New-Look Lady Griz on Display Tuesday

2013-10-22_1046

2013-14 Lady GrizBasketball

By JOEL CARLSON

2013-14 LADY GRIZ PROSPECTUS(PDF)

The Montana women’s basketball team will make itself available for public consumption Tuesday when the Lady Griz square off against one another in their annual Maroon and Silver scrimmage at Dahlberg Arena.

The women’s scrimmage will tip off at approximately 7:30 p.m., upon conclusion of the men’s scrimmage, which begins at 5:30 p.m. Both games are free to the public.

Montana is coming off its 23rd conference championship and 20th trip to the NCAA tournament, but three seniors starters — Katie Baker, Kenzie De Boer and Alyssa Smith — were lost from that team, as was key reserve Ali Hurley.

Baker was the Big Sky Conference MVP last season, and De Boer was a first-team All-Big Sky selection. The pair led Montana in scoring and both finished their careers as 1,000-point scorers.

“This will be a team with a different look, simply because we lost so many players who played so many minutes last year,” 36th-year coach Robin Selvig said.

“So people are going to see a different look out of this team, and on Tuesday they are going to see a lot of different people competing for roles.”

The quartet’s departure leaves point guard Torry Hill and forward Jordan Sullivan, both seniors, as the Lady Griz’ lone returning starters.

Six other letterwinners return, though only five will be in action this season as sophomore Shanae Gilham has opted to redshirt after suffering a knee injury in the championship game of last year’s Big Sky Conference tournament.

Redshirt juniors Kellie Cole and Carly Selvig and junior Maggie Rickman were all in Montana’s rotation last season and are a good bet to join Hill and Sullivan in the team’s starting lineup, at least early on. Rickman will be moving to the three this season after playing the four a year ago.

Redshirt sophomore Hannah Doran and sophomore McCalle Feller both played limited minutes a year ago.

Because of either injury or because minutes just weren’t available, four players are coming off redshirt seasons: redshirt sophomore Haley Vining and redshirt freshmen Molly Klinker, DJ Reinhardt and Rachel Staudacher.

Klinker, who suffered a shoulder injury in practice last week, will sit out Tuesday’s scrimmage and miss an undetermined amount of time in recovery. The Lady Griz will have 13 players in action Tuesday.

The team’s incoming freshmen include 6-2 forward Mekayla Isaak of Bend, Ore.; 6-3 forward/center Alycia Sims of Stevensville, Mont.; and 5-11 forward Kayleigh Valley of Spokane, Wash.

“We’ve got three freshmen battling in the mix right now, and we’ve got a lot of kids who either redshirted or didn’t get a lot of time last year,” Selvig said.

“It will make for an interesting and exciting year. This is a fun group that I think has a chance to be pretty good, even with lots of new kids on the floor.”

Montana, which was picked second in the Big Sky Conference preseason coaches’ poll last week, officially opened its season on Oct. 2 and has played a number of officiated scrimmages. Tuesday will be the first time with a crowd.

“We’ve had a couple of scrimmages, but it’s not the same,” Selvig said. “There are going to be people in the stands and it will be a game situation, so the ladies are looking forward to it.

“It’s a valuable experience for the kids and a chance for them to show us. We’re still developing, so they need to show us how they perform in game situations, and this is our first game situation.”

Montana will play its first of two exhibition games on Monday when the Lady Griz host MSU Billings at 7 p.m. The team’s second exhibition game won’t come until 10 days later, against Montana-Western on Thursday, Nov. 7.

“I think we’re to the point where we need to play someone else,” Selvig said. “We’ve been battling each other for a long time. We keep improving, but you learn more when you play someone else.”

Montana will host MSU Northern on Sunday, Nov. 10, to open the regular season.

Montana Sports Information

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