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How Good ?

Proud Griz Man

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How good will the 2013-14 Griz be ? Are there enough tough, good post players ?


... Jamar, the reigning Big Sky Conference MVP, scored 18 points and dished out five assists in the Maroon’s 59-53 victory over the Silver in a scrimmage Tuesday night at Dahlberg Arena. The 6-foot-5 senior was 3 of 4 from 3-point range, added four rebounds and a steal, all while turning the ball over just once in 27 minutes.

“He was great,” Tinkle said of Jamar, who averaged 14.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists while helping the Griz to their second straight Big Sky title last season. “Not only did he score, but he set up a lot of guys. He’s a great play-maker. “The great thing about Kareem is he’ll do it from the one, two, three or four; wherever we put him. Going into our first meeting this year I said, ‘Kareem … what would you say if I told you in our opening game against Minnesota you’re starting at the five?’ He said, ‘Coach, I’d be the best five that I could be for you.’ We need everybody to have that attitude.”

That attitude is not lost on newcomers like Chris Kemp, a solid 6-7, 236-pound transfer from West Texas College. Kemp was right behind Jamar with 16 points – on 6-for-6 shooting – and seven rebounds. “What does Kareem do for this team? What does he not do?” Kemp said. “He does everything for this team. Kareem is a hustle player, he’ll make big shots, he’s a playmaker, he’ll rebound the ball well for his size. He can play four different positions. He’s such a playmaker that when he gets the ball, he’s going to make the right decision.” Jamar is a fan of Kemp’s as well. “I’m glad he’s on our team,” Jamar said. “He’s physical, man. Anytime you talk about a rebounding drill, you will not see me in there because you’re definitely going to get an elbow. We need that. He only knows one way to play and that’s hard.”

Many of the veterans of the last two title teams played like veterans. Junior forward Mike Weisner made a couple of treys and scored 12 points, junior point guard Keron DeShields had 11 points, two assists and two steals, and junior guard Jordan Gregory added nine points and three assists. They’ll be needed to help make up for the loss of graduated seniors Mathias Ward and Will Cherry.

“I wasn’t disappointed.” Tinkle said in evaluating the scrimmage. “In the first half I didn’t think our intensity was there on defense. We challenged them at halftime and you saw that veteran group come out in the second half a create a little bit of havoc.” Leading the other newcomers were Riley Bradshaw – a freshman transfer from Corvallis who will become eligible after first semester – and true freshman Brandon Gfeller. They each scored eight points.

“He’s going to be a good one,” Tinkle said of Gfeller, a 6-4 sharpshooter from Colfax, Wash. “He battles. Kareem gets mad because he plays so hard against him everyday. He doesn’t back down. We know he can make shots. If he can defend and take care of the ball then he’s going to see time.”

But the star power from this team will clearly come from Jamar, who will receive a lot of attention on scouting reports. “My assists will go up,” Jamar said. “The more they focus on me, my teammates are going to get shots.” It’s been a quick – and successful – four years for Jamar, who has played in back-to-back NCAA tournaments. “That’s crazy. It’s going to be different hearing my name called with the senior at the end of it,” Jamar said. “You have to hear it one day, so why not now.”

The Griz will play their first of two exhibition games Saturday when Simon Fraser visits Dahlberg Arena at 7:05 p.m.
 
To be determined. Kemp is very good. All other posts improved. Posts would be fine with Breunig, but he has to sit a year. UM will miss Will's good play, tenacity, leadership, fearless play, and ability to make the big plays to win games. Also, teams will be able to focus on Kareem, and not Will and Kareem. Some of the others will need to step up big. The guards will need to start knocking down 3's more consistently. I think the team will defend well.
 
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