a junior in which he averaged over 17 points and 5 assists per game. Devin Kirby started in all 32 games he appeared in a season ago and Ladan Ricketts shot over 45 percent from the 3-point line in 30 contests. Sophomores Quentin Guliford and Zeke Quinlan offer the Bobcats experience in the program after playing in more than half the team's schedule a season ago.
A bevy of newcomers will look to make an impact for the Bobcats this upcoming season.
Juniors Amin Adamu and Mychael Paulo enter the season competing for time in the backcourt, while sophomore Jubrile Belo bolsters the frontcourt, as the three enter the year with previous junior college experience. Four freshmen – Caleb Bellach, Borja Fernandez, Finn Fleute and Zach Hobbs – give MSU depth across the board. Bellach and Hobbs joined the Bobcats after proving as scorers at the high school level, while Fernandez and Fleute have played at some of the highest international levels of basketball. Transfers Xavier Bishop and Brent Finn – along with Gavin Gundlach, who was a member of the program last season – provide college experience at their position group.
The 118th season of Montana State basketball opens on Oct. 30 in Worthington Arena with an exhibition contest against Yellowstone Christian. After traveling to begin the regular season at Utah State on Nov. 5, the Bobcats host their home opener versus Rocky Mountain on Nov. 9.