Junior college transfer Marko Kovacevic was ruled ineligible by the NCAA, creating another hole to fill for the Montana Grizzlies.
According to Yahoo Sports, Kovacevic did not receive a high enough grade in a math class that he took while at Western Nebraska Community College. The Grizzlies are appealing the ruling and hoping that he will be reinstated for the season.
Kovacevic was supposed to replace Derek Selvig, last season's center, and help Montana get back to the NCAA Tournament. He was 6-11 and a number of programs were scrambling for his services, according to NBCSports' Rob Dauster, because after all, who wouldn't want a guy that size. His loss leaves the Grizzlies very thin at the forward position, even with Mathias Ward in the mix.
The news also comes at the same time that the country is learning about the foot injury of Will Cherry, the presumptive player of the year candidate in the Big Sky conference. If that loss left Montana with a big hole, this one pulls them even further back into the pack.
Rob Dauster at NBC Sports thinks that Montana will still be fine in conference -- if Cherry returns on time -- but its seeding in the NCAA Tournament could be impacted:
Even without Kovacevic this season, Montana should be the favorite to win the Big Sky if they are able to get Cherry back by the time league play starts (Dec. 19th). The problem? Montana will essentially be losing two starters for non-conference play. The Grizzlies don't exactly play a murderer's row, but they do get early-season matchups with South Dakota State, Colorado State and BYU, three teams that could end up making the NCAA tournament.
No matter what February and March bring, this final week of September has not be a good one in Big Sky country.