The Montana Tech Mens Basketball Team officially announced its 2023 recruiting class.  All four newcomers are Montanans and many of the names are already familiar to fans of Butte High and Butte Central basketball.  The following is from a press release from Associate Athletic Director Nick Bowsher:

The 4 recruits join a 2-time league champion with conference MVP Caleb Bellach seen dunking here. Photo: Tommy O/Townsqure Media
The 4 recruits join a 2-time league champion with conference MVP Caleb Bellach seen dunking here. Photo: Tommy O/Townsqure Media
Phtoto courtesy
Photo courtesy

BUTTE, Mont. – Montana Tech head coach Adam Hiatt announced the 2023 Oredigger men’s basketball recruiting class today. Four freshmen, all from inside the state, will join the Orediggers next fall.

The class is made up of two student-athletes from the AA ranks as well as a class A and class C product. The two guards and two forwards joining the roster have impressive stat lines including leaders in scoring and rebounding in addition to being top performers in the state in a number of other categories.  The four are all athletic and add size to the roster at the forward position. Three of the four are playing in the Montana vs. Wyoming All-Star Basketball Series and even the and one of them was chosen for the East-West Shrine Football game this summer.  All of the recruits earned all-conference and All-State honors during their prep careers as well as a state AA divisional MVP award.

“We are pleased with this year’s recruiting class,” said head coach Adam Hiatt. “These are four of Montana’s best and most athletic from the class of 2023. We have high expectations for their development and impact on our basketball program.”

The Orediggers return all five starters from last season with only one Oredigger graduating this year. Tech is coming off back-to-back Frontier Conference Championships and tournament titles finishing with an overall record of 29-5 this season.

Lane Love – 6-5 Guard – Billings, Mont.

Played prep for head coach James Bullock at Billings Skyview HS. Led the Billings Skyview Falcons to a 14-11 overall record and a trip to the AA state tournament. Two-time All-State selection. Named 2023 Eastern AA Offensive MVP. Led the state in scoring (23.6 ppg), FTs Made (96), and FGs Made (152). Finished the season in the top 10 for steals (2.28) and grabbed 5.7 rebounds and handed out 2.2 assists per game. Played in the state tournament all three years as a varsity player and won the class AA state championship in 2021. Selected to play in the 2023 Montana vs. Wyoming All-Star Basketball Series. Lane, the son of Kamee Lambrecht Love and Rob Tesch (stepfather), and Thomas Love, plans on pursuing a degree Exercise and Health Science.

Coach Hiatt: “Lane is arguably the most talented player in the state this year. He has all the tools to be an outstanding player in the Frontier Conference. He has great length, athleticism, and feel for the game. Most importantly, he’s a great fit for us; he is a very good student and has a gregarious personality. When he develops physically, he will be an extremely impactful player for us.”

 Connor Michaud – 6-6 Forward – Frenchtown, Mont.

Played for coach Brandon Robbins at Frenchtown HS. Led the Frenchtown Broncs to a 17-9 overall record and a fourth-place finish in the Class A State Tournament. Two-time All-State selection in football and basketball. Finished the 2022-23 season as the class A top rebounder (9.5 rpg), third highest FG% (65%), fifth in blocks (1.4 bpg), and 10th in scoring (16.8). Selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game as well as the Montana vs. Wyoming All-Star Basketball Series. Connor, the son of Desiree and Glenn Michaud, plans on pursuing a degree in Molecular Biology.

Coach Hiatt: “Connor is a diamond in the rough, in the sense that his best days are absolutely in front of him. He has great length, can really finish in the paint, and is one of the best overall athletes in the state. He’s an extremely bright student and is beloved by his classmates, coaches, and administrators in Frenchtown. With his work ethic, we are confident he will reach his potential.”

Bridger Vogl – 6-2 Guard – Belt, Mont.

Played prep for coach Kyle Paulson at Belt HS. Led the Belt Huskies to a 24-4 overall record, a district and divisional championship, and a trip to the Class C State Tournament. Three-time All-State selection in football and basketball. Won a state championship in football in the fall of 2022. Scored 1400 career points and averaged 16.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, and 4 apg his senior year. Bridger, the son of Crystal and Todd Vogl, plans on pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering.

Coach Hiatt: “Bridger is a great fit for our program. He’s an accomplished student, a thoughtful leader, and a relentless competitor. He shoots the ball very well and can really defend. Having him attend camp the last three summers made it very clear he was a player we needed in our program. Nobody will work harder than Bridger Vogl. He is a winner.”

Noah Dowler – 6-8 Forward – Kalispell, Mont.

Played prep for coach Mark Hawkins at Glacier HS. Led the Glacier Wolfpack to a 17-8 overall record and a third place finish at the Class AA State Tournament. Western AA all-conference selection. Finished the 2022-23 season as the class AA leading rebounder (8.2), fifth best shot blocker (1.1), and eighth best in FG% (52.2). Averaged 8.1ppg, 8.2rpg, 1.2apg, 1.1bpg. Selected to play in the 2023 Montana vs Wyoming All-Star Basketball Series. Noah, the son of Jacy and Luke Dowler, plans on pursuing a degree in Organismal and Ecological Biology.

Coach Hiatt: “We are very excited to have Noah in the program. He has untapped potential that reminds us of a young Taylor England. He has all the tools to be a force in our conference. He’s very athletic, he has a next-level wingspan, and he has a frame that can develop into a physical force. We love that Noah wants to be coached and wants to be a player. He’s a terrific fit for the program.”

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