Veterans look solid & a few of the newcomers have impressive debuts
Oct. 22, 2013
The veterans looked solid and a few of the newcomers had some bright moments as well, as the University of Montana Grizzlies played their annual Maroon-Silver scrimmage Tuesday evening in Dahlberg Arena.
For the record, the "home" team Maroon squad won 59-53, but several players switched teams at halftime, so the final outcome was a moot point.
Senior guard-forward Kareem Jamar looked like the outstanding player he has been for the Grizzlies the past three seasons, as the 2012-113 Big Sky Conference MVP, scored 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting, and also dished out 5 assists and grabbed 4 rebounds.
"Kareem was Kareem, " said eighth-year Griz head coach Wayne Tinkle. "He makes plays for us no matter what position he's at. He set up a bunch of our bigs for guys for shots, plus he made a few of how own, and we're going to need that from him day-in and day-out."
UM's other two returning starters, junior guard Jordan Gregory and senior center Eric Hutchison, scored 9 points each. Hutchison also grabbed 7 rebounds and had 3 blocks, while Gregory had 3 assists and 3 steals.
Junior Mike Weisner added 12 points and had 7 boards, which tied him for the game high, while fellow veteran and junior guard Keron DeShields, added 11 points. Sophomore center Andy Martin added 7 points.
Forward Chris Kemp, a junior college transfer from West Texas College, had a stellar debut, scoring 16 points and pulling down 7 rebounds, all while playing for the "visiting" silver team. Kemp, a 6-7, 236-pound junior and native of Baltimore, was 6-of-6 from the floor and 4-of-5 from the line.
"I thought Chris played well offensively, and I think we will see that defensively he needs to get a little bit better," Tinkle said. "He didn't rebound as well as he can, but he's going to be a force for us."
Point guard Mario Dunn Jr., a 6-0 freshman from Oakland, Calif., added 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists in a scrimmage-high 31 minutes of action for the Silver squad. True freshman guard-forward Jack Lopez, a 6-5, 200-pounder from Woronora, Australia, chipped in 4 points.
Other newcomers of note were redshirt freshman guard Riley Bradshaw, a transfer from Utah State and former standout at Corvallis High School (Mont.), and true frosh Brandon Gfeller from Colfax, Wash. Riley scored 8 points, and did Gfeller.
"Brandon Gfeller shot it well (he made 2-of-4 three-pointers) - he's going to be tough," Tinkle said. "Mario is trying to do what his dumb coaches ask him, which is to just run the offense. When we put in our four-out motion where he has a little but more freedom, you'll start to see more of his skills and his ability to get to the rim. Jack Lopez had some moments too, and I think he will help us, and I also thought Riley Bradshaw shot the ball well.
"We want to see defensive intensity, guarding the way that we are teaching our guys the fundamentals, and we didn't play with that intensity in the first half, which is always the case the first time out," Tinkle said. "But I thought we did a much better job and kicked up our defensive effort in the second half.
"I thought we had a good offensive balance inside and out," he said. "We made some threes, we got to the rim, and we went to the free throw line. I was proud of the way the new guys played and came back in the second half, and that silver team was made up of mostly of our new guys."
The Griz are back in action this Saturday, Oct. 26, hosting Simon Fraser in an exhibition game that tips off at 7:05 p.m. in Dahlberg Arena.
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