Sioux Falls, S.D.
What could have been for attendance for Monday’s semifinals if the NDSU and SDSU men both won their quarterfinal games on Sunday. Both lost close games, the Bison men 65-64 in overtime in what was a typical NDSU finish: close, but no cigar.
Summit League commisioner Tom Douple is scheduled to join us on WDAY-AM SportsTalk Monday at 1:05 p.m. on 970. Until then, other happenings around the Sioux Falls Arena:
- The evening attendance of 6,285 was the most in a single session at a Summit tournament since the early 1990s, further evidence that the entrance of the two Dakota schools has been good for league enthusiasm.
- The Bison seem like a better team than 11-18, yet, when it you can’t win down the stretch like they did so often this year, the record was probably deserved.
- I’m no Coach K shooting guru, but Michael Tveidt’s 3-pointers just looked flat all tournament. A little arch could be the cure.
- The Bison need to find a center. Oral Roberts’ 6-9, 250-pound Kevin Ford had 8 points and 9 rebounds and generally took up space. The Bison started three forwards, although Sam Sussenguth is close to a man in the middle. Backup centers Jordan Aaberg and Andy Nagel played a combined 14 minutes and scored three points. Both are young, but both need to assert themselves sooner than later. Nagel played 8 minutes and didn’t attempt a shot.
- ORU had a decisive 48-34 rebounding advantage including 15 offensive boards. NDSU had just 4 offensive rebounds.
- What will the Bison lineup look like next year? Here’s a guess. Starters: Tveidt and Eric Carlson at forwards, freshman Marshall Bjorklund at center and Nate Zastrow and Mike Felt at guards. If Aaberg can gain some weight, he might get a shot at the starting center nod. The wild card is Freddie Coleman’s return from Achilles heel injury. If he can get back to 100 percent health, which at this point is expected, he’ll factor into the lineup.
- Bison head coach Saul Phillips was visibly emotional when talking about his three seniors in the post-game press conference. Sussenguth, Austin Pennick and Josh Vaughan leave NDSU with a Summit title ring.
- The officials must be cracking down on being generous with continuation plays, meaning a player gets fouled on his way to the basket and scores. Several times in both games tonight the attempted shot was not awarded. IPFW head coach Dane Fife was especially miffed more than anybody.