Montana basketball: 2017-2018 was record-setting season for Grizzlies

The 2017-18 Montana men’s basketball season was record-setting on many levels. Below is a look at some of the on-court accomplishments:

  • Montana’s 26 wins were the third-most in school history, and the most in 26 seasons.
  • The Grizzlies won the Big Sky Conference regular-season and tournament titles, advancing to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2013.
  • It marked the fifth time in program history that a Montana team has won both the regular-season championship and tournament title.
  • Montana reached 20 wins for the third time in DeCuire’s four seasons. The Grizzlies have finished at least .500 all four seasons, advancing to three postseason tournaments.
  • The Grizzlies won their first 13 conference games. The winning streak was one game shy of tying a school record and was the third-longest active streak in the NCAA at the time.
  • Montana set a school record with seven consecutive true road wins from Dec. 28 through Feb. 3.
  • Montana finished its home slate undefeated (14-0). It marked the first time in 26 seasons, and the fifth time ever, that the Grizzlies have posted a perfect home record.
  • Montana finished the regular season ranked No. 14 in the College Insider Mid-Major Top 25.
  • Montana was named to the NABC Team Academic Excellence Award for the second consecutive season (cumulative GPA above 3.0; 100 percent graduation rate).
  • Montana posted its first winning non-conference record since 2011-12, including a win at Pitt – its first over a Power-5 program since 2010 and first over an ACC team since 1966.
  • DeCuire was named the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year after leading Montana to a 16-2 mark and an outright league title.
  • DeCuire became the fastest coach in Big Sky history to win 50 conference games, needing just 65 games (currently 55-17).
  • The Grizzlies had three of the 15 players named to the All-Big Sky Conference teams: Ahmaad Rorie (first team), Michael Oguine (second team) and Jamar Akoh (third team).
  • Rorie also earned NABC All-District 6 first-team honors, while Oguine was named the Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year and Big Sky Championship Most Outstanding Player.
  • Montana was the only Big Sky team to have three players rank in the top 15 for scoring.
  • Fabijan Krslovic concluded his stellar career with a school-record 132 games played.
  • Both Oguine (32nd member) and Rorie (33rd) joined Montana’s 1,000-point scoring club.
  • Montana led the Big Sky Conference in five statistical categories and ranked in the top three in 14.
  • The Grizzlies were one of 17 schools nationally to rank in the top 100 for scoring offense (78.1; 67th) and scoring defense (68.7; 80th).
  • Ranked in the top 25 nationally for turnovers forced (15.4; 21st), steals (7.8; 22nd) and turnover margin (+3.0; 27th).
  • Ranked in the top 10 percent of all NCAA Division-I teams for getting to the free-throw line, averaging 23.3 free throws per game (27th in NCAA) and making an average of 16.5 (30th).
  • Ranked in the top 50 nationally for shooting percentage (.471), shooting above 50 percent a dozen times.
  • Out-rebounded its opponent 24 times and averaged 12.0 offensive rebounds per game (52nd nationally).
  • From Dec. 17 through the conclusion of the Big Sky Championship, Montana won 21 of 24 games.
  • Swept the season series with rival Montana State, pushing the series advantage in Montana’s favor for the first time in the 117-year history of the rivalry (149-148).
  • On Dec. 30 and Jan. 4, Montana won back-to-back games by 30 points, marking the first time in 44 seasons Montana had accomplished that feat. The team’s 13.3 margin-of-victory average during Big Sky play was the best in the league.
  • The Grizzlies scored 109 points in a home win over North Dakota (Jan. 4), the third-most in school history and highest point total since 1991.