Griz Staying Optimistic - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Griz Staying Optimistic

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After a rocky start to the conference season the Griz are optimistic after their last road trip. They beat Idaho State and fell just short to a tough Weber State team in a game they could have won.

"I thought we really grew up and I told the guys in the locker room after the game I thought we matured.  Some leadership emerged, Kareem was great, so a lot of positives but we are sitting here at 3-5 and it's not real rosy but we know we are heading in the right direction," said Griz Head Coach Wayne Tinkle.

"I'm not really too worried because I know this is the toughest conference that I've played in so far and everyone is going to beat up on everybody so I think the teams that finish strong the last six weeks will be the ones that make it to the playoffs," said Griz Senior Guard Kareem Jamar.

One thing the Griz have changed up is their starting lineup.  Coach Tinkle inserted freshman Mario Dunn in place of forward Mike Weisner and it's given the team a boost.

"We liked what it gave us with another handler at the four, Kareem is our leading rebounder and we haven't been getting many rebounds out of that spot so it answered a lot of the problems we thought it would," said Tinkle.

The Griz are currently 3-5 in league and sitting in eighth place.  If the conference tournament started today they wouldn't be in and it has them paying attention to the standings a little more than in years past.

"I have been blessed where I have never really had to check the standings (knowing we were 1 or 2) but this year some teammates have been checking and letting me know but I don't really check that much," said Jamar.

"My assistants do that and I warn them 'hey wait a minute lets not get too ahead of ourselves and they say if we get both this week we will be right in the middle of it.  But I am more let's take it daily and where we are in the standings will take care of itself," said Tinkle.

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