Tre Johnson, Kyle Cain

Montana State disciplines two players charged with stealing from parked vehicles

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After two players were arrested last weekend on charges of stealing from parked vehicles, Montana State announced the punishments for those two players on Friday.

Junior forward Tre Johnson has been dismissed from the program by head coach Brad Huse, and fellow junior forward Jeff Budnich will remain on the team but faces multiple penalties.

According to the Associated Press, Budnich faces a reduction in his scholarship, a three-game suspension and community service.

The two players have pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal trespass to a vehicle and two counts theft, but according to court records both acknowledged the acts to the arresting officers.

According to charging documents:

Officers were dispatched to the area near Cooper Park shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday for reports of two men shining flashlights into parked vehicles.

Officers contacted Budinich and Johnson. When asked to empty his pockets, Johnson pulled out a GPS he said didn’t belong to him. He told officers he took the GPS from a truck parked on Sixth Avenue.

Budinich was wearing a backpack he admitted he stole from a vehicle parked on the 1000 block of West Koch Street. He also said they took a camera from the same vehicle.

Johnson started 20 of 26 games last season for the Bobcats, averaging 9.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, while Budnich averaged 4.5 points in 25 games played.

With Mohamed Fall being ruled to be out of eligibility by the NCAA to go along with other personnel issues, the Bobcats really couldn’t afford to lose anyone else.

For Brad Huse, he has to be wondering what else could possibly happen with this group of players. Last season, wing man Jamie Stewart was academically ineligible after the first semester. Antonio Biglow had academic issues crop up at his junior college, and missed all of last season. Xavier Blount was injured in a bar fight. Shawn Reid left the team after the season.

Montana State finished last season 12-17, dropping nine of their last ten games, and if Huse’s team is to improve on that this season the personnel problems of last season cannot carry over into 2012-13.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.