(Editor's Note: Quotes from Montana State and Montana Press Releases)
Returning for his final year, Montana State's Jubrile Belo was unanimously selected as the 2022-23 Big Sky preseason player of the year, the conference announced Thursday.
The senior forward capped off last season averaging 12.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game earning him both league's MVP and defensive player of the year awards.
Belo led the conference with 60 blocks during his 2021-21 campaign and currently ranks second all-time in the MSU history books with 127 career blocks. The 6-foot-8 senior only needs 23 more to surpass Dwayne Michaels (1991-95) who leads the list with 149 blocked shots in his career.
“I’m glad Jubrile is getting recognized in this way,” Montana State head coach Danny Sprinkle said. “He’s put in a lot of hard work over the offseason. Obviously, he’s coming back as the conference MVP from last season, but — like I tell our guys — that was last season. The great thing is, he gets a chance to prove it to everyone again.”
Montana forward Josh Bannan was also named to this year's preseason all-conference team.
The junior led the Grizzlies in both scoring (15.1 per game) and rebounding (7.2 per game) last season, which earned him a spot on the All-Big Sky second team.
"He's put a lot of time in this summer and I had someone tell me they think he's made over 100,000 shots since our last game," Grizzlies head coach Travis DeCuire said. "It's good to see that the conference respects him and acknowledged his growth from freshman to sophomore year and would expect another jump."
The four other players rounding out this year's preseason all-conference team are Northern Colorado's Daylen Kountz, Weber State's Dillon Jones, Eastern Washington's Steele Venters, and Northern Arizona's Jalen Cone.
The preseason all-conference team is voted on by both coaches and members of the media.
Montana State is hosting Montana State Billings on Sunday for an exhibition game at 2 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Griz already hosted their Maroon-Silver Scrimmage this past Tuesday and will open their season officially on Nov. 8 at Duquesne.