The injuries are starting to mount up for Montana this season.
On Tuesday, leading scorer Mathias Ward sprained the arch in his foot, which forced him to miss Saturday’s overtime loss at Davidson. Ward, a power forward, was helpless as he watched Davidson power forward Jake Cohen score 28 points, 25 of which came in the first half.
The news got worse Saturday, however.
Will Cherry, Montana’s star point guard that missed the first two months of the season with a broken right foot, may have aggravated the injury. With just under five minutes left in the game, he pulled up lame, favoring that right foot. He spent the rest of the game on the bench with ice on his foot. And there quotes after the game, from Bob Meseroll, are quite worrisome:
“That’s what he says, but obviously we won’t know anything until we get an X-ray,” Tinkle said. “He said it feels the same, but who knows? Obviously, if that’s true, it’s not a good thing.”
“We have some concerns moving forward, with both Will’s and Mathias’ injuries,” Tinkle said. “The rest of the guys are going to have to step up. The guys who didn’t play too smart are going to have to play smarter. The guys who didn’t play tough are going to have to play tougher. If our guys can commit to that then we can continue to build and finish this thing off right.”
Cherry is one of the most underrated players in the country. He’s a terrific back court talent and as good of a perimeter defender as you’re going to find anywhere. When teamed up with Kareem Jamar, he provides the Grizzlies a back court that can match up with the big boys.
Montana, when healthy, has the talent to make a run in the NCAA tournament, should they win the league’s automatic bid. But that seems in jeopardy now. Hopefully, Cherry’s foot injury isn’t as bad as it appears.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.