NDSU was indoors for the first time during this fall camp period on Wednesday and on the new turf for the first time, Craig Bohl tells me the practice today was good and the players enjoyed the new surface. As for some headlines out of Day 7:
- Kicking Game was worked on extensively; Bohl tells me Sophomore Adam Keller has taken the lead on the place kicking job, NDSU brought 3 kickers in, Keller was specifically recruited to kick a couple years ago, 1st that I know of that was given a scholarship for that position out of Pennsylvania, he’s a real question mark to me as the season draws closer.
- Two-minute offense was worked on; and has been the norm since camp opened, the defense dominated the offense; I asked Bohl if this was the defense traditionally being ahead of the offense to start camp or is that the defense just that good, he told me it was a mixed bag, but re-iterated to me,”This defense can be very, very good.”
- Zach Vraa continues to make tough catches at camp for the 2nd straight fall, he did that last year in the opener against Lafayette, in fact the catch he broke his collarbone on was a terrific catch, biggest question if he can stay healthy. Bohl mentioned Demetrius Gray has stood out to him among the freshman, but said it’s not likely the true freshman gets to play this fall unless there’s an injury. Ryan Smith did not practice for the second straight day after a strain of his hamstring. Second two-a-day practice of the fall goes tomorrow.
Big day for hoops news, NDSU put out the full schedule for the men’s basketball team on Wednesday, the highlight of course is the matchup with Indiana that we mentioned on Monday. NDSU opens the year with Valley City State on November 9th, then Mayville State on November 17th and for the nay-sayers wondering why 2 NAIA teams are on the schedule, look at every D-1 program, from big to small, everybody plays a local college on their schedule, from Michigan State, I know they play Rochester College to Syracuse, they play LeMoyne, a D-3, the school is also in Syracuse. Those games aren’t going away. The Non-conference is actually pretty stacked in my mind, road trips to Green Bay (Nov.24th), Morehead State (Dec. 5th), Minnesota (Dec.11th), Towson (Dec.15th) to go along with the season opening tourney in Pittsburgh and the BracketBuster game which will be a road game. The biggest game of the non-conference in my mind is North Dakota, which will be played on a Sunday this year, December 9th, at the Fargodome, scheduled around a Vikings game at noon and a Packers game at 7 that night to appease most of the pro football fans in our area. Should be a great atmosphere that afternoon at the Dome, with many fans expecting a home playoff football game the night before. A closer look at Morehead State will excite fans as well, the Eagles play out of the Ohio Valley Conference and for keen hoops fans, they’ll remember MSU beat Louisville in the 1st round of the 2011 NCAA Tourney, led by now Nugget forward Kenneth Faried. NDSU goes to Morehead December 5th, then the Eagles return the trip on December 21st. Obviously the league schedule has been reduced from 18 to 16 games with the loss of ORU and Southern Utah, new member Nebraska-Omaha actually is the Summit opener for the Bison on November 29th. Oakland makes its trip to Fargo on January 12th, SDSU on December 29th, which stinks because most students will be gone due to Christmas break.
The women’s basketball team picked up its 2nd verbal commitment for 2013 in Buffalo post/forward Emily Spier(pronounced Spear). Spier is a 6’1 and has played for the Bison(high school nickname same as NDSU) since she was a freshman and part of some great high school teams. She averaged 16 points and 9 rebounds a game this past season as a junior, her coach Scot Sorenson tells me she developed a nice inside/outside game and can shoot the three, Sorenson believes her true position is as a 3 or 4 in college. She’s smart too, had interest from Dartmouth and Boston University. Spier joins Casselton’s Hannah Breske as the firs two verbals of a huge class for NDSU, the Bison have 6 available scholarships for 2013.