Mitchell Schwab, who graduated with the SVHS Class of ‘08, has signed to play with the Montana State Bobcats this upcoming season. Schwab will join the Bobcat basketball program as a walk-on for the 2011-12 season, according to MSU coach Brad Huse. “Mitchell is an older, more mature player,” Huse said. “Once he gets acclimated to our program we expect him to provide leadership and a good physical presence.”
Schwab led the Braves in all major statistical categories his senior season, scoring 17.7 points per game, pulling down 6.5 rebounds per game, dishing out 3.1 assists per game and swatting 1.1 blocks per contest.
After serving a two-year LDS mission in New Hampshire, Schwab was enrolled last fall at West Hills Community College.
After a lengthy process of working through obstacles with the NCAA, Schwab was recently awarded eligibility. It’s a goal he wanted to chase for himself.
“When I got back, I thought I’d always having regret if I didn’t pursue it,” he said. Everything my dad signed on my mission said no regrets. I had no regrets on my mission and I didn’t want any when I got home.”
Schwab is believed to be the first D-I player from Star Valley since Marty Kleeman played for the Wyoming Cowboys in the 1997-98 & 1998-99 seasons where he played for Larry Shyatt and Steve McClain.
It is a unique situation for the 22-year old freshman who has already been challenged by the staff to expand his game.
For Huse’s part, he is quietly optimistic.
“Time will tell,” he continued. “He is a guy who is hungry to be a DI player. We think he can bring some traits to our program from a maturity and experience standpoint. He passes the eye test for a guy who can play on the perimeter. We need a more thorough read to where his strengths within the program.”
The Bobcats are looking to bounce back with a winning season after finishing (13-18) with a very young team last year. The program had a winning record in 2009-10.
“We have a few unknowns. We lost our top two scorers, we were very young. We’ve supplemented our guys with some JUCO transfers; by the time we hit league we should be pretty competitive. I like our talent level.”
Huse believes that Schwab aids his team and could be an x-factor after finally finding his spot with MSU.
“All’s well that ends well,” Huse added. We’re excited that Montana State is a good fit for him and from a basketball standpoint; Sometimes things just work out and I think [this is] a case of that.”
Schwab also feels it was a perfect fit.
“The coaches have been awesome because I had to get cleared and it seems like they put all their effort
into the players. They are the nicest guys I’ve ever met. I just knew I’d found a home and it’s been the same ever since.”
Huse is beginning his sixth year of coaching the Bobcats He has compiled a (68-83) record in Bozeman.
Huse and the Bobcats will meet up with the Utah Utes this season as part of a difficult schedule outside the Big Sky, which also includes New Mexico and Arizona State.
Currently, Schwab is projected to play small forward for the ‘Cats.
“I just want to give it all every single practice,” he replied. “If I don’t do that I can’t improve. The hardest workers will get the spots. I feel like I have a lot more faith that I’m going to improve with this staff.”