Montana State-Billings should improve on last season's record. The Yellowjackets have played on exhibition game and that resulted in a five point victory against the Dakota Athletic Conference powerhouse Dickinson State University. They were recently picked 8th in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference preseason poll to which head coach George Pfeifer said:
“Preseason polls are often a byproduct of returning players and the performance of last season’s team which was 1-28,” head coach George Pfeifer said. “If that formula is true anyone who is paying attention understands our current ranking. One of our immediate team goals has to be gaining more ‘respect’. I believe in the athletic arena it is not so much earned as it is taken. We have our work cut out to do that and change the perception.”Travis Bunker, Derrick Wright, Mario Burns, Kirk Blaine, and Michael Hall have been starting for the Yellowjackets during their exhibition season. Senior guard Michael Hall looks to be the one to watch for MSU-B. You might remember Hall from last year when Gonzaga played Idaho. He transferred over to Montana State-Billings to play under George Pfeiefer again. The transformation appears to be going smoothly and he had 32 points in their most recent game against Dickinson St. Derrick Wright is the player to watch in the paint for George Pfeifer's team. Wright is a very effective scorer around the basket and is a key piece to the success for this team. He was 7-8 from the floor in the Yellowjackets most recent game. At 6'7'', 240 pounds, Wright has the size to be an impact player in the game against the Zags.
In the history of the two programs, the Yellowjackets and Zags have played nine times with Gonzaga winning eight of those games.
Their will be a special visitor to watch the action tomorrow. Kelly Olynyk will be visiting Spokane this weekend. Olynyk is a 6'10'' guard, yes guard from Canada. He is Mangisto Arop's teammate on the NEDA team. We're hoping Manny makes the trip down as well but that remains to be seen.
We'll have more for you on Montana State-Billings later today, including our keys to the game. Gameday is only a day away!