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Montana Grizzlies Open Thread & How to Watch

The #25 Huskies look to secure their second home win of the week

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Des Moines Practice Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Essentials

Date: Friday, 11/22/19

Tip-Off Time: 8:00 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Radio: KOMO 1000


Location: Seattle, Washington

Betting line: Washington -13

Montana Grizzlies 2019-20 Statistics:

Record: 1-3 (0-2 against D-1 teams and 1-1 against non-D1 teams)

Points For per Game: 54.0 ppg (335th)

Points Against per Game: 68.5 ppg (153rd)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 97.7 (193rd)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 99.7 (183rd)

Montana Key Players:

F- Mack Anderson, So. 6’9, 207: 3.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 35.3% FG, 50.0% FT

Against UW’s big lineup I’d expect Anderson to start although he’s never played more than 25 minutes in a game in his career. He already has more blocks this season against D-1 opponents through 2 games than he did all of last season so it looks like he’s made progress as a rim protector. I don’t give him much of a chance defending Isaiah Stewart however.

F- Derrick Carter-Hollinger, Fr. 6’5, 207: 9.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 73.3% FG, 100% 3pt, 66.7% FT

The true freshman from California has been forced to play as an undersized PF for the Grizzlies at 6’5. Despite matching up mainly against taller players he has been Montana’s most efficient scorer and looks like he’ll be a very good 4-year player for them over the course of his career.

F- Kendal Manuel, Sr. 6’4, 190: 12.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.5 apg, 38.8% FG, 26.1% 3pt, 71.4% FT

Manuel transferred in from Oregon State before last year and was a solid 6th man playing the role of the 3-pt sniper. He hasn’t gotten his shot on track yet this season but he’s attempted at least 5 shots from long distance in every game for Montana so far and if they’re able to keep it close it will likely be because Manuel catches fire.

G- Josh Vazquez, Fr. 6’3, 170: 3.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.5 apg, 22.7% FG, 15.4% 3pt, 75% FT

After an 11 point, 5 rebound effort in his first career game against Stanford it looked like he might be a breakout player for the Griz but Vazquez has scored just 4 points in the past 3 games and is averaging almost 3 turnovers per game. We might see more of 6’2 junior Timmy Falls in this spot who has put up similar numbers if Vazquez continues to struggle.

G- Sayeed Pridgett, Sr. 6’5, 201: 18.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 4.5 apg, 56.4% FG, 0% 3pt, 70.6% FT

The unquestioned leader for this Montana team, Pridgett put up 15 and 5 last season while scoring at an incredibly efficient rate. He made 46% of his 3-pt shots last season although on only a little over 1 attempt per game so it’s not a big part of his game. While Pridgett isn’t taking as many jumpers he has improved his rebounding and assist numbers by 50% or greater. If the Huskies can keep Pridgett from having a big day then I’m not sure how Montana is supposed to score enough to keep up.

2019-20 Montana Shot Chart

Synergy Sports

The Grizzlies are not exactly a stellar offensive team. From the looks of it they’ve taken a ton of long 2-pointers and the Huskies will encourage them to continue to do so. No one on this Montana team has shown they’re consistently willing to take that free throw line jumper against the Washington zone.

The Outlook

It has been a rough start for the Grizzlies so far. This will be their 3rd D-1 game and all of them have been on the road against a top-100 overall power conference school and unsurprisingly the first two have been losses. Their other 2 games were at home against in-state NAIA schools which should be a pair of guaranteed wins. Montana went 1-1. Not great, Bob.

The Grizzlies have essentially a broken offense. KenPom doesn’t include non-D1 games in their database so it only includes the data from the road losses to Stanford and Arkansas but Montana turned the ball over on almost 1 of every 3 possessions and the ball was stolen 1 out of every 6 possessions. Both marks are currently worst in the country. They’re also unsustainable over an entire season but it wouldn’t be shocking against UW’s long limbed behemoths to see the Grizzlies cough the ball up 20+ times.

Even if you include the two games against NAIA opponents the Grizzlies are still shooting just 25% from 3-point range which doesn’t bode well against Washington’s zone. Synergy Sports which has one of the two NAIA games in its database has the Montana offense ranked in the 6th percentile by scoring just 0.72 points per possession. That’s basically exactly what Mount St. Mary’s scored when they put up just 46 points against the Huskies last week.

The delta between the Montana offense and the Washington defense is about as big as you can get but will the Huskies be able to score on Friday? Montana’s defense has been solid this year considering the competition and substantially better than they are on the other end. Opponents are shooting just 30% on 3-pt attempts but that’s a little fluky as teams are actually shooting worse on uncontested jump shots than contested ones so far against Montana. Washington has actually been good when taking open catch and shoot jump shots so if they work the ball there are opportunities to punish Montana.

There are only two rotation players for Montana over 6’5 and they’re both averaging greater than 7.5 fouls per 40 minutes. If Washington stays aggressive taking the ball to the rim and gets the Montana bigs into foul trouble then they should be able to dominate in the paint without having to worry much about their outside shot. Expect another big day out of Isaiah Stewart. Although it’s a day that ends in “y” and the Huskies are playing which is another reason to expect a big game from Stewart.

Coach Hopkins knows the Huskies are in the midst of a 5-game stretch where UW will be favored by double digits every night. At some point with this young of a team you can bet that they’ll play down to the competition of the opponent. Expect him to have a couple of specific areas for the team to focus on to keep them sharp and motivated. So far this season Montana hasn’t shown anything to suggest they can beat Washington. If the Grizzlies are in the game in the second half it will be because the Huskies are beating themselves. First to 60 points wins.


Washington Huskies- 68, Montana Grizzlies- 50


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