BOZEMAN — The 2021 basketball season poised an interesting situation for players in their senior year.
Last October, the NCAA granted winter-sport athletes an extra year of eligibility, giving seniors an opportunity to come back. While it’s unclear if Montana State’s four seniors will return to the court next season, the Bobcats did have three players enter the transfer portal this week.
“I want what’s best for them," Bobcats head coach Danny Sprinkle said. "Our staff wants what’s best for them, and I can’t wait to watch them get the minutes that they deserve on the court next year.”
Caleb Bellach, Mike Hood and Finn Fleute all submitted their names to the transfer portal, which frees up scholarships for this upcoming basketball season.
However, they won’t be used on the seniors.
“If seniors come back I have to pay for them, so it doesn’t count on the scholarship limit," Sprinkle explained. "We have four players signed and one committed for the spring who will sign, so with three guys leaving we have two open scholarships right now that we're working on filling.”
With two extra scholarships to work with, Sprinkle and his staff have been keeping their eyes peeled for possible graduate transfers to add to their roster.
“There’s a lot of them," Sprinkle said. "We’ve been talking to quite a few kids. I want to get some impact guys that can help us get to the level we need to get and create competition at every spot.”
While it’s still unclear if any of the seniors will sport a Bobcat uniform next season, Jubrile Belo will be utilizing his extra year of eligibility.
“I’ve had a conversation with Jubrile for the past couple of months," Sprinkle said. "We’ve had a couple of conversations, and he’s committed to being here for two more years. He’s a tremendous student. He loves it here. He wants to get his master's degree from here, and he’ll be able to do that within his two-year time frame.”