Men's Basketball

Time for Tip-Off

Time for Tip-Off

North Dakota State’s basketball teams begin new seasons tonight as the NCAA moved up the start date of the season three days to gain some more exposure. After a lost winter for each squad last season, there are plenty of questions surrounding each basketball team.


Dave Richman doesn’t have a senior on his roster and that presents a challenge in itself. He re-tooled the team in the offseason, six players left either from graduation or looking to play somewhere else and he added six players, four of them freshmen.

Jaxon Knotek, Sam Griesel, Jarius Cook and Odell Wilson IV are the freshmen, joined by junior college point guard Vinnie Shahid and Siena transfer Jordan Horn, who was ruled eligible by the NCAA last week. Shahid provides some instant leadership on the court, he’s a junior by eligibility standards and comes from high school powerhouse Hopkins. The addition of Horn to this year’s roster is a big bonus, who averaged eight points a game as a true freshman for the Saints, who play in the MAAC.

Griesel looks the part. He was impressive in NDSU’s exhibition win over Concordia, the 6’6 forward looks like he can be a player right out of the chute for Richman. Tyree Eady redshirted last season, he brings some length to the guard position at 6’5, he joins Cameron Hunter, who’s now a sophomore and junior Tyson Ward, who seemed poised to breakthrough last season, but it never really happened.

The other player to watch is Deng Geu. Geu had a great summer with the Ugandan national team, where he got to play against pro players for nearly a month. Geu is the great question mark, he has untapped potential and we saw that briefly at the end of the season. If he takes the next step, NDSU can move into the top half of the league.

NDSU was picked fifth in the preseason poll, but if things come together for Richman’s team, the Bison can move into the three or four spot. South Dakota State and South Dakota are still the top two teams in the league, but the Bison have the talent to knock off some teams. The non-conference is going to be tough, road trips to Gonzaga and East Tennessee State are not going to do them any favors.

This is Richman’s final year of his original contract. There are expectations to be better and get back into the top three of the league.


The youngest team in the Summit League is a year older, but still has just one senior in Marina Fernandez. Any optimism from fans on the outside may be shot after last Tuesday’s loss to Division 2 Minnesota-Duluth.

Maren Walseth is in her fifth year and we’ll see what kind of talent she has. Reilly Jacobson really started to develop over the last half of last season, she’s NDSU’s most dependable scorer. Sarah Jacobson is now a junior and will be counted on to score more. Walseth has brought in a couple of international players with experience, Michelle Gaislerova has a good outside shot and needs to continue to develop that.

The inside presence is a major question mark with Macey Kvilvang and Danneka Voegeli. Each are sophomores, who need to be strong under the basket to contend with some of the best players in the Summit League.

Frankly, I’m not sure how much better this team will be this winter. NDSU won nine games last season and that might be exactly what they win this year. South Dakota State, South Dakota and Western Illinois aren’t going anywhere, with the addition of North Dakota, pressure is on for the Bison to get back into the mix. I don’t know if that’s going to happen this season.

View Comments (7)


  1. bisonfan

    November 6, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Walseth needs to go and please no more 5 year deals. Find a head coach not some assistant with zero experience! Dorn should have been fired before she had the chance to set this program back even further!

    And Dave your seat is hot. You better show some improvement this season!

  2. Clint

    November 6, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    truly sad state of affairs. We remodeled BSA, and we get worse not better? maybe it’s time to change some leadership. Compete for conference championships in more than football, softball and T&F.

  3. Shamet

    November 6, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    Was Jordan Meidinger expected to contribute before he tore his ACL?

  4. Bison

    November 6, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    Maybe NDSU needs to hire the women’s coach from Western Illinois. If he can win in Macomb imagine what he would be able to do in Fargo. Go Bison!

  5. BisonJeff(FgoMhdJeff)

    November 6, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    I think that Dave Richman has added pressure to have a good year, as the Bison brass can see that when they let the women’s program slide that it can’t just be rebuilt overnight, even with a new $30 million arena. I was embarrassed for NDSU watching the women struggle with Mayville State. This women’s team has no quickness or athleticism. What is killing the Bison women is not being able to land key recruits in their own back yard. Players like Lexi Klabo-Fargo Davies High School-UND, Madison McKeever-Win-E-Mac High School-USD, Tylee Irwin-Wahpeton High School-SDSU and Sam Haiby-Moorhead High School-Nebraska. Put those four on this team and not only would they be good you would have a good chance at landing the 6-3 Junior post player at Bismarck Century. Go Bison!

  6. Life Long

    November 7, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Don’t know if Dorn’s fingerprints, or Gene Taylors are more evident on the hiring of Walseth, but Matt Larsen has to know that this very poor WBB program is not going to cut it any more. Getting her out the door is step 1. Step 2 has to be hiring to get somebody who will really fill chairs and win championships.

    And that kind of goes for Richman too.

  7. Saewert

    November 8, 2018 at 9:04 am

    For once, why don’t they hire a men’s coach for the women. Ever since Amy, nothing has gone right. Another thing, that new Shac is not kept very clean. There is popcorn in some of the tight spots from last year and the steps have old gum on them from last year. The reason I notice that, several of us have never missed a women or a men’s game the last several years.

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