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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