Woodside is 1A. But is Lawrence Alexander approaching 1B? Or 1A-minus?

I have a story addressing this issue going in Thursday’s newspaper, but one of the factors that has helped the Bison men to a 13-7 record despite not having a very deep roster is an adjustment in how head coach Dave Richman is handling the practice schedule. He’s not beating them up.

Guard Lawrence Alexander is fourth in the country in minutes played at 38.3 a game, which means it takes you longer to go get a soda at Scheels Arena than it does for Alexander to sit on the bench. What Richman has done to help that situation is get more out of his team in less time in the gym — there is no sense in making guys go up and down the floor for three hours. “We’ve tweaked some things in how we practice,” he said.

Asked if he’s concerned Alexander could wear out, Richman said, “Yeah, there’s always that concern but we’ve tried to alleviate some of that concern but what he does or doesn’t do in practice. Because on game nights, we’re going to ride or die a little bit with him.”

Alexander, by the way, passed Ben Woodside for the NDSU career record in minutes played. That seems crazy to me since Woodside was one of those guys that never came out of the game. You never wanted him out of the game. Still the career leader in points, Woodside is still the best point guard in Bison history. But question is this: at this rate, if Woodside is 1A, is Alexander 1B? He did lead the team, after all, to a rare NCAA tournament win for a Summit League team. Alexander wasn’t the scorer that Woodside was his first three seasons, although he’s showing what he can do this year when he’s leading a team that needs him to score. He leads the Summit in scoring average at 18.1 a night and 3-point field goals made per game (2.9).

Wednesday’s hot links

Turning back the clock a bit here. Here’s John Crockett being interviewed by WCCO’s Mike Max in 2012.



Tuesday’s hot links

  • The bubble over Dacotah Field is pleasing athletes and coaches who can now simulate game situations. And the golf teams can get their range work in, too. Said softball outfielder Jenna Isbel, “We’re able to see live balls off the bat without hitting the top of the ceiling at the BBF. It’s super nice. We’ve already had some alumni come around and they’re like this is incredible. So, yeah, we’re super grateful to have this.”
  • NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen says the outcome of the season (another FCS title) wasn’t a factor in Chris Klieman’s extension.

Senate passes resolution to honor football team

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota tweeted this today.


And from Sen. John Hoeven:

Monday’s hot links


Friday’s hot links

Dome expansion: What to do

It was interesting to say the least to listen to Fargo architect Terry Stroh go through various future expansion possibilities at the Fargodome on Wednesday, with options ranging from rather basic (adding bathrooms mainly) to the very cool (the structure pictured above) addition to the west side. Here is my story. It would include more banquet room space than the current east side addition, a rooftop patio, bathrooms, suites overlooking the field and club room space. Constructed over Albrecht Avenue, the lower level would be a climate controlled space that could be enclosed with garage doors. The white pillars seen on the street entrance would be capable of going up or down depending on if the that part of the facility is in use.

The difference, of course, is the cost. The high-end model picture here is estimated at $21.5 million and would be paid for be the dome reserve fund which is around $35 million or north of that. The trigger in all of this is the proposed convention center in Fargo and whether it will be built downtown or adjacent to the dome. My guess if it goes downtown, than the dome will probably, and should, sway toward the higher end cost of the addition in an effort to stay current. If the convention center is connected to the south end of the dome, than perhaps a less expensive west side addition would be in order. At its most basic, it would include bathrooms that could be closed off to the rest of the dome but accessible by tailgaters.

My preference would be this: If the convention center is built on to the dome, I would go with this option, which includes suites in the dome, the canopy over Albrecht Avenue with that climate controlled space that can be used by tailgating, boat shows, ag shows or whatever. Stroh said radiant heat would make it comfortable even in 20 to 30 degree days. Approximate cost: $13.9 million. Of interest: Albrecht Avenue by the dome is not claimed by the city or the dome (it’s just sort of there I guess) so there apparently would be no issues of closing it off at times.

If the convention center goes downtown, spend the money. Go with the castle version at the top of this post. It’s been proven in America over and over that if you build it, they will come. The best thing Fargo ever did was build the dome and it’s the next generation’s job to keep it one of the top venues in the Midwest.

Football fans will wonder about seating. Stroh and Fargodome general manager Rob Sobolik looked at all viable options and at best said the most that could be added would be around 1,200. That would be enough. I’m of the mindset that you don’t add seats when you’re smack dab in a dynasty; wait a few years and see what happens. Fargo will never be a major FBS school and around 20,000 capacity will suit this school just fine for many years to come.

Also, to answer a couple of reader questions: new video boards are being phased in as part of an overall video upgrade. We will get into more detail with all of this Saturday morning on Kolpack and Izzo when Sobolik joins us in studio at 10 a.m. on WDAY-AM or

Out of nowhere

It’s been a remarkable start for the Bison men’s basketball team, 12-6 on the season, 4-1 in the Summit League, made more remarkable by how young the team and the lack of depth on this squad, NDSU is playing just seven guys regularly. One of the main reasons why the Bison sit on top of the Summit standings is Bismarck’s Dexter Werner, who I profiled yesterday:

The Summit League standings heading into tonight:
NDSU: 4-1 (at IUPUI, at IPFW)
SDSU: 5-2 (at ORU)
ORU: 4-2 (vs SDSU)
USD: 3-2 (at WIU)
IUPUI: 3-2 (vs NDSU, vs USD)
Denver: 3-3 (at Omaha)
WIU: 2-4 (vs USD)
IPFW: 1-5 (vs NDSU)
Omaha: 1-5 (vs Denver)