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  • Phillip Malatare from Arlee

    I just watched the video of this kid, who I hear will walk-on at Montana. On a thread about him over at esugar, some were discussing whether he was good enough to play Big Sky BB. This kid has got some of the best basketball instincts I have seen in many years for a high school kid. He already handles the ball and passes better than any current Griz guard. He reminds me of a shorter version of Pistol Pete Maravich or better yet, another Steve Nash.! He is only about 5'11", but I assure you he can easily play at this level.

    He is the best player in the state at any level. Forget about him only playing at a Class C level. A kid can either play, or not play. Level means nothing. Some of the best college players have come from really small high schools. You watch this video and then tell me what skills Malaware lacks which would keep him from playing at UM?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wv1C6Eas-3I
    Last edited by growler; 03-07-2018, 09:08 PM.

  • #2
    Anyone remember Dave Gustafson from Simms, or Alan Neilsen from Westby? Both great Griz players from Class C schools. Unfortunately, both players were killed in freak accidents very young in life.

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    • #3
      If you have not watched the YouTube of Malaware, you should do it. His passing skills are better than Timmy Falls, but both are similar at that skill. Can you imagine having Malaware and Falls on the court at the same time with their passing ability? Watching them would be like watching the Harlem Globetrotters! Living in Phoenix, I had the luxury of watching Steve Nash for years, and Malaware reminds me so much of Nash that it is incredible! Those of you who are doubters about this kid because he only plays at the Class C level will eat crow in a couple of years, if in fact Malaware comes to Montana like I am hearing.
      Last edited by growler; 03-13-2018, 08:57 AM.

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      • #4
        Listening to some of my friends who are from the Arlee area, were pretty honest in the assessment of him in my estimation. He's got great ball skills, in the realm of Mike Chavez basketball skills (different skill set obviously), but the hard thing to know is whether that is going to translate to the D1 level. With Mike he was everything of 6-8 and had the size, with Malatare isn't big. I have been told he has performed well at Camps and in the summer circuit, but again the general assumption from coaches was whether his skill set was going to translate. Thus while he has done well, the tepid recruiting of him.

        I am super happy that he is going to walk on at the UM. He is worth taking a shot at, and from what I hear, he won't be outworked on the floor.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Grizfan-24 View Post
          Listening to some of my friends who are from the Arlee area, were pretty honest in the assessment of him in my estimation. He's got great ball skills, in the realm of Mike Chavez basketball skills (different skill set obviously), but the hard thing to know is whether that is going to translate to the D1 level. With Mike he was everything of 6-8 and had the size, with Malatare isn't big. I have been told he has performed well at Camps and in the summer circuit, but again the general assumption from coaches was whether his skill set was going to translate. Thus while he has done well, the tepid recruiting of him.

          I am super happy that he is going to walk on at the UM. He is worth taking a shot at, and from what I hear, he won't be outworked on the floor.
          I always have to laugh at the mantra about a kid "translating his skills to the Div. I level". Can any of the current Griz guards dribble as well as Malaware? No. Can any of the Griz guards pass the ball like Malaware (even Falls is a step below in this skill). The answer is no. Can Malware create shots? Yes. Can Malaware shoot the "3"? Yes. These skills do not disappear simply because a kid plays Division I basketball.

          Now, the fact that he is short and not very stout will present challenges...... more on the defensive end than on offense. but, Steve Nash was only 6'1", not 6'3" like the program stated. I was told this by Craig Fuohy, the Phoenix ABC affiliate sportscaster (also a former Griz assistant football coach in the 1980s) John Stockton was also 6'1". stockton had only two Div. I offers (Montana & Gonzaga). There is a place for a 5'11" point guard with the amazing skills that Malaware possesses, especially at the Mid-Major level. Steve Nash had only ONE Division I offer (Santa Clara), not exactly a basketball power. Malaware reminds me more of Steve Nash than any other high school kid I have seen. He is so quick with his first-step in a man-up situation, that he goes by his defender and penetrates the paint with ease, allowing his superior passing skills to find open players, just like Nash did for so many years.

          Why would anyone try to compare his skill set with Mike Chavez, a 6'8" forward? There is no way that Chavez could handle the rock, nor pass the ball like Malaware! The ONLY comparison is that they are both American Indian.

          I might be wrong about this kid, but I don't think so! I am willing to go on record now in predicting that Malware will be a great Big Sky point guard if in fact he comes to Montana/
          Last edited by growler; 03-15-2018, 10:19 AM.

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          • #6
            Malatare is by far and away the best Native American and Small school kid since Mike Chavez. I get your point and I do agree. I should have been more clear on why I was using Chavez. And yes size shouldn't matter.

            In my limited number of years of coaching against Class C schools and against Reservation schools, there have been plenty of volume scorers. When Mike was at Heart Butte before transferring to Browning, Mike was the most skilled big man I had seen regardless of class until that point. Moreover, it was pretty apparent that not only would his size play but his skill. Mike was clearly one of the 5 best players in Montana, and a candidate to play at the DI level. He had next level passing skills, pretty comparable to Malatare honestly, decent athleticism, and other skills that differentiated him from everyone else around him.

            Malatare in some ways reminds me of where Criswell was in the recruiting process before walking on at the UM. In retrospect, I probably should have used him as the comparison and not Chavez. What is true, is that in regards to skill level comparison, Malatare is likely the best native hoops player since Chavez. Back to Criswell, there was a perception that his skill set and athleticism wouldn't play at the DI level. Coaches are pretty stupid sometimes because they do it with measurables with high school kids. Not sure that Criswell looked the part when he left Colstrip, and I am not sure Malatare does either. I do believe where Malatare went to school played a huge role. We wouldn't question Malatare's skill had he done it at Hellgate.

            When I first asked a few of my friends who coach and are in the area, the first comparison that came out their mouth was Camel. They aren't even close in athleticism, and they did what I did with Chavez in regards to native hoops player. I do think Malatare is a more refined guard than Camel might have been at that age. This happens every time a good to great Native kid comes on the scene and conversations about the next level. I have made the mistake, and I know others do too.

            I can't help the perception that drives Reservation basketball, but when you talk to college guys and fellow high school coaches in Montana, sometimes you'll get an utterance "Oh but that is Reservation Basketball." As if basketball on Reservations is some sort of lawless and unrefined sport from back in the 1970's. I experienced that even when I was coaching in Idaho. I don't think that is the reason why Phillip wasn't recruited more heavily, but I can see coaches not wanting to venture into a Class C gym to take a look at a kid. Especially in Montana where the AAU circuit isn't as developed, and the desire for coaches to spend their summer at AAU tournaments these days and not spend a lot of time in outposts of Montana watching kids during the high school season.


            Cause I do think Malatare should have received more attention, instead of a walk-on offer from the UM and a scholarship offer from Montana Tech. That is a wide gulf between DI and NAIA and I cannot honestly speak as to whether there were other offers. In a sport that is obsessed with 'length', I can see why teams would take a step back. He's 6-foot, probably 150 pounds and plays at or below the rim. His skills can play, but with kids like Malatare you are going to get more 'buts' than people willing to accept the kid is a basketball prodigy. And I have heard a lot of that the past couple of years with Malatare. I heard it with Chavez and Criswell too.

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            • #7
              I agree with you statement saying that "if Malware played at Hellgate", the pundits would label him the best player in the state and a Div. I prospect. Which goes back to my original statement that "if a kid can play the game, the level he plays at means nothing". Jerry West played at Cabin Creek, West Virginia (population 27). If Malaware can end up being as good at UM as Criswell, will everyone finally say he is a Div. I player? My prediction is that he will be better than Criswell. Criswell could not dribble or pass like Malaware. Criswell was more of a shooting guard, while Malaware will be a pure point guard. I guess we'll see if I know anything about basketball, huh?

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              • #8
                If you watched UMBC dismantle the #1 seeded Virginia tonight, so saw exactly why a super-quick 5'5" point guard with ball-handling/passing skills can still be a very effective player at the Div. I level. I think we are gonna LOVE Phil Malatare!

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                • #9
                  Just visited the BB forum at esugar, where they are discussing Malatare. I have to laugh at the posters who say they have seen him play in person, and try to say that he only looks great because of the low level of competition. Anyone with a clue about the game of basketball knows that the fundamental skills of ball-handling, passing, shot-creation off the dribble, and shooting skills can translate to any level of high school or college. Larry Bird played in French Lick Indiana high school with 200 students! Jerry West played high school BB in Cabin Creek, W. Va with only 12 boys in his graduating class! I assure you that Malware handles the basketball much better right now than any Grizzly guard. And passing skills???? If you think Tim Falls is a great passer, you're gonna LOVE watching Malaware. He is even BETTER! And, Falls is not even CLOSE in ball-handling skills!

                  As I have said previously about him........ don't fret too much about his lack of height, except on defense. On offense, he will be a super point guard, with the ability to penetrate and pass. He will be an "assist machine". I have never seen a player who reminds me as much of Steve Nash as Malatare.

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                  • #10
                    If any of you read the BB forum on esugar, you have read the comments from the poster named "city". That guy knows the game of basketball, and makes some of the most astute posts on that site. City LOVES Malatare, and thinks he will be a star guard at Montana. I concur 100%. Griz fans are gonna fall in love with this kid! Mark it down!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by growler View Post
                      If any of you read the BB forum on esugar, you have read the comments from the poster named "city". That guy knows the game of basketball, and makes some of the most astute posts on that site. City LOVES Malatare, and thinks he will be a star guard at Montana. I concur 100%. Griz fans are gonna fall in love with this kid! Mark it down!
                      Alas, Malatare has signed an NLI with North Idaho College. Good for him on getting some of his schooling cost taken care of by taking a scholly. I wish we would have offered him one from the 2 or 3 open ones we had.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MissoulaMarinerFan View Post

                        Alas, Malatare has signed an NLI with North Idaho College. Good for him on getting some of his schooling cost taken care of by taking a scholly. I wish we would have offered him one from the 2 or 3 open ones we had.
                        Are you serious? I had not heard that. We may lose him now because I have a feeling teams like Gonzaga will be on him after his frosh JC season. I think TC is making a huge mistake with this kid. This kind of talent does not come along often in Montana, DeCuire is letting him go to a JC.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by growler View Post

                          Are you serious? I had not heard that. We may lose him now because I have a feeling teams like Gonzaga will be on him after his frosh JC season. I think TC is making a huge mistake with this kid. This kind of talent does not come along often in Montana, DeCuire is letting him go to a JC.
                          Yep. Here's the Link from NBC Montana:
                          After leading Arlee to their first and second ever state basketball championships the past two years, senior Phillip Malatare has landed on his next home to continue his basketball career.The two time all-state selection is headed to North Idaho, a communi

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