NCAA Basketball

Montana Loses Star Guard Will Cherry for 10-12 Weeks


News surfaced late Tuesday that Montana star Will Cherry is expected to miss some considerable time to start the season.

Cherry broke his foot in a pick-up game this past weekend and the injury deals a heavy blow to a Grizzlies’ squad that is expected to compete atop the Big Sky Conference.

Last season as a junior, Cherry led the team, averaging a career-high 15.8 points per game, to go along with 3.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

An original native of California, Cherry is the team’s star in the back court who has Player of the Year potential in 2012-13. Due to the tentative timetable in relation to the injury, Cherry could target an early-to-mid December return, that being if his recovery process goes according to plan.

Coming out of the Big Sky Conference, Montana’s likely pursuit of a postseason opportunity in the NCAA Tournament would come via their success in league play. Getting Cherry healthy in time to make a run will be crucial for the Grizzlies to have any shot at doing so.

Playing in the shadows of former Weber State guard and NBA lottery selection, Damian Lillard a season ago, Cherry’s production fueled a Grizzlies’ squad that got the best of Weber State in the Big Sky championship last year. Montana fell to Wisconsin in the Round of 64, but the trip to the Big Dance marked the school’s second appearance in the past three seasons.

Head coach Wayne Tinkle told CBSSports that Cherry’s injury will not require surgery and that he is hoping his star will only miss four or five games in the beginning of the season.

In addition to Cherry, the Grizzlies return their top three scorers from a team that finished the year at 25-7. Kareem Jamar and Mathias Ward will look to step up the scoring in Cherry’s absence, while guards Keron DeShields and Jordan Gregory will look to fill the back court void.


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