Still hearing the “what happened?” comments with the last 11.6 seconds of last night’s men’s basketball game between NDSU and Oral Roberts. First, what happened: Tied at 72-72, Bison guard Mike Felt was fouled in a call that was away from the ball, something that irked ORU head coach Scott Sutton. Felt made two free throws.
After ORU’s StevenÂ Roundtree missed a contested close jumper, Felt was fouled again and was about to go to the free throw line. That’s when refereee John Yorkovich called a technical foul on Sutton. It wasn’t long before he called another one, thus giving Felt six free throws. Felt made all six and the Bison won 80-74.
Now, what really happened: It was personal. Sutton, after the game, said he’s had a “problem” with Yorkovich for a few years. He said Yorkovich has called about half of the technicals he’s had in his career. How many? “You can probably count them on two hands,” he said.
My take: A classic case of both partiesÂ having some fault, although I’m not ready to put percentages on it.Â I don’t like anÂ away-from-the-ball call in the final minute or two of a game. Let the kidsÂ decide the game with the ball in-hand. ThatÂ being said, if you’re down just two points, probably wiseÂ not to say much at that point if you’re the head coach. A friend of mine near the bench said the comments were personal in nature.
No shortage of sports world material for the Saturday Morning Sports Show 9-11 a.m. on WDAY 970-AM andÂ on the InternetÂ at www.wday.com.
The usual suspect, Bison offensive coordinator Brent Vigen, joins us at 10:05 (I’m sure he’ll tell us who will be the starting QB ). We’re getting NDSU men’s basketball coach Saul Phillips up early after the late-night West CoastÂ men’sÂ basketball openerÂ Friday at the University of Oregon.
Also: Terry Vandrovec of the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, Wyndmere-Lidgerwood head coach Scott Strenge,Â whose team set a Dakota Bowl record for points in one game,Â and sportswriter Fritz Neighbor from The Missoulian newspaper in Missoula, where Montana is hosting UND Saturday.Â Lots of happeningsÂ with the Griz, the BigÂ SkyÂ and the WAC question these days.
We’ll also be giving away a $20 Scheels gift card, be ready to call us at 293-9000 or 800-279-9329.
If you didn’t know about BTI in the basketball world, you will after this season. Not only are the Bison women playing in the Kansas tournament run by Basketball Travelers Inc., the Bison men will play at the Oregon tournament run by the same company Nov. 12-14.
The BTI website says Oregon will host the "Basketball Travelers Classic" with NDSU, University of Denver and UC Santa Barbara. Oregon is Pac Ten, UCSB has everybody back from an NCAA tournament team and Denver has the unique style by the former head coach at Princeton.
Also, it’s looking more and more like the Bison and Sioux men will play in the Fargodome this season. NDSU expects to release its men’s basketball schedule sometime in early August.
When asked, one by one, Northern Iowa head men’s basketball coach Ben Jacobson went through each fellow Missouri Valley Conference school and the kind of basketball arena each one has.
Missouri State has a new one. Wichita State, he said, is as good as there is in the country. Creighton plays at 17,000-seat Qwest Center. His arena, McLeod Center, is new. Illinois State is really good. Bradley is really good. Southern is renovating its place. Evansville, he said, is close to building a new facility in the city that it will play in. Drake’s Knapp Center and Indiana State’s arena are also pretty good.
"It’s really close to everybody now that is either new or renovated or really good," he said, while taking a break from the Roger Maris Celebrity Golf Tournament.
The point is the impending renovation of the Bison Sports Arena, which could end up being the best in The Summit League. Then again, the Summit nowhere compares to the Missouri Valley in basketball facilities. If I were to rank them now, it would be:
1. SDSU. 2. Oral Roberts. 3. Southern Utah. 4. Oakland. 5. IPFW. 6. NDSU. 7. UMKC (at Municipal). 8. Centenary. 9. Western Illinois. 10. IUPUI. So, the benchmark for NDSU’s renovation is to make something better than Brookings.
Keep an eye on 6-5 guard Taylor Baxter from Fieldcrest High School, who got some votes for Illinois’ Mr. Basketball. NDSU head coach Saul Phillips verified Saturday that the Bison are recruiting him — and that’s as far as Phillips can go under NCAA rules.
Here’s a story in the New Tribune newspaper on Baxter, who is a senior.
Baxter has taken an official visit to NDSU.
Expect an annoucement in the coming week regarded the NDSU and UND men’s basketball series starting up again. It will be a late November/early December game in Fargo and the yet-to-be-signed contract calls for a home-and-home agreement every year.
Both coaches — NDSU’s Saul Phillips and UND’s Brian Jones — spoke Friday night and it appears all that is left is for some administrative approval.
Per Tom Miller’s Twitter — @tommillergf: Kurt Alexander, a PG who verballed to NDSU, decommitted and was rumored to be interested in UND has plans to go to Drake — now this is a strange one.
Usually, guys decommit and immediately pick somebody else up but apparently, that’s not the case here. Did something happen to turn him off? Problem now for NDSU is it leaves the Bison looking for another point guard for help.
Is it panic situation? Certainly not; not with Nate Zastrow returning. And banking on a junior college transfer is not recommended per Kolpack’s Romani Rule that dates back to the Ray Giacoletti Era.
Drew Lundberg could probably fill in at the point although he seems more of a shooting guard. Mike Felt should be back at full strength as the starting shooting guard and the status of Freddy Coleman, although looking favorable, is still not a 100 percent certainty.
I haven’t seen many decommits at NDSU over the years and now the big question: why? He told the Des Moines Register "I just don’t want to live in North Dakota" but Drake is no Cayman Islands either. If he didn’t want to live here, why consider UND? The word I’m hearing is the kid is simply a little wishywashy.
Hi everyone…want to thank Jeff for inviting me to start blogging Bison stuff here..know it’s a pretty high traffic web site, so I’ll try and blog as much as I can when I can with some good Bison info and anything we can’t fit on the sports that particular night. That being said, I’m sure there were plenty of Bison fans watching the UNI-Kansas game last night wondering why the Bison couldn’t do that last year to Kansas. UNI has a ton of height on this team, much more so than the 2009 NDSU team had.
That being said, it’s pretty cool to see a Mayville kid, former Bison assistant Ben Jacobson lead the Panthers to the Sweet 16..it’s the first Sweet 16 appearance for a MVC team since 1979 and Indiana State..who had a guy named Larry Bird. Check out Kevin Schnepf’s great article about the win here….www.inforum.com/event/article/id/272960/Jacobson’s name is shooting up the ladder for big time openings, none more so than in his own state at the University of Iowa, where coincidentally enough, the current AD is a Bison alum, Gary Barta, who I’m sure knows of Jacobson’s North Dakota roots and obviously his success at UNI.
The Missouri Valley is a tough conference, and to win back to back titles and 30 games is no small feat. I know too it didn’t get lost on any NDSU fans last night that the two teams playing hoops are the same squads that NDSU will play to open the football season in September..at Kansas, at Northern Iowa…also in case anyone missed it Spring Football begins THIS Saturday, March 27th..till next time!
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.