A Game you can’t miss: Tech v. Providence Round 2
Remember when one of the networks had “Must See TV!”? (I’ll probably get sued for even saying it).
The Orediggers and Argos game Thursday night is exactly that… Must See Frontier Basketball.
The NAIA Top 25 men's poll was released earlier today, and Montana Tech remains the only Frontier program in the Top 25, staying put at #12 in the country.
The Current Frontier Standings.
Montana Tech 6-2 18-3
Providence 6-2 12-9
Carroll 4-4 10-9
MSU Northern 3-5 14-7
UM Western 3-5 8-13
Rocky 2-6 10-10
We have continually talked about how good this conference is this year. How important it is to win at home, and split on the road. So far, that is exactly what Montana Tech and Providence have done. Both programs are a perfect 4-0 at home and 2-2 on the road over the first 8 games of conference play. That could be a factor down the stretch. With 7 games remaining, Providence is on the road for 4, and Tech will have 3 of their last 7 games on the road.
The Orediggers won Round 1 against the Argos, 95-82 on January 7th. A 4-point lead at the half was stretched out to a 13-point win for the Diggs. Tech did everything they could to slow down Marcus Stephens, and Davien Harris-Williams holding them to 10 and 14 points respectively, but Kenny Curtis went off for 23. The University of Providence’s starting 5 were all in double digits accounting for 69 of their 82 points. This Argo team is dangerous, they are next-level quick, and can all shoot from 30 feet in, making them a nightmare to defend.
It took a bit that first game, but Coach Hiatt and Coach Miller were able to get the right guys on the floor defensively to slow the Argos down, make them take bad shots, and get some turnovers. Defending this Providence team is a tall task.
The flip side of that statement is true as well. Trying to get favorable matchups against the Orediggers has to be damn near impossible. The guards, Asa Williams and Chrishon Dixon are just smooth. They can attack the lane for a layup and foul, or just as easily step back and knock down the 3-ball. They both have great vision and dish the rock with precision.
Let’s go to Hayden Diekhans, as a freshman, he amazes me every game. I feel like he is a 240-watt bulb that is currently operating at about 60 watts. He is long, athletic, and can jump out of the gym. His future is incredibly bright.
Caleb Bellach entered this season with a big ‘ole target on his back. Picked as the Pre-season MVP, he has been marked by the opposition every night, and yet he produces. On the season he is averaging 19 points a game, and when the conference fire is under him, he has only gotten better, putting up 22 a night in conference. He is playing at an unreal level this year, and it somehow keeps getting better.
Wrapping up the starting five for the Diggs is Michael Ure. Big Mike is averaging 12 points, and 7 rebounds a game. Michael has made an incredible jump from a year ago. He has great hands in the block, he rebounds hard, and can shoot! Teams have to step out and guard him or else he will knock down the 3.
I feel like I could do the same thing for the first 5 guys off the bench. This Oredigger team is so talented and so deep. Go ahead and give the ‘6th man’ award to Keeley Bake now, off the bench the guard is getting 8 points a game and shooting 45% from the arc. Yea.
Bridger Larson is a load in the paint, strong, good hands, he can also shoot the 3, and HE is getting 8 points a game off the bench. Cam Larance, Emani Scott, and Sam Gray, all contributing and all important parts of this men’s team.
Against the Argos, I really feel like Tech is going to get their points, the key is how many guys get points for the Argos. You can’t stop the 3-headed monster completely. But I feel like you can win if you limit 2 of the 3. Stephens, Curtis, and Harris-Williams are all scary good, and I think 1 of them will go off, but to win you can’t let 2 of them get hot, and if all 3 get going… break out the bugle.
Must See Basketball” Thursday night at the HPER, tip-off 7pm. Don’t miss it.
You can read the women's preview with Providence HERE.