Posted: Jan 9, 2013 10:26 PM by Derek Buerkle - KPAX Sports
Updated: Jan 10, 2013 6:19 AM
MISSOULA- The defending Big Sky champs own an 8-4 overall record, and are off to a perfect 4-0 start in conference play. Imagine if they were healthy. The injury bug, and now a stomach bug keep biting the Grizzlies.
Jordan Gregory took a knee to the thigh on Tuesday and missed the rest of practice, just a week after he scored a career high in a breakout game versus Eastern Washington.
Head coach Wayne Tinkle hopes it's just a bruise, but he doesn't know how long the sophomore guard will be out. Starting center Eric Hutchison also missed practice. He's suffering with an illness that caused him to get sick during Monday's workout.
Add that to the several other minor injuries sustained along the way, and star point guard Will Cherry still not back to 100% after his broken foot. And Tinkle's left wondering what else could go wrong.
"It's frustrating, cause going into last week we felt like we had the makings of having a complete team," said the coach. "You know, there's some illness at the end of that week, and then today Jordan and Hutch is sick. So this has been one of those years. We've just got to move on, and other guys have to step up."
"I think we've done well enough, cause we've been winning of late," said freshman center Andy Martin who could see more time if Hutchison isn't healthy later this week. "But we could definitely do better. Like with people not being 100% all the time. We should be able to put people away, now that we're getting a little bit better."
The Griz did get some other good news this week, although he won't help until next year. Riley Bradshaw began practicing with the squad.
The Corvallis native transferred from Utah State at the end of the semester. He'll be a redshirt freshman when he can start playing after the first semester next season.
Tinkle said he could not comment on the addition until Bradshaw begins taking classes, but you can tell he's happy to have the talented guard on the roster.
Montana left early Wednesday morning on another Big Sky Conference road trip, and will play at North Dakota at 6 p.m. Thursday. Then it's on to Northern Colorado on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.,in a game that airs live on Altitude.