Northern hosts former NCAA Division I players
By Heidi Boyum
Former Bobcat teammates Jermaine Walton and E.J. Little will join this year's Northern Lights as senior transfers from Bozeman to round out a roster that includes two returning seniors.
Walton, a 5-foot-11 guard, started every game for the 'Cats last year averaging nine points and six assists. He recently dished a record-breaking 17 assists in the Lights' season opener against Lethbridge Community College.
Brian Harrell, former MSU-Bozeman assistant men's coach and first-year Lights coach, describes Walton as an All-American candidate and said Walton is playing so hard and so unselfishly that the other players are feeding off of that.
Little averaged six points per game for the 'Cats and, as a 6-foot-6 forward capable of handling the ball on the perimeter or taking the game inside, will create matchup problems for opposing teams.
"In addition to creating matchup problems, E.J. is very athletic and capable of running the floor extremely well," Harrell said.
Former college ball player Harrell played two years each at Northwest College and Eastern Montana College before moving on as a graduate assistant at Northern Colorado State while finishing a master's degree.
Harrell returned to NWC where he held both the assistant men's and head women's positions for a combined four years, and most recently spent his last five years at MSU-Bozeman as the men's team coaching assistant.
"I was given the opportunity to do my own thing as head coach of the Lights, so I took it," Harrell said. This will be Harrell's first year at MSU-N and as a men's head coach.
Returning for the Lights are seniors Josh Hays and K.C. Moultrie. Harrell said 6-foot-6 center Hays can score consistently from the block and knows how to get to the foul line, while 6-foot guard Moultrie is a fierce competitor who leads by example.
Harrell describes 6-foot-9 senior Faheem Nelson as an extremely talented center, offensively, who will continue to improve throughout the season. Nelson transferred to MSU-N from Biola University in Fresno, Calif.
Meshing together nine transfers, two returners and six first-timers is going to take some time, Harrell said, but having five seniors is definitely to the Lights' advantage.
"Seniors approach the season differently then everyone else," said Harrell. "They are really focused right now and are leading our team."
Junior forward Charlie Ereaux has earned the name Charlie "Hustle" from his teammates because of his enthusiasm. Ereaux is one of those players you hate to play against, Harrell said.
Harrell describes 6-foot-6 forward Uros Mirkovic as a utility player who is strong in the three or the four position. The junior transfer from Pensacola Junior College is expected to give the Lights a competitive edge.
Sophomore center Spencer Lazosky has all the tools to become a great player, and freshman guard Jeff Graham is a great shooter who is shooting with a lot of confidence right now, Harrell said. Lazosky is a graduate of Billings West, and Graham graduated from Chester High.
Jared Moultrie, a 6-foot-2 freshman and brother to senior K.C. Moultrie, is a versatile player who can play the one, two and three positions, Harrell said.
"Jared also takes great pride in his defense and understands the game well," Harrell said. "He knows how to do all those little things it takes to help a team win."
Juniors Ed Running Rabbit and Kent Douglas, along with sophomore Tabarus Phillips, will also contribute to the team effort this season.
Red-shirting for the Lights are Koire Rogers, Brian McGowen, Tyler Viste and Havre native Landen Grant.
"Everyone brings different things to the table," Harrell said, hesitant to define specific roles or list starters this early in the season. "Everyone's going to get to play a lot and that's going to be one of our strengths. We can go many different ways depending on who we play against and who plays well in practice."
Harrell is assisted by Mike Erickson and Warren Quick.
The MSU-N Lights will take on the Sons of the Blue Angels Saturday at 8 p.m. Sons of the Blue Angels are a traveling team composed primarily of former Division I players and also former Bobcats Adam Leechman, Dan Sullivan and Scott Hatler. The Sons of the Blue Angels are a talented and organized team, Harrell said, and he expects a good contest.
A preview of the women's basketball team will be in Monday's Havre Daily News. A preview of the wrestling season will appear in Tuesday's edition.