Sleeper No Longer

It isn't often that high major coaches turn to the state of Montana for basketball recruits. After a strong summer

It isn't all that often that you hear or read about potential high major prospects from the state of Montana. But, 6-foot-7 combo forward Josh Huestis of Great Falls (Mont.) CM Russell is making waves on that level. Considered the best in his state, he's emerging as one of the best in the country.

During July, Huestis had his chance in front of scouts and coaches alike while playing with Dinos Trigonis' Belmont Shore squad.

"I thought that I really hit the ground running," said Huestis. "I was a little worried coming down but I thought that I did really well and took it all in stride. I'm happy with what I'm doing."

A long and wiry built forward, Huestis has outstanding athleticism. Not only can he run fast and jump high, he's quite agile, laterally quick and has good coordination. Those assets serve him quite well on the glass where he's an outstanding rebounder, whether it be in or out of his area.

"My biggest strength is rebounding," said Huestis. "I know the one thing that you can do every game is rebound. If your shot isn't falling then you can always rebound, so I always like to do that."

While he can rebound at a high level, Huestis is a good shooter from 17 feet and in and a clever offensive player. He handles the ball some and is also a good defender. However, he also understands that he is a bit of a tweener and is moving more towards playing on the wing as much as possible.

"I see myself as a three/four," said Huestis. "Primarily playing at the three but also able to play at the four too. Hopefully I'm still growing so I think I could be a big three. You know, somebody that can take bigger men off the dribble or take smaller guys to the post."

Towards the end of July, Huestis had heard from Montana, Montana State, Washington State, Santa Clara while drawing an offer from USC. Johnny Dawkins and the Stanford Cardinal are in what is sure to become a more crowded mix as well.

"I've talked to Stanford," Huestis told The Bootleg. "They said that they were going to be watching me for my high school season. Then when they found I'd be out on the road they've been at a couple of games. I've talked to them and they know who I am. I'm just trying to make an impression."

While it will likely take until at least the first few weeks of August to sort out new interest, Huestis does hope to develop a more set list as he enters his senior year. One thing's for sure, grades won't be an issue for Montana, and now one of the nation's, finest.

"I'm not going to say that I love school, but I've got to do it," said Huestis of his perfect GPA. "So, I take pride in working hard at it. I know that once I get to college I'm going to work really hard to get my degree because you always have to have something to do after basketball."

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