It was a tremendous performance by NDSU on Monday night in Sioux Falls, starting right off the bat with a TrayVonn Wright slam dunk and the Bison never looked back after that. Taylor Braun poured in 28 points, they shot 73 percent from the field in the first half against Denver and never trailed. If there was a perfect performance this was as close as you could get for NDSU. Jeff and Jody join you from Sioux Falls to break down the game and look ahead to the showdown with Fort Wayne tomorrow night for the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. (8pm – ESPN 2)
Busy week up ahead, Jeff will join us from Sioux Falls as the Summit Tourney is in full swing, we begin at 10pm Central!
The season is over for the NDSU women’s hoop team and it’s time to look for a new coach – but not without a couple comments from Saturday’s first round loss to IUPUI.
It actually was a pretty impressive defeat, if that makes sense. The Bison were down 18 at halftime (it reached 20 early in the second half) playing for a coach who had already resigned. A lot of players would have sat in the locker room at halftime and proverbially mailed the season in. So what happened?
They played as hard as ever, and afterward saying they did it for their head coach, cutting the deficit to five points on a couple of occasions with chances to cut it further. It was quite remarkable if you think about it, to have motivated players who could have quit on the team. It was also impressive in how Carolyn DeHoff handled herself in the post-game press conference, taking responsibility for the lack of victories not working out. There was no blaming the BSA, the tough prospect of following a legendary coach or whatever else, just matter of fact “it didn’t work.”
She was right. Carolyn is a good person, a nice person who had the attention of her players – that was obvious in the second half Saturday. It just didn’t work out and that’s life, time to move on. This isn’t a third world country, she’ll end up on her feet and thriving somewhere else.
The great Patrick Reusse taught us scribes long ago to adhere to a journalism cred: comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Well, the former head coach has been afflicted enough. The next chapter in Bison women’s basketball starts today.
One of the cool smart phone apps that many Bison fans took a liking to during the FCS national title game in Frisco, Texas was the “Bison Tracker,” which took advantage of the GPS function in the phones and located every Bison fan who downloaded the app. Well, many did, and it showed a wave of people traveling from the Midwest to the Dallas area. It seems Wichita State has the Tracker App bug.
It’s alumni association called NDSU about three weeks ago and wanted to use it for the Missouri Valley Conference basketball tournament. The developer of the app, Tim Brookins, said sure. “We decided this was an important step in our business plan to get other institutions to use the app and provide feedback,” he told the NDSU Alumni Association. “After securing a limited use legal agreement, I am pleased to share that the Shocker Nation apps launched yesterday for android and iPhone.”
Wichita State is now watching their fans migrate and check in for their tourney in St. Louis – as of this morning there were more than 1600 users. It is also being picked up on the Wichita news and Facebook pages. Here are a few of the media links:
Here is the list of applicants for the head women’s basketball coach opening at North Dakota State, which will be available after the season. As usual, it includes some head-scratching resumes that have about as much chance as I do. The university only furnished the name (not sure why but I’m not going to fight every battle and this is one we’ll leave for now), so there are bound to be inaccuracies with a coach’s latest position per web search. The one familiar name is former Bison player Jill DeVries, who resigned as the head coach at Valley City State last year and is working as Ultimate Hoops Trainer at Lifetime Fitness in Minneapolis. There were five applicants that through a short web search I couldn’t identify as a potential candidate, so they were left out. At least there doesn’t appear to be anybody who went by #chuckthepigskin in his applying for the head football coach at UND.
- Daniel Johnson, coach, Lake Worth Christian High, Fla.
- Lee Loy, former HC, High Point University
- Kevin Lynum, assistant coach, Warner University
- Chad Killinger, assistant coach, Marshall
- Taj Franklin-McWilliams, assistant, New York Liberty
- Chris Chougaz, coach in Greece
- Kaylord Saunders Jr., coach, Minneapolis Public Schools
- Ken Flickinger, HC, Westminster High, Ill.
- James Pappas, assistant, Concordia University, Wis.
- Keith Ferguson, assistant, Louisiana-Monroe
- Paul Haney, assistant, Cecil College
- Kip Jones, assistant, IPFW
- Jody Craig, HC, Foothill College, Calif.
- Kristen Holt, assistant, Texas-San Antonio
- Kody Ketterling, HC, Filer HS, Idaho
- MollyAnne Light, HC, Camden County College, N.J.
- Mark Kost, assisstant, Morehead State, Ky.
- Tammy Bagby, Women’s American Basketball Association director
- Thomas Flahive, assistant, Saint Peters College, N.J.
- Daryle Tucker, HC, Green Mountain College
- Justin Hager, HC, Cibola High, Ariz.
- Sheronda Powell, assistant, Three Rivers College, Mo.
- Greg Gilreath, HC, Prairie Seeds Academy, Minn.
- Andre Bright, assistant, Cheyney University
- Andrew Johnson, assistant, Widener University
- Geoffrey Lanier, assistant, Kent State
- Dennis Cox, HC, Clayton State, Ga.
- Tad Parson, HC, Lenoir CC, N.C.
- Jill DeVries, former HC, Valley City State
- Roy Boggess, HC, Garrett College, Md.
- Sydney Smallbone, HC, Lakeshore High, Ind.
We will join you at 10 pm Central as usual to discuss everything NDSU, or even the Academy Awards as they are going on too! Join us!
We’re into March and the postseason is here for the Summit League. We knew heading into last night’s game NDSU was the number one seed, but now the brackets are set on the men’s side and the Bison have a good shot at seeing Denver again on March 10th in Sioux Falls. Last night was indicative of how the season has went for NDSU, six players in double figures, from Taylor Braun to Jordan Aaberg as NDSU beat Denver 78-68. The Pioneers were outstanding from three-point range going 15 of 32, a fact that Saul Phillips was not pleased with, something he said that would be addressed in the next nine days. Here’s a look at the men’s bracket:\
- (7) IUPUI vs. (2) IPFW – 6pm
- (5) South Dakota vs. (4) Denver – 6pm
- (6) Western Illinois vs (3) SDSU – 8:30 pm
- Denver/USD winner vs (1) NDSU – 6pm
- WIU/SDSU winner vs. IUPUI/IPFW – 8:30pm
- Semifinal winners - 8pm (ESPN 2)
NDSU claimed a second Summit League men’s basketball crown in six years on Thursday night as the Bison defeated South Dakota 82-54 and in the process fulfilled one of its major preseason goals. The glamour comes in March with the postseason tournament, but to win the conference crown illustrates who the best team was during the regular season. The Bison now have locked up the top seed for the tournament and won’t play till 6pm on March 10th against the winner of the 4/5 matchup. They also have the automatic bid to the NIT cinched up, which to most that read the blog seems like small potatoes, but it is a really big deal as well, with each game being televised on ESPN.
Winning two conference crowns in the last six years may not sound all that impressive, but when stacked up against other mid-major schools NDSU fits in with some impressive company.
Conference Titles Won By Mid-Major Schools Since 2009:
- 3: Butler (2009, 2010 and 2011)
- 3: Stephen F. Austin (2009, 2013 and 2014)
- 2: Oakland (2010 and 2011)
- 2: Creighton (2009 and 2013)
- 2: Weber State (2009 and 2010)
- 2: Montana (2012 and 2013)
- 2: Valparaiso (2012 and 2013)
- 2: NDSU (2009 and 2013)
This weekend is probably the last home game for a crew of seniors on the NDSU men’s basketball team. It’s possible if the Bison lose in the Summit tourney they could host an N.I.T. game but that’s a scenario nobody on the team really cares to think about. One of those seniors is center Marshall Bjorklund. Here’s an interesting tidbit from talking with those involved in his career for a story in Thursday’s newspaper:
- Bjorklund, a farm kid from Arlington, Minn., played only one summer of AAU ball in high school, mainly because work on the 2,400-acre corn or soybean and livestock operation was needed. Once at NDSU, however, former Bison standout Andre Smith worked out with Bison players — especially Bjorklund — one summer. Smith is a veteran overseas professional. “He was by no means nice to us,” Bjorklund said of the workouts and scrimmage games. “He was going to let us have it. But he kept us energized and he taught me a few things that have translated over to this season. We have a similar style of play and that helped.”
Head coach Saul Phillips compared it to last summer when Ben Woodside, currently playing in Italy, worked out with Bison guard Taylor Braun. “His biggest growth came the summer Andre Smith came back,” Phillips said. “Andre has nothing in common with Marshall except that they’re both extremely gifted with ball fakes, balance and finishing in the low post. Andre had his moments with Marshall and it really paid huge dividends.”
- Bjorklund isn’t sure of his pro potential, saying he first needs to take care of a few injuries after the season before he gives that a thought. In the last couple of years, he’s had a broken nose, chipped tooth and knee and shoulder problems. “I’ll have some opportunity if I want to,” he said. “We’ll see how it plays out.”