Kovacevic, from Beograde, Serbia, averaged 11.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots a game for Western Nebraska last season as a sophomore. He shot 66 percent from the field and 59 percent from the free-throw line.If he could provide that, it would be big for them, because that was a facet of the offense they didn't really have last year. Big men Derek Selvig and Mathias Ward were better from the perimeter, which usually meant that off guard Kareem Jamar was their best option for post scoring.
“He’s a quality person, first and foremost,” Tinkle said. “He came to our country two years ago without speaking a lick of English, and he has progressed in that area and is a great student, very disciplined, and a player of high character.
“We really think he’s going to provide some back-to-the-basket scoring for us. He’s very skilled. He can use either hand very effectively to finish around the basket. He’s also a really, really talented passer. He has surprising length and athleticism and we just feel that adding a big guy of his caliber to what we have coming back could really prove to be a huge factor for us next season.”
Montana could have nice depth up front, which was an issue last season. Mathias Ward is back, and he was their third leading scorer. Eric Hutchison could be a solid defender and rebounder with another year of development. If Billy Reader is academically eligible, he could be their best big man. And now they have signed Kovacevic and Andy Martin, though there is a chance Martin could redshirt.
Montana will be the team to beat next season.
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