The summer when Andre put some teeth into Marshall’s game

Andre Smith

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.”

 

8 thoughts on “The summer when Andre put some teeth into Marshall’s game

  1. Andre and the 2008 was the best team in school history. I just wish that were able to go dancing with him. I would have liked to have seen him go up against that aircraft carrier from Kansas.

    • That is true, it would have been a different matchup with Andre or Marshall Bjorklund underneath against Cole Aldrich. That was the one weakness of the ’09 team, started two guards and three forwards but no true strength at center.

      • Our center in 2009 was 6’10 and bigger than anyone we currently have on the roster. Umm, it wasn’t size that was the issue in 2009, but more foot speed and athleticism

  2. I just hope that SAUL PHILLIPS can coach this team … NOW …
    TO STOP WHAT THE OTHER TEAM HAS GOT ON OFFENSE … AND
    TO SCORE USING THE TALENT MIX NDSU HAS THIS YEAR … AND
    NOT LOOK LIKE A COACH … CAUGHT LIKE A DEER IN HEADLIGHTS!

  3. TO ME SAUL PHILLIPS IS A … CHOKER.
    CAN HE TRAIN AND MOTIVATE TALENT?
    CAN HE MANAGE HIS PLAYERS IN A CLUTCH GAME?
    CAN HE RALLY HIS PLAYERS TO PLAY TOGETHER … ABOVE AND BEYOND?
    CAN HE REALLY COACH … WHEN HE HAS PLAYERS … TO GIVE HIM CHANCE.
    SO FAR, I think he is a H.S. coach over his head with college men.
    I hope that he has it … in himself … to prove me … very wrong.
    I loved the movie “HOOSIERS”.

  4. After today NDSU could have 4 conference titles since 1981. Saul would have 2 & an NCAA tourney appearance.

    I would say Saul is hardly a choker. Get some perspective people. O and don’t give me the Miles line either. The woodside teams had better records against > competition with Phillips manning the squad.