North Dakota State had two players leave its men’s basketball program yesterday as Dylan Miller and Nnamdi Van Dulm will not return to Fargo for the fall of 2018. Those moves put the spotlight even larger on Dave Richman and his staff to find some size over the next couple of months either in a transfer or JUCO player. The Bison will not sign any players today as the late signing period opens for the next month. This historically has been a successful period for the school, Taylor Braun, Lawrence Alexander and Kory Brown signed in April.
These two players now make nine early departures since Dave Richman took over in April of 2014:
(Evan Wesenberg, Jake Showalter, Spencer Eliason, Trey Miller, Malik Clements, Dylan Miller, Khy Kabellis, Seth Coatta and Nnamdi Van Dulm). Each program has player movement but that number seemed to grab my attention, only because of the fact of how much I’ve written and spoke about the women’s team losing players.
In that same time frame, the women’s team has had seven players leave the program.
You can make the argument that Richman wants his type of players and if they don’t fit that model, then it’s not going to work. Richman has established the type of program that is about culture and about the team. With these departures you can speculate on a number of reasons why they left (personality, difference with coach, playing time, education, home sick, whatever), but it does lend itself to a perpetual young team, that you’re constantly battling a youth movement. With Miller leaving, NDSU has no seniors on the roster next season. Jared Samuelson, Deng Geu, Chris Quayle and Tyson Ward are now the upperclassmen as just juniors.
It’s an interesting time for Bison basketball. This could be the time we circle as if NDSU made strides to catch SDSU or USD or fell further behind.