Coming into the season, Montana was one of the mid-major programs that everyone loved.
With quite a bit of talent, including the underrated back court duo of Will Cherry and Kareem Jamar, back for another season, the Grizzlies were expected to improve on a season where they beat out Damian Lillard’s Weber State team for both the Big Sky regular season and tournament titles.
Cherry has yet to ‘return’, so to speak. The talented lead guard broke his foot back in September and has yet to make it back to full health.
He appears to be close, according to Shaun Rainey:
#Griz HC Tinkle "Will Cherry will be in uniform Sat and will be a game time decision against Carroll" ..cherry full participant at practice—
Shaun Rainey (@ShaunRainey) December 04, 2012
I’ll let Jonathon Reed of Big Sky Basketball explain what his return would mean:
Keron DeShields and Jordan Gregory are solid players now and will be good starters eventually, but they are not good or experienced enough right now to lighten the burden on Kareem Jamar. … Cherry is a lockdown defender, but he is also a creator on offense and a guy that defenses have to pay a lot of attention to because of his ability to get to the rim or hit the midrange jumper. They miss him offensively.
While losing Cherry for the non-conference portion of the schedule likely cost Montana a shot at an at-large bid, getting him back in the fold before league play means that he should be healthy once Montana’s truly important games start.