Just getting used to flying across a couple of time zones then hitting the floor for an evening practice is one of several challenges for a Montana team looking to establish yet another degree of respect.
Mix in a nationally-televised afternoon game in the hotbed of collegiate competition without your leading scorer who also leads the team in field goal percentage and you can consider Saturday’s BracketBuster game vs. Davidson as an opportunity or a obstacle.
I’ll take the former mainly because I have been exposed to the heart and desire of this Grizzly team to someone fight through a myriad of uncertainties this season yet still stand on the verge of joining Mike Montgomery’s group (1982-86) as being the only four-year team to win 20 games in four consecutive years.
Granted the loss of Mathias Ward for a yet undetermined amount of time with an arch injury puts the onus on other players to have maybe their best-ever performance but I don’t see it as insurmountable and believe it can be done with prime contributions by several players.
Davidson is on a roll but the Wildcats also play in a one-bid conference like the Big Sky and look to this matchup to solidify possible future NCAA seeding and keep the momentum of an 11-game winning streak intact with two games remaining before the SoCon tournament.
With a perilous one-game conference lead with a pair of games remaining both on the road and at home to determine the tournament host role, it’s approaching crunch time for Montana who picked up a critical bounce-back win at Pocatello after losing to Weber State.
Practice at Belk Arena was spirited with Kareem Jamar’s half-court swisher setting the table at the culmination of the 75-minute outing.
Although ESPN’s Andy Katz called Tinks Will yet mentioned Will Cherry, he disagreed with Seth Greenburg and picked the Griz to get past Davidson.
Being the eternal optimist, I’ll join Katz with a Griz surprise.