Cleveland, TN-(WDEF-TV) Ryan Montgomery always brings the energy for the Lee basketball team with his dazzling dunks. But now the 6’6 senior is even more dangerous because he’s bringing an all-around game. The former Chattanooga Central standout is a big reason why the Flames sit in first place in their conference standings.
When Ryan Montgomery got to Lee, the struggle was real.
Said guard Parker Suedekum:”Ryan was a Momma’s boy when he came in. He was kind of soft.”
Said head coach Bubba Smith:”He didn’t like to guard when he got here. That’s for sure. He did not like to guard.”
Now, nobody wants to guard Montgomery. He put in the work to make himself a candidate this season for the Gulf South Conference player of the year.
Said Montgomery:”I’ve got to be able to shoot the ball. High school I was more athletic than everybody. I could jump over everybody. Grab rebounds. Like I said, coming to this level, everybody is athletic, so you’ve got to have jump shots. Got to be able to knock down free throws. I think that was my biggest weakness.”
Said Smith:”He spent all summer working on his shot because towards the end of last year, teams started game planning a little bit. Baiting him into taking some of those shots. So I think he was offended by that. I think he was motivated by that. He went to the off-season and spent all summer, again working on his shot. Building confidence in that to the point where he has made himself a multi-dimensional player.”
Montgomery currently leads the conference in scoring at nearly 20-points a game.
Said Montgomery:”Coming into my freshman year, I didn’t think I was going to be the leading scorer here. I mean I just put in a lot of work this summer. My coaches believed in me. They just told me hey, we’re going to lean on you this year.”
Said Suedekum:”Unlike other people in the Gulf South, he doesn’t take a bunch of shots or force a bunch of shots. All of his shots are in our offense.”
Montgomery’s high flying dunks literally ignite the Flames.
Said Smith:”I want guys like him that have that. Certainly have that gift of athleticism to. Hey if you can put it on somebody, then go hammer it. It can change the direction of the game. It can change the tempo of the game. He has certainly done that for us plenty in his career.”