I hope everyone enjoyed that six week break from college football as the sport returns to our radars on Sunday. First a thank you to Jody Norstedt from doing a great job of covering the Bison basketball team at the Summit League Tournament and NCAA Tournament while I was doing the play by play on the North Dakota state tournaments.
Harvey native M.J. Stumpf has a chance to step up this spring ball.
I visited with head coach Chris Klieman to preview the upcoming month of spring football, the interview will air later this week on WDAY and in its entirety here on the blog, we’ll give you plenty of heads up on that. Some of the highlights here before the first practice, which comes on Sunday at 2:30.
The team is relatively healthy heading into the spring. There are a few notable injuries; first starting right guard Jeremy Kelly will miss the entire spring after having surgery on his back, but will be ready for fall camp. Wide receiver Nate Moody, back for his fifth year, after sitting out last year with a redshirt will miss the spring as well recovering from a knee injury. Defensive tackle Austin Farnlof who injured his knee again during the season will also miss the spring. Zach Vraa is healthy, but will see limited reps over the next month, likely working in drills but not participating in the scrimmages.
There are a couple of positions that Klieman will be keeping a close eye on this spring; linebacker and safety. Klieman says Harvey native M.J. Stumpf will get the first crack at outside linebacker. Klieman said he likes what Stumpf has brought to special teams over the last two years and knows “he won’t be handed that position.” Klieman added that redshirt freshman Dan Marlette and Levi Jordheim will be pushing for playing time and finding the right six linebackers is important heading into the fall.
Couple of other position changes, Austin Kuhnert will be moving to center from left guard, a spot he started at in 11 games during his redshirt freshman season. Tre Dempsey will move from cornerback to free safety.
There was one other player that left the team besides the departures of Derek McGinnis, DeSean Warren and Dee Gray, tight end Marcus Collins. Most fans will remember Collins enrolled early last spring, but redshirted this past season. Klieman says a health issue will prevent Collins from playing football, but is still enrolled in school.
Those are just some of the talking points from our interview, more coming in the next few days as spring football gets going! Klieman will also be on Kolpack and Izzo Saturday morning at 10:05.
NDSU met the national media today as the Bison draw closer to their matchup with second seeded Gonzaga. WDAY 6 Weekend Sports Anchor Jody Norstedt and the Forum’s Jeff Kolpack break down the day’s events in Seattle.
Alrighty folks, it’s back! The annual Bracket Challenge put on the Bison Media Blog, this is our third annual, with some bigger and better stakes this year! Feel free to sign up, the winner gets five minutes on air with Kolpack and me during our radio show on April 11th and gets to talk about whatever he or she would like! Also the winner will get five (5) gift cards to Uncle Maddio’s Pizza. Sign up, tell your friends and let’s see who is a great mid-major college basketball mind!
NDSU will head back to the state of Washington for the second straight year in the NCAA Tournament, this time heading to Seattle to face one of the nation’s best teams in Gonzaga.
The ‘Zags are making their 17th straight NCAA Tournament appearance, they are known nationwide as the mid-major turned national power. Mark Few has coached the Bulldogs since 1999, taking the team to four Sweet 16 appearances. Gonzaga has had its struggles in recent years in the tournament, not making it out of the opening weekend since 2009, that includes 2013 where they were a number one seed, knocked out by Wichita State who went on to the Final Four.
Kyle Wiltjer leads Gonzaga in scoring this season.
Gonzaga is led by Kentucky transfer Kyle Wiltjer; one of three guys on the roster 6’10 or taller. Wiltjer has been tremendous, averaging 17 points a game, including the best three point shooter on the team. Wiltjer is a Portland native and wanted to come back home after playing two years with the Wildcats. He’s joined by Kevin Pangos, who averages 12 points a game, entering his fourth year of starting.
The Zags only losses came on the road to Arizona (a fellow number 2 seed) and BYU, another tournament team. On paper for NDSU, this appears to be the best team they’ve played in their three NCAA Tournament appearances.
Alrighty folks, the day has arrived as we’ll find out the field of 68 around 5pm today. NDSU’s opponent and site has fluctuated over the last few days from Omaha and playing Kansas to Seattle and playing Gonzaga. Now after a crazy last two days with several upsets in the mid-major tournaments, everything has changed this morning.
Here’s what ESPN’S Joe Lunardi has for NDSU:
And here’s what CBS’ Jerry Palm has:
If NDSU goes to Jacksonville or Portland each of those sites play on Thursday and Saturday. We’ll be live blogging today’s show starting around 4:30, live reports from the Dome on WDAY at 5:30.
North Dakota State will dance again. NDSU held on for a 57-56 win over South Dakota State to claim the Summit League Tournament Championship Tuesday night in Sioux Falls. Lawrence Alexander paced the Bison with 25 points, he hit two huge three pointers to help NDSU build its largest lead of the game at 51-42.
SDSU put a comeback together, rallying to get within 57-56. Alexander missed the front end of the one and one and Deondre Parks had a chance to win it, but missed a three at the buzzer, giving the Bison a second straight NCAA berth.
The Bison were picked to finish 5th in the Summit League in October. What a job by Dave Richman and his staff. Jeff and Jody will break it down, the Selection Show comes up on Sunday at 5pm and we’ll see where NDSU will go, that will be the fun of the next few days!
Six years to the day; NDSU clinched its first spot in the NCAA Division One Basketball Tournament with a thrilling win over Oakland, thanks to a last second shot by Ben Woodisde. I’ll never forget that night since there was a blizzard in Fargo, I was the only one in the sports office and Steve Hallstrom and Trevor Peterson were both covering the tournament in Sioux Falls. Our satellite truck went down on us right before the 6pm sports, making it even harder for us to get highlights back.
It was a wild night, CBS Sports calling us for the radio call with the great Scott Miller. Here’s how WDAY 6 Sports covered that remarkable night.
Lawrence Alexander showed off his defensive prowess late on Monday night and it led NDSU to a third straight berth in the Summit League Tournament title game. Alexander blocked Bobby Word’s shot with 12 seconds left to seal a 60-56 win over Oral Roberts, sending the Bison to the title game with a date with South Dakota State.
Jody Norstedt and Jeff Kolpack break down the game and offer a preview of the title game.
NDSU survived a sluggish first half to rally for a 61-50 win over Denver Saturday night in the Summit League Tournament and move into the semifinals for the third straight year. Redshirt freshman AJ Jacobson scored a career high 23 points, Lawrence Alexander chipped in 12 points. The Bison improve to 21-8 and will face the winner of Oral Roberts-IUPUI at 8:30 Monday night. Here’s Jeff Kolpack’s video recap of Saturday’s game.
Since Jeff boldly went out and picked South Dakota to win the men’s championship this weekend, I feel I had better get my picks in so they can be ridiculed come early next week!
Western Illinois vs SDSU – SDSU
Fort Wayne vs South Dakota – Fort Wayne
IUPUI vs Oral Roberts – ORU
Denver vs NDSU – NDSU
Fort Wayne vs SDSU – SDSU
Oral Roberts vs NDSU – ORU
Oral Roberts vs SDSU – South Dakota State
Fort Wayne vs South Dakota – USD
IUPUI vs Western Illinois – Western
Denver vs SDSU – SDSU
NDSU vs Oral Roberts – ORU
Western Illinois vs USD – USD
ORU vs SDSU – SDSU
SDSU vs USD – South Dakota
So there you go, have SDSU on the men’s side and USD on the women’s side. Plenty of Summit League Tournament coverage on Kolpack and Izzo tomorrow at 9 am on 970 WDAY, WDAY/Forum team coverage begins on Saturday from Sioux Falls!