A Look Back

Tonight was the kind of game in past years that the Bison men’s basketball team wouldn’t have rallied to win, but with a team that has nearly five guys that will score 1,000 points in their careers you get the kind of comeback that NDSU put together.

The NDSU men’s basketball team staged a late rally for a 66-63 win Thursday at South Dakota.

The Bison scored just 22 second half points, but ten of them came in the final 3:30 of the game as NDSU beat South Dakota 66-63 to improve to 5-1 in the Summit League. TrayVonn Wright picked up the slack for an ailing Taylor Braun, Wright scored 20 points, but Braun was huge when he needed to be, scoring a huge three point play that gave NDSU the lead at 64-63. Wright then sank two free throws after USD missed two foul shots. NDSU head coach Saul Phillips referenced a game in 2009 when the Bison fought off a plucky UMKC team in Kansas City in January of that year, that was a 65-60 OT win for NDSU that night, here’s the recap of that game. NDSU now has won the first two of its big three game road swing with a trip to Denver coming on Saturday, the Pioneers lost a heartbreaker to the Jacks tonight 74-73 and has muddled up the standings in the Summit:

  • NDSU        5-1 ( at Denver Saturday)
  • IPFW         5-1  ( vs WIU  Saturday)
  • SDSU        3-3  ( at USD  Saturday)
  • USD          3-3  ( vs SDSU Saturday)
  • WIU           3-3 ( at IPFW Saturday)
  • Denver      3-3  ( Host Denver Saturday)
  • Omaha      2-4  ( at IUPUI Saturday)
  • IUPUI         0-6 ( Host Omaha Saturday)

Everything is pointing to next Saturday’s NDSU-IPFW game as a must-see, with the potential of the top seed in the conference at stake as we near the halfway point of the Summit season.

Also wanted to touch on this tonight as we close in on Signing Day, as most know there is no exact science with recruiting, some players that jump off the page may not pan out, while others that go way under the radar end up being your go to guys. The 2011 recruiting class was the first litmus test for the Bison coaching staff as they went on a deep playoff run, the season ran into the middle of December that previous year and it had an effect on recruiting. NDSU brought in 28 players that year either scholarship or walk-ons; only ten (eleven) are still on the team. The ones that left were highly touted, Ryan Stanford and Matt Jones from Arizona, DeShawn Dinwiddie and Derek Lee from Kansas, Josh Lisenby from Chicago, Joey Sonnenfeld and Frank Veldman from Minnesota and Andrew Okland from Fargo South. There were a variety of reasons for why these guys left, but that’s a high number of attrition for one recruiting class.

Ben LeCompte is one of just ten players remaining in the 2011 recruiting class for NDSU.

On the flip side the players that have stayed are all contributors; some in big roles, others in short stints and others that we have yet to see.

  • Luke Albers – 3 receptions for 43 yds in 2013, primarily a blocker
  • Andrew Bonnet – becoming a standout on offense, blocking and receiving
  • Jordan Champion – started 2 games at corner, leader to start in ’14
  • Josh Colville – 2 year starter on offensive line at 2 different spots
  • Ben LeCompte – 2 year starter at punter, All-Conference in ’13
  • CJ Smith – Blossomed as starter in ’13, led pass breakups
  • Dylan Dunn – Primarily a backup
  • Brian Schaetz – From walk-on to defensive stopper/starter in ’14
  • Joe Haeg – 2 year starter at right tackle, could move to LT
  • Nate Moody – 3 year contributor at wide receiver
  • Carson Wentz – Biggest unknown, has shone in brief moments
Many will say how great the class is on Wednesday, but it bears repeating we’ll have no idea for at least two years, maybe three, the biggest key in my mind is numbers, this class will be seniors in 2015, meaning some guys signing on Wednesday may be hitting the field and soon.

19 thoughts on “A Look Back

  1. This is a little off topic, but since the Super Bowl is this weekend I thought it would be interesting to see how many FCS program players are playing in the big game on Sunday.

    Denver: Mike Adams (Delaware-Undrafted); Chris Kuper (UND-5th round); Paris Lenon (Richmond-Undrafted); Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Tenn. State-1st round); Julius Thomas (Portland State-4th Round)

    Seattle: Tavaris Jackson (Alabama State-2nd Round); Jeremy Lane (NW State-6th Round); Ricardo Lockette (Fort Valley State-Undrafted); DeShawn Shead (Portland State-Undrafted); Brian Walters (Cornell- Undrafted)

    So 5 out of the 53 players (9%) on each roster are from a FCS programs. Portland State being the one FCS program with two players in the Super Bowl this year. It is very evident that there is room on NFL championship teams for FCS players, but the odds of getting drafted in the first few rounds, unless you are Tavaris Jackson or D. Rodgers-Cromartie, are pretty slim. I still believe that Billy Turner will be drafted in the 5th round similar to Chris Kuper from UND.

    • billy is a consensus mid-first to mid-second round pick. Not sure where you are getting this fifth round crap from.

      • Billy will get picked before the 5th round. It would be amazing if he could get picked in the first or second. He needs to have a great combine to keep building up interest.

      • The only consensus that matters is what the scouts and coaches feel on the team that actually drafts a player. Turner was a stud at NDSU. That is NOT a guarantee for anything in the NFL – not a draft slot and certainly not a high one.

    • also a little off topic, but after watching all of the Super Bowl hype, I remember watching a (later famous) D2 player play here at Dakotah Field – Jan Stenerud with Montana St. (Kansas City Chiefs) vs. the Bison.

  2. He’s the consensus number 1 pick in the draft. At least that’s what I’m hearing around Fargo.

  3. Football….football…football….


    Might as well just post this a couple times a week till March:

    Please make the three hour trip to Sioux Falls next month. That is all.

  4. This is also off topic a bit. Not much has been mentioned on Oral Roberts coming back to the Summit. Dom/Jeff, any insight? Looks like they can’t win in the Southland Conference and want to come back so they can go back the big dance.

    • Might be as much about, believe it or not, their baseball program as anything. They’d been to what, 14 or 15 straight tournaments? Then last year no go while SDSU went and this year it’s like between the Jacks and Bison again for another title. Basketball has been good but their road is much harder now that the tourney will never be in Tulsa.

  5. Pathetic coaching at Denver tonight the bad start killed ndsu Saul et al had no clue how to adjust to their rotating man zone. 2 back to back shot clock violations too. Take that stuff away and it’s ndsu by 7. Horrible to lose 2 games in this league. Should be 20-4 into tourney

  6. 2010 was incredible and 13 guys will start or play a big role as seniors. 2011 was interesting but as you pointed out there are plenty of contributers. 2012 turned out alright. 12 out of 18 are on the team and we had 3 transfers who contributed. So far the 2013 class looks outstanding so far. Kubik left the team but 4 guys lost their redshirts. On paper it looks outstanding so far. And finally this years class looks incredible on paper. 5 guys with FBS offers,

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