Montana State

Sprinkle spends first season leading Bobcats by redefining MSU’s identity

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Since his days as a player at Montana State, Danny Sprinkle has been well aware and in fact a part of MSU’s reputation for always having slick guards who can score no matter the overall performance of the Bobcat men’s basketball teams.

As a true freshman in 1996, Sprinkle shot the Bobcats into the NCAA Tournament. The Helena High native earned Big Sky Tournament MVP and propelled Montana State in to the Big Dance for the third time in school history. MSU has not returned in nearly 25 years later.

In his first season as the head coach at his alma mater, Sprinkle went to work revamping the identity of the current Bobcats. He did not however take the approach of Mick Durham, MSU’s head coach for 16 seasons, Sprinkle’s head coach for the duration of his career and the Big Sky’s all-time leader in conference wins at the time of his resignation in 2006.

Durham’s teams played a fair amount of defense but when they were at their best, Sprinkle, Scott Hatler, Nico Harrison, Quadre Lollis and Nate Holmstad were running, gunning and lighting up scoreboards across the Big Sky.

Sprinkle did not want his team to identify with the same philosophies as Brad Huse’s squads. Huse, a former Montana Tech standout who first earned a reputation at the Division I level as an assistant at Montana, was an ace at recruiting athletic junior college players but few of them ever meshed together enough to make MSU a serious conference contender.

Since his days as a player at Montana State, Danny Sprinkle has been well aware and in fact a part of MSU’s reputation for always having slick guards who can score no matter the overall performance of the Bobcat men’s basketball teams.

As a true freshman in 1996, Sprinkle shot the Bobcats into the NCAA Tournament. The Helena High native earned Big Sky Tournament MVP and propelled Montana State in to the Big Dance for the third time in school history. MSU has not returned in nearly 25 years later.

In his first season as the head coach at his alma mater, Sprinkle went to work revamping the identity of the current Bobcats. He did not however take the approach of Mick Durham, MSU’s head coach for 16 seasons, Sprinkle’s head coach for the duration of his career and the Big Sky’s all-time leader in conference wins at the time of his resignation in 2006.

Durham's teams played a fair amount of defense but when they were at their best, Sprinkle, Scott Hatler, Nico Harrison, Quadre Lollis and Nate Holmstad were running, gunning and lighting up scoreboards across the Big Sky.

Sprinkle did not want his team to identify with the same philosophies as Brad Huse’s squads. Huse, a former Montana Tech standout who first earned a reputation at the Division I level as an assistant at Montana, was an ace at recruiting athletic junior college players but few of them ever meshed together enough to make MSU a serious conference contender.

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Photos by Brooks Nuanez. All Rights Reserved.


About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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