Seventh-year Griz BB coach Wayne Tinkle's team made its debut Thursday evening

Junior forward Spencer Coleman

Junior forward Spencer Coleman

Oct. 25, 2012

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The University of Montana Grizzly basketball team made its seasonal debut Thursday (Oct. 25) evening in the annual Silver-Maroon Scrimmage in Dahlberg Arena and the results were positive in many areas, said seventh-year Griz head coach Wayne Tinkle.

For the record, the Maroon team prevailed 59-44, and several players switched teams at halftime, but the bottom line was that Coach Tinkle was happy with the overall performance of his players.

"There were some good things out there for sure," Tinkle said. "We said at halftime (the Maroon team led 24-17 at intermission) that the level of intensity that we need to defend with wasn't quite there, but I thought we stepped things up on `D' in the second half. We shot the ball well from beyond the arc (the teams combined for 12-of-24 three pointers), which was encouraging.

Sophomore guard Jordan Gregory (Pueblo, Colo.) scored a scrimmage-high 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, and he played on both teams. Junior guard Kareem Jamar (Venice, Calif.), a first team all-conference pick a year ago added 14 points, while senior forward and returning starter (as is Jamar) Mathias Ward(Gig Harbor, Wash.) added 13 points.

The Griz were hoping that newcomer Spencer Coleman, a 6-6 ½ forward from Eugene, Ore. Via Eastern Arizona College would be a contributor, and the junior college transfer did not disappoint. He finished with 12 points and a scrimmage-high 12 rebounds.

"I thought Jordan Gregoryhad a nice floor game and made some shots -- because he took good shots," Tinkle said. "Kareem (Jamar) got off to a slow start because he didn't take such good shots, but he corrected that and scored well (11 points) in the second half. We finally got the ball to Mathias (Ward), and he and Kareem are pretty tough in the `pick-and-pop game.

"Spencer Coleman- those 12 rebounds were a good thing to see," Tinkle said. "We knew he was going to be a good rebounder for us, but he also hit a couple of threes (he made 2-of-4). What I loved and was the number one things is that we took six charges, and that's been an emphasis of ours early on this year."

Center Eric Hutchison (Longview, Wash.), a 6-9 two-year letterman, tallied points 9 and 7 rebounds, while sophomore guard Keron DeShields(Baltimore, Md.) also scored 9 points.

Freshman Andy Martin, a 7-foot center from Casper, Wyo. (Via Natrona County HS) , had a solid debut, scoring 7 points, grabbing 5 rebounds, plus 3 blocks. Sophomore forward Mike Weisner (Walla Walla, Wash.) had 6 points, 3 assists, and 3 steals.

"I thought `Hutch' played really well around the basket and had some nice finishes," Tinkle said. "We are a long ways off, but there were some encouraging things out there for sure.

"Andrew Martin has some good bounce for a 7-footer - he's got a little more bounce than that last 7-footer (graduated forward Derek Selvig) we had a year ago," Tinkle joked; "we miss Derek's skill, I am just busting his chops there. But, Andy is starting to figure out things out and finish around the basket better.

"Jake Wiley(a 6-7 forward from Newport High School in Washington) - he's going to be good player for us," Tinkle said. "I know he missed some shots (he finished with 4 points and 6 rebounds), but with his athleticism and his effort, he's going to help us this year."

The Griz were without All-Big Sky guard Will Cherry(Oakland, Calif.), who is out with a foot injury. The 6-1 senior was the league's Defensive Player of the Year last season and averaged a team-high 15.8 points a game. Tinkle said he hopes Cherry, who has started since his freshman season, will be able to return to action in late November or early December.

Montana hosts Lewis and Clark next Thursday, Nov. 1, in an exhibition game that starts at 7:00 p.m. in Dahlberg Arena.



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