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Montana Tech Basketball Inks Two


7/16/2012

Head men’s basketball coach Aaron Woliczko announced the signing of two players for the 2012-13 season. Nathan Smith of Perth, Australia and Layne Simon of Whitehall have signed letters of intent to play basketball at Montana Tech. These two signings brings the Oredigger recruiting class up to six which includes two international signees.

Smith, a 6’7" post, brings much needed size to the Orediggers as well as international experience.

"We are very excited to add Nathan Smith to our program," said head coach Woliczko. "It is a huge plus anytime you can sign someone with international experience and Nathan has that."

Playing in international competition for Australia at the Under 19 level, Smith averaged 6.2 points per game on 44.4-percent shooting. He also grabbed 7.0 rebounds a game and added 1.2 assists.

While playing at the national level, he averaged 8.5 points per game on 49.1-percent shooting in addition to 5.3 rebounds and 1.0 assist.

"He is a solid shooter to 17 feet with quality post skills, he rebounds well and isn’t afraid to mix it up defensively in the paint. He takes and makes great shots which is evident in his field goal percentages, he can also initiate offense at his size taking great care of the ball. His size will help us immediately."

Playing at the club level in the 2011 State Championship Tournament, Smith was named MVP as his team took first place.

In his spare time, he is a volunteer firefighter with his dad, Mark.

Smith plans to major in Business and Information Technology at Montana Tech.

Layne Simon, a 6’5" forward from Whitehall High School, helped his team take fourth place in the State Class B Tournament last year. Last year was the second year in a row making the state tournament and they were district champions both years as well.

At Whitehall, Simon averaged 14.1 points per game, 9.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.3 blocks.

"Layne is first and foremost a great person," said Whitehall head coach Zach McLean.

"He has worked very hard to make himself a college basketball player. Layne is a very unselfish player who has always been a team first player. I am extremely happy to see him continue his basketball career at Montana Tech."

Simon was named second team all-conference his freshman year and first team all-conference and all-state the rest of his high school career. He played in the Southwest All Star Game as a sophomore through his senior year. As a senior, he played in the Senior Classic All Star Game.

"Layne really fits in with our players and has played well over the past few years of us watching him, but more importantly he plays hard," said Woliczko. "He can really stroke the three from the corners, can finish at the basket, and has sneaky bounce. We are thrilled to add Layne to Montana Tech Basketball!"