Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Can Jordan Gregory Become a Star?

Last year, one of the overarching storylines for Montana was the health of Will Cherry. He missed the start of the season with a foot injury, and missed time later in the year as well. Still, the Grizzlies went 19-1 and won the Big Sky. One of the biggest reasons was the emergence of Jordan Gregory, who filled in admirably when Cherry was out, and really had a solid sophomore season. If the Grizzlies are going to contend again this season, they will need Gregory to be a star for them.

He grew into a versatile offensive weapon for Montana as a sophomore, posting an ORtg of 120.0, which was 71st in the country. He shot 42% on threes last year, one of the best marks in the conference. Though he took a lot of threes in comparison to twos (98 three-point attempts compared to 62 two-point attempts), he still got to the free throw line at a decent rate, taking 67 of them on the year. He should look to get to the rim more often, as he is a strong finisher (52% on twos), and one of the better free throw shooters around (88%). Add it all up, and he had a true shooting percentage of 64.1% last year, which was a top 25 mark in the country.

He had a relatively low usage rate last year, which is something I would expect to go up this season, as he will have to shoulder more of the offensive load with Cherry and Mathias Ward graduated. If he can maintain those percentages and that level of efficiency with a higher usage, he could be one of the better scorers in the conference, and a candidate to be a first-team guy.

If there is an area he could improve, it is in his ball distribution. While not a traditional point guard, at 6'2'' he will likely see a lot of lot of ballhandling responsibilities. While his TO rate was solid, he had an Assist Rate of 10.1, which is not very good for a guard. The final step to becoming a complete offensive player is to be able to distribute and get open looks for others. This will be especially important this year, as he will likely be the second focus of opposing defenses, after Kareem Jamar.

Gregory is a strong player, and perhaps nobody in the Big Sky was more improved than he was last year. If he can make a similar leap in his junior year, he has the chance to be a big-time star, and Montana will again be in the thick of things in the conference.

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  1. Jordan Gregory, a star? Lol. I have officially stopped respecting your opinion. That kid is a super non-factor. You must be running out of things to talk about? Lol, star. Montana wont be a contender at all, try Weber and North Dakota. You guys sure find ways to throw Montana in conversations.

  2. Hey, that means you respected it in the first place, thanks! I have written more about Montana than anyone else... you must have missed where I picked them to win the title... Thanks for reading though! Why do you say Gregory is a super non-factor? Did you even read the post?

  3. Thats all you guys discuss, Montana. I know they're the big money maker, but Will Cherry is gone, time to give it up and stop holding on to the Grizzly. Band-wagon. And he is a non factor, I can name 10-20 other players in yhe big sky who are better players. But as you were.....

  4. I haven't posted about Montana in a month... and 5 of my last 8 posts have been Weber State oriented. Thanks for commenting though! Also, nobody is a big moneymaker for me, I'm not making any money from this, lol. Just write about what I find interesting. I am actually UND alum, so they are who I root for.

    You have a curious definition of non-factor.

  5. The Gregory kid is very solid. That's why I think Montana will have very little dip if any this year. Weber is still my pick- they've got Bolomboy and nobody else has anybody like him. UND, it should be interesting- if they can get enough interior play to give their guards space, they could put themselves into the mix. Of course I'll have to see it first.

    Jon, you keep writing. Your opinion is just as valid as anyone's including the Anonymous that previously posted. Gregory is no Cherry, but you nor anyone else has said that he is. But he is a very solid guard in the BSC- is what he is, and I think he will hurt teams a great deal this year, if anyone takes him lightly.