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Heart over height: Montana State's Xavier Bishop dominates Big Sky play

Xavier Bishop
Posted at 8:08 PM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-06 11:10:56-05

BOZEMAN — Midway through the Big Sky Conference men's basketball schedule, Montana State continues to sit at the top of the league standings. The Bobcats' success has surprised a lot of people, but the team isn't surprised whatsoever. One of the big reasons why is because they’ve finally been able to add Xavier Bishop to the mix.

The average size for an NCAA Division I basketball player is 6-foot-5, but Bishop is clearly not the typical college hooper.

“Usually when I walk on the court teams laugh," Bishop laughed.

Standing at 5-foot-8, Bishop is one of the most dominant point guards in the Big Sky, averaging nearly 16 points a game while shooting 46% from the field.

“I definitely use it to my advantage," Bishop said. "When I’m able to get down there, I’m able to get lost. Big guys, I’m able to use my height to get low. Coach always tells me, and I’ve always learned over my life, that the low man always wins, so I’m able to use my quickness.”

While he’s usually matching up with guys nearly a foot taller than him, his motto is simple: scared money don’t make no money.

“I’m kind of fearless to a fault sometimes, but that’s just who I am," Bishop added. "Me, my dad, my grandpa, my brother, they kind of built that into me of not being scared of anybody and always believing in yourself, so I’ve just carried that with me my whole life no matter what I do.”

It’s that kind of mentality that impressed head coach Danny Sprinkle, which is why he knew he needed to get Bishop in a Bobcat uniform for his last year of eligibility.

“He loves to compete," said Sprinkle. "He’s got a chip on his shoulder, and I think a lot of that chip is because he’s been that size his whole life, and people have kind of doubted him. That's what I love about him, his competitiveness and the fight and grit he has.”