By Mick Holien
The Grizzlies weren’t all that sure what they had when Stew Morrill and his staff recruited Delvon Anderson from San Francisco City College in 1990.
While the 6 foot 4 inch junior college transfer with whom I share a birthday averaged a double-double and made better than half of his shots it was his toughness that brought his recruitment to UM where Morrill was in his final season before taking the Colorado State job.
Del joined a class with All-leaguer Kevin Kearney, Eric Jordan, Keith Crawford, Nate Achison, and a pair of Montans sharp shooter Roger Fasting from Glendive and the big fellah from Geraldine Daren Engellant. Current Griz coach Travis DeGuire was a transfer sophomore while the underclassmen included Nate Covill, Gary Kane, Josh Lacheur, Jeremy Lake and Matt Kempfert.
You can find those names on a lot of historical Grizzly ledgers as that team went 23-8, won a Big Sky Conference title for the first time since 1975 and made the first of consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
The following year, now under Blaine Taylor, Del was named the league MVP while averaging north of 14 a game, tenth in the league, corralling seven and a half boards, eighth best, fourth in steals, as well as second in three-point percentage..
His senior team won a modern day best 27 game against four losses He was the guts of those two title teams, won the Eaheart Award as the team’s top defender as a junior and twice was accorded the Naseby Rhinehart Award as the most Inspirational player.
Upon completing his eligibility Del had scored 861 points in just two years, which stood at the time 22nd on the all-time scoring list.
After college he played a bit professionally, then completed his under grad degree and obtained a Masters degree.
Del died too young last summer at 49 and his , as well as Taylor an assistant at Cal Irvine, be on hand tonight to accept an award from the Legends Classic Tournament just participated in by Montana.
The second of former Grizzly hoopsters recently died is journeyman forward Marcus Rosser, from Philadelphia who passed in Missoula at the age of 36. He was recruited here in 2001.