JC Standout to Join Griz Basketball Team

By DAVE GUFFEY for GoGriz.com

University of Montana men’s basketball head coach Wayne Tinkle has signed a top-notch junior college player who will join the Grizzly basketball program for the 2014-15 season, the mentor announced today (Thursday, April 17).

Montana’s new addition is guard Jermaine Edmonds Jr. from Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Calif.

“We purposely held a couple of scholarships for the spring just so that we could do more evaluating of the guys we were involved in,” said Tinkle, who is second in school history with 158 wins in eight seasons at his alma mater.  We are thrilled about our two latest additions.”

Edmonds Jr. will join center Bryden Boehning (pronounced: Bay-ning), a 6-foot-10, 230-pound center from Dawson County High School in Glendive, who signed an early National Letter of Intent to play for the Grizzlies last November.

This past season the 6-5, 200-pound Edmonds Jr. averaged 14.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.6 assists as a freshman for long-time DVC head coach Steve Coccimiglio.    He shot 47.0% from the floor and 40.5% from three-point range.

Also an outstanding prep player, Edmonds Jr. was a high school teammate of Griz starting point guard Mario Dunn at Salesian High School in Richmond, Calif.  Those two were pivotal members of Salesian’s  California Division 1V state championship team in 2012, as well as the No. 1-ranked, 30-4 team in Northern California in 2012-13.

“Jermaine in an athletic guard who can really be an explosive scorer,” Tinkle said.  “He has good court vision, and is just a very talented and versatile player that we are adding to the program.  He played with Mario Dunn and Salesian High School, so we are very familiar with him.  He has three years to play for us, which is unique and positive.  He’s a great kid and will be a big addition to the program.

“He (Edmonds Jr.) can play the one, two, or the three,” Tinkle continued.  “He can really handle the ball; he can shoot it; he can drive and finish; and he’s a really good passer.  We will work with him defensively and show him that he can be a dominate player on that end as well.

“He will bring some scoring punch to our roster, and he played in a competitive league in California,” Tinkle said.  “Folks might remember (former Griz starting forward) Dan Trammel and (a former starting center at UM) Brent Smith who came from Diablo Valley and played for the same coach (Coccimiglio).  He comes from a big-time program and he’s tested, and will have a little more ready than a player coming in from high school.”

“When I was on my visit I really liked the players and coaches, and that was a big thing getting to know them,” said Edmonds Jr. Via a phone interview today.  “Chemistry with my teammates on and off the court is a very important thing to me.

“I am really looking forward to playing with Mario again,” said Edmonds Jr., who played both two guard and small forward in high school.  “I played against Mario back when we were in the fourth grade, and then we started playing together in high school.  To be able to play with him again will be a lot of fun.  My goal at Montana is to help my team win two or three Big Sky championships and get to the NCAA tournament.”

Boehning averaged around 15 points and 11 rebounds a game the past two seasons at Dawson County HS.  He’s been a first team all-state pick the past two seasons.  Boehning hopes to follow the lead of former Glendive stars Roger Fasting and Derek Selvig en route to college success at UM.

“When you add those two players to Bryden Boehning from Glendive who we signed in the fall, a 6-10 kid whom is 230-plus pounds and another kid who plays with an edge and doesn’t mind mixing it up and getting physical ,” Tinkle said.  “Then you add in Martin Breunig (a 6-8 junior center and transfer from the University of Washington) who sat out (he redshirted this past season due to NCAA transfer rules), we’re really addressing some of our issues.  We’ve got size; we’ve got strength; we’ve got toughness.  We’ll be better rebounding the ball.  I am excited for that group of posts, as well and the guards we have returning, along with the addition of Jermaine.”