Thursday, February 21, 2013

Montana Leading Scorer Mathias Ward Could Be Out Awhile

Montana currently sits at 15-1, in first place in the Big Sky. But their lead is tenuous. With Weber State just a game behind them and looking strong, the Grizzlies can't slip up, because if they lose first, they lose homecourt advantage in the Big Sky tournament.

This makes the news coming out of Missoula tough for the Grizzlies. Mick Holien reports that on a Tuesday radio show, Wayne Tinkle said that Mathias Ward could be out for awhile.

It’s wait and see for Ward who sustained an injury to his arch against Idaho State and undergoes medical tests this week to determine the injury’s severity and length of rehabilitation, Wayne Tinkle said during Tuesday’s radio show.

It’s a tough pill for Ward, who is the league’s fifth leading scorer and has played in 118 games for Montana, starting the last two seasons (55 games).
Ward is Montana's leading scorer at 14.8 PPG, and he is perhaps the best mid-range jump shooter in the Big Sky. But that is only part of the point. The larger point is that Montana is already painfully thin in the frontcourt. Ward itself isn't really a true big man (he is not a very good rebounder), but their other best options upfront are Mike Weisner and Spencer Coleman, who are probably better suited to play the three.

If Ward is out awhile, such as for next week's road games or even longer, Montana could be in trouble. Without Ward, they will likely play even smaller, with guys like Spencer Coleman or Mike Weisner playing some at the five, along with four guards. They won't really have a choice.

Bottom line, this could be a game changer at the end of the Big Sky season.

*Thanks to WeberHoops for the tip

Follow me on Twitter @bigskybball

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