Montana State University Bozeman - Montanan Yearbook (Bozeman, MT)

 - Class of 1986

Page 216 of 380

 

Montana State University Bozeman - Montanan Yearbook (Bozeman, MT) online yearbook collection, 1986 Edition, Page 216 of 380
Page 216 of 380



Montana State University Bozeman - Montanan Yearbook (Bozeman, MT) online yearbook collection, 1986 Edition, Page 215
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Page 215 text:

low ’Bout Them Cats . . . year Bobcat coach Stu Stamcr b he 1985-86 Men’s Basketball season v, unclear picture of how his team v. erform. Not only did the’Cats face a Aaron Pruitt very demanding schedule with 15 home games in a 28 game regular season, but they also lost three very important senior starters from last year’s 5th ranked Big Sky Conference team. The NCAA dictates an opening date for the college basketball teams to begin practice. This year that date was Tuesday, October 15th and Starner decided to get off to a good start. The Bobcat’s 1st drill prac-tive began at 12:01 a.m. of that day. It was an attempt to show the young team the importance of an outstanding and dedicated pre-season practice and to start team moral on the right foot. The team began with several weaknesses. There were deficiencies in the offensive moves, experience, play of the starting forwards, and mental aggression. Starner commented, “The game of basketball doesn’t always end up being simple talent. There are other factors such as character, tenacity and competitiveness that we need to develop further for us to be successful.” The ’Cats did not have an outstanding record at the beginning of the season, but there were definite highlights. One was the victory over the University of Lethbridge in the first home game at the Brick Breeden Ficldhousc. Road victories were difficult for MSU to come by this year so the 72-71 win over Loyola Marymount, the first road victory of the season, was a very meaningful win for the team and the coach in January. Starner attributed some of the problems with the road trips to “psychology, at least. of being home or being away.” For example, the ’Cats beat NAU in a home game, but lost when they played on the opponent’s turf. This year’s starting team had its strength in its balance, rather than on any particular players, though each had his definite attributes. Tony Hampton had his best collegiate season as point guard, and was noted as a senior ’’catalyst”. Forwards Krai Ferch and Tom Domako were pluses as the starting forwards. Sophomore Ray Willis proved himself as the best perimeter shooter and senior Greg Walters improved dramatically by the end of the season. The Bobcat-Grizzly games always draws the most attention from the fans. The ’Cats lost the first game that the Grizzlies hosted, but had a spectacular 88-76 victory on March 1 before an almost uncontrollable crowd. Then, of course, was the Big Sky Conference play-offs. The Bobcats entered the conference with a 5th place ranking, having a 6-8 record for the Big Sky play, and an 11-16 record overall. Despite their ranking, the ‘Cats got off to a fantastic start by taking their host, Reno, Nevada, in the UNR’s 12,000 seat Lawler Events Center in the tournament’s first round. Continuning to press their luck, the so-called “Cinderella Team” fought their way to the top and achieved the sweetest victory possible by taking the Big Sky Conference with an 82-77 spectacular win over their arch rivals, the Grizzlies. by Laura Green 213



Page 217 text:

Milo Mell

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