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The Media's Perspective (DDSCB2016)

Started By PointGuard, Apr 11, 2016 12:15 PM

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#1

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Bison Blog

BISON CONTINUE SEARCH FOR HEAD COACH

The on-going effort by North Dakota State to hire a new men’s basketball head coach is continuing painfully. Although AD Steve Monroe has interviewed at least 6 coaches, the university has yet to have any show enough interest to take on the job. 

The Bison used to have strong basketball teams and Scheels Arena used to fill for basketball games. But the emergence of FOOTBALL as KING at North Dakota State has resulted in a stead downward slide of the basketball program. The Arena now is like a morgue for most games. Their recent dismal records forced Monroe to fire head coach Sandy Roderick in early April. Now with summer fast approaching the Bison remain coach-less. 

While Monroe would not admit it, the ascendancy of FOOTBALL accompanied by the plunge of basketball at the university probably explains the reluctance of basketball coaches to take over the reins at North Dakota State. There have been no improvements to the basketball facilities in years, money has been siphoned off the basketball budget to further accommodate the avaricious appetite of FOOTBALL, and its been virtually impossible to recruit high school basketball players from outside of North Dakota. Why would any decent coach want to take on such a challenge?



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#2

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Nice!!



#3

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Fargo Forum

 

[Front page of Sports Section]

SPRING FOOTBALL PRACTICE AT ND STATE:

The Bison football team’s spring practices have shown that the team again will be a powerhouse this upcoming season. Predictions are that the Bison will rack up yet another Division 1 (FCS) national title. This would add to their 5 consecutive national championships the past 5 seasons. During that time the team has run off 33 consecutive wins (2012-2014), been atop the FCS Coaches Poll as #1 for 30 straight weeks (2012-2014), captured 22 consecutive road wins (2012-2014) and 26 consecutive home wins (2012-2015), and totally dominated the Missouri Valley Conference. They sport an impressive 81-6 record the past six years. Prior to this recent supremacy, the Bison won 8 Division II national championships (between 1965 and 1990). During the past 51 years, they’ve had 48 winning season. Since they began play in the FargoDome, where sellouts for every game, they’ve never lost a playoff game (16-0). 

[The entire rest of the front page and most of pages 2 and 3 cover the upcoming year’s squad.]

[In the lower left corner of Page 3 in the Sports Section]:

NORTH DAKOTA STATE HIRES BASKETBALL COACH

Yesterday, North Dakota State announced the hiring of Tad Bolton as head coach of the Bison men’s basketball team. The 41-year old Bolton grew up in Cincinnati and played college basketball at Ohio Valley College in Vienna, West Virginia. His coaching career began at a series of junior colleges. Most recently he was head coach at Cumberlands (KY) College where he took his team to the quarterfinals of the NAIA Division I national basketball tournament this past season.


#4

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"Unofficial NorDakStater”—a blog by Ron Slocum

 

Well, it seems that North Dakota State finally found a coach willing to take over its lowly basketball program. And the coach they hired comes with no fanfare and little history.

But the Unofficial NDS’er did his own research. 

It turns out that Tad Bolton has been coaching for a while. He was successful as a JC coach at a couple different junior colleges where his teams kicked butt and then created a good team at Cumberlands College in Kentucky. That NAIA Division I team became a solid team under his stewardship. 

How’d he do it? Well this guy is no X’s & O’s guru. But he does know how to recruit. He went after players other teams passed by. Players with poor academic records (some of whom could barely spell “cat”}, players with attitude problems, players with checkered pasts. Those players may not have been Joe College types but they could play ball. Sources close to the Cumberlands program say that Bolton’s laid back style with low discipline, low academic standards (hey, a C will do), and why-me-worry approach to integrity fit in well with the players he brought in to play basketball. Then he just let ‘em play and play they did. He also gave them a free rein while at school, believing that what they do on their own time is their business...as long as they produce on the court. Bolton believes college is a time for players to grow up and become independent, so he doesn’t babysit them. While a few players didn’t make it academically and a few players were lost due to a variety of infractions, he could always come up with enough strong recruits to put a good team onto the court.


#5

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KFGO Radio Sports: Tyler Baines Bison Sports Talk

 

Hey, we’ve been talking about Bison Football this entire show, but maybe there’s someone out there is KFGO sports land that wants to hear something about North Dakota State’s basketball program. Well, finally there is some news. The university hired a new head basketball coach yesterday. His names, uhhh, let’s see....Thad Bolton. Oh check that...it’s Tad Bolton. This guy has never coached a Division I team. But I guess he felt taking on the Bison challenge as a step to bigger and better things. Really the only thing known about this guy so far is that he’s had some success on the junior college and NAIA front and that he played college ball for some small Division II college. There may be a big learning curve for this guy when it comes to Division I competition.

But, now let’s get back to talking Bison football. I’ve got some juicy news about the quarterback controversy that is brewing.....


#6

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Marty Styles, sports reporter for the Fargo Forum

 

They call this a press conference? I’m the only legit member of the press here. The student newspaper sent a kid over, but he’s busy texting or playing a game on his phone.

Anyway, Steve Monroe gets up and introduces the new coach, Tad Bolton. Steve says how he expects Tad to breathe new life into the basketball program. Yada-yada-yada.

Then Bolton gets up and says how pleased he is to be in Fargo. Sure, if you like -35 degrees. He’s not much of a public speaker. Gives a bit of mumbo jumbo about how he s excited to get to work with the players and staff here and something about how he’s gonna be beating the bushes for untapped talent. I actually roll my eyes at that one.

I ask him what his primary offensive and defensive strategies will be. He just talks around that one, finally saying that he needs to evaluate the team first to see what will work best. Well, duhhhhh!

Ya gotta wonder about a guy who would take the meager salary that this college is willing to pay to a coach of what has become almost a minor sport here.

I give him 2 years and he’ll be outta here. And probably not because of the fantastic success he brought about that would allow him to move up to a better program.

This whole thing takes about 5 minutes, 10 minutes top. Damn, how am I going to write a story for the paper about this? The college newspaper kid never stopped looking at his phone the entire time. Some story he’ll write! But sometimes fiction beats the hell out of reality.


#7

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KFGO Radio Interview with Rory Rockwell

 

RR: Today we have Tad Bolton, the new basketball coach at North Dakota State joining us. Hey, Coach, nice to have you with us today. I’m sure Bison fans would like to get to know you better. Tell us a little about yourself, please.

TB: I was born in Cincinnati 41 years ago. My father had a city job, running a machine painting lines on the streets of the city. My mother worked on and off, mostly in secretarial roles. I attended public schools in the city and played basketball on our high school team. I also had to work while in high school to help the family. While I wasn’t the star of our high school team, I was able to get a partial scholarship to play basketball at Ohio Valley College in Vienna, West Virginia. After graduating I married my high school sweetheart. Kaylie and I have now been married 18 years and have 2 great kids. Bobby is 15 and Lizzie is 12. A couple years after graduating I was able to get a coaching job at a Cincinnati junior college and jumped around to 3 other JC’s in the next 10 years. We kicked some butt in the JC world. I then went on to Cumberlands College in Kentucky where I coached until coming here. After a rough first year, the team gelled and we made some noise in the NAIA Division I playoffs or a few years.

RR: Thanks Coach. So how did you mold your teams into winners?

TB: Well, I’m not going to profess to being an X and O wizard. I’m more of a coach who works the guys hard in practice and then let ‘em play and put into action what they’ve worked on in practice. But to be a successful coach, you ultimately need good players. So recruiting is key. And you’d be surprised by how many good players are out there who just haven’t had the opportunity to show it at the college level. It could be they have academic deficiencies, or that they got a bad rep due past inability to get along with teammates, or got into scrapes with the law. So that means that most colleges don’t even give them a second look. But I believe that everyone deserves a second chance. So what if they made a mistake or two in the past. So by spreading a wide net and then focusing on recruits (or transfer players) who can fill key roles on the team, you can make some quick strides at improving a team.

RR: But doesn’t that also create situations where there can be poor team chemistry or players who fail on their second chance?

TB: No doubt it does. But winning is a big factor in improving team chemistry. And yes, sometimes a player may have continuing problems. I don’t care if a player becomes a Rhodes scholar but they need to study enough to at least get C’s.

RR: Don’t you have to maintain a taut ship so to speak with a bunch of players who have had past problems?

TB: Not really. I believe in giving players pretty much a free rein while in college. What they do on their own time, as long as it’s legal, is their business. But they better produce on the court. College is a time for players (and students in general) to grow up and become independent, not have to be baby sat.

RR: Are you going to focus mainly on bringing in high school players?

TB: It’s nice to get high school recruits because you then get to work with them for 4 years. But JC players and transfers are a good way to bring in a few players with experience and quite frankly, players who are typically overlooked by many Division I programs.

RR: That’s probably a good idea since there aren’t all that many high school players in North Dakota as most other states. Are there any limitations when it comes to recruiting?

TB: Our budget is a definite limitation meaning we will not be able to spend a lot of money on national or regional reports or travel to summer camps. That just puts a bigger emphasis on aggressive use of the phone and looking at game film. Also one thing I can’t do here is run a crooked recruiting program, not that I would ever want to do that of course. The powers that be are dead set against that since NCAA penalties might also in some way impact their football program. And I definitely hear them loud and clear...no cheating in recruiting. But that’s no problem really. There are enough good recruits and transfer players out there anyway...plus even if we were so inclined, we don’t have a big enough budget to offer bribes that would truly induce strong recruits.

RR: What about your assistant coaches?

TB: That’s something I’m looking over now. I’m in the process of talking with the assistants that were here last year to see what they bring to the table and how things will mesh out. The budget means that assistants aren’t going to be making a ton of money, but I think we can get some good ones who will come to North Dakota State to learn how to win.

RR: How does the team look for the upcoming season?

TB: Obviously it is far too early to be able to answer that question. But I’ve been watching a lot of game film and while we may not be exceptionally deep, I think there are some players who will surprise people. There’s a few who didn’t get a lot of playing time last season, but when they were on the court, they exhibited some good qualities and talent that can be developed further. But now isn’t the time to talk about specific players. I’ve already told the entire team that all starting positions are up for grabs. So they all need to work on their skills this summer and may the best man win.

RR: OK Coach! Thanks for visiting with us today and good luck with the Bison!

TB: Just one final word to your listeners...come out to Scheels Arena and watch how this team develops. We need your support.


#8

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Bison Blog

 

It didn’t take long for Coach Tad Bolton to put his initial stamp on the Bison men’s basketball program. Earlier this week all three assistant coaches were released. Then yesterday, the athletic department announced the hiring of Jason Jones as 1st Assistant, Steven Bland as 2nd Assistant, and Michael Lampley as 3rd assistant. 

Jones’ forte is player development and obviously he will be Bolton’s primary bench coach. He is 49 years old and most recently was the 2nd assistant at Wyoming. His family is mostly in North Dakota, so that likely was a factor that weighed in for him to come to Fargo.

Bland, age 60, has been an assistant coach at the college level throughout the upper Midwest for many years where he developed overall skills in all facets of the game. Indications are that he will be the team's scout.

Lampley is 53 years of age. After coaching high school sports for many years in North Dakota, he handled recruiting and scouting chores at Bismarck State College the past 3 years. It appears he will be handling recruiting duties under Coach Bolton.


#9

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Dynasty Background

 

Coach Tad Bolton: 41 yr old, Ambition high, Low integrity, low discipline, low academics, Temper low, Ratings-30 across the board (want to see how head coach ratings improve yearly in CB2016 so starting with equal ratings makes that easier).

North Dakota State Bison: Team Prestige: 10, Conference Prestige: 17, Facilities: D, Academics: C+, Minimum SAT Score: 900, Starting Budget: $129,000.

Assistant Coaches:

Fired: Nashon Porter, Stephen Hill and Jermaine Sullivan

Hired:

1st asst; Jason Jones, Age 49, Primary strength: Player Development (Reputation: low, Ambition: avg, Academics: very high, Discipline: very high, Temper: high)

2nd asst: Steven Bland, Age 60, Primary strength: Recruiting (Reputation: low, Ambition: low, Academics: low, Discipline: very high, Temper: avg)

3rd asst: Michael Lampley, Age 51, Primary strength: Scouting (Reputation: low, Ambition: avg, Academics: very low, Discipline: avg, Temper: avg)
Strategies:

Offense: Scrapping the high post that had been employed by the previous regime. Primary offensive sets will be the Princeton and Flex with occasional use of the Shuffle. This will mean a steep learning curve since while the Princeton is known by the players, the Flex is not. 

Defense: Man-to-man will continue to be the primary defense. While I’d planned to use the 1-3-1 zone as our secondary defense, since the players have been schooled in the 1-2-2 and since we are bringing in the Flex offense as a completely new offensive strategy, we will stick with the 1-2-2 to not have two completely new strategies that the players must learn.

Pressure Defense: Will continue to use full court man-to-man.


#10

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Fargo Forum

 

[Fourth page of Sports Section]

Bedard Gives Verbal Commitment

Following what appeared to be a quiet summer for the men’s basketball program at North Dakota State, the Athletic Department announced today that they have a verbal commitment from Fargo’s North High School PG Jared Bernard. 

The 6’4” Bernard, who will graduate this coming June, was the leader of his North High School team last season as a junior. His coach, Merle Trask, said, “I expect Jared to be a force for us this coming season. I’m very happy that he has decided to attend North Dakota State after he graduates. That means I'll get to see some of his games. He has exceptional ball handling and passing skills as well as a sweet outside shot.”

This summer, Bernard was a Top 25 player at the Houston Classic summer camp.

Tad Bolton, North Dakota State’s new head coach, said, “We were impressed after seeing game films of Jared, but when we saw him in action at the Houston Classic, we knew he could be a big help to our team. His height gives him some extra advantage at the point guard position as well. But he’s a good scorer, so can also play at the shooting guard position for us. Jared comes to us with experience in the 1-2-2 zone which will be one our primary defenses.”

When asked about the Bison’s progress on filling the remaining two scholarships that the team will have, Bolton indicated they are focusing on picking up another guard and a big man.


#11

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NDSU News, Kyle Partington, sports reporter

 

With the beginning of the 2015-2016 season right around the corner,, it's time for a preview of the Bison basketball team. 

The team opens the season with two road games at New Orleans and North Florida before playing their home opener on November 21 against Creighton. They will finish November by playing Rice and Dartmouth on the road. Then they open December with two home games versus Wisconsin-Green Bay and Boston College. Game against Presbyterian, Lehigh, Pacific and Cal State Bakersfield finish their pre-conference schedule.

Coach Tad Bolton said he felt fall practice went very well and that the team worked hard to get ready for the upcoming season. Bolton said, “Our team looks to be very strong and deep at the shooting guard position. Seniors Colin Shannon and Matt Haywood will likely anchor the team . And while we’re not deep interiorly, the core of the front line is strong.”

When asked about his starting lineup, Bolton commented, “We’re still finalizing that, but at this point I’m leaning on moving Colin from shooting guard, where he performed well last season to point guard. I think his experience and ability as well as his outside shooting will help solidify the team. That also will allow senior Kevin Brinker to take over as the starting shooting guard. But freshman Kelsey Brown has been impressive in practice and may challenge at the 2. David Miller and Cliff Evans give us depth at the 1.”

Bolton added, “Brandon Tracy looks to have the edge over Michael Daniels at the small forward position thus far. Of course Matt Haywood will be back to start at center. James Hall will begin the year as our starting power forward with Jaron Dickerson backing up both Haywood and Hall. Evan Williams will also get substantial minutes up front for us.”

Bolton advised that they are redshirting SF Kevin Gordon and PG James Winter this season.


#12

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Fargo Forum

 

[Second page of sports section]

Bison Struggle in First Game

The North Dakota State Bison basketball schedule got underway last night in Louisiana where they took on the New Orleans Privateers in their first game coached by Tad Bolton.

The early going of this contest was sort of like grinding sausage. Messy but effective. And the Bison ground out a 10-4 lead but it took them 6 painstaking minutes to do so as both teams looked uncomfortable on the court. As if in a heavyweight prizefight, though, the Privateers slugged back, and with 8:23 remaining in the first half, forged into their first lead at 16-15. From there on, a combination of poor shooting by the Bison plus the refs acting as the 6th, 7th, and 8th players for the Privateers, led to a fall by the Bison into a deep 44-25 halftime hole. The only Bison to distinguish himself in the first half was SG Kevin Brinker who scored 8 while handing out 3 assists. Halfway through the game, 6 of the Bison players were in foul trouble with two of those dogged with 3 fouls each.

Throughout much of the 2nd half, the Privateers maintained their big lead, but late in the game, the Bison made a run, cutting the lead to 10 points with 3:11 to go. But that was as close as they were to get, losing the first game under the direction of their new coach Tad Bolton by a score of 77-64.

The new coaching staff will have to figure out how to overcome such deficiencies as a 30-16 rebounding disadvantage, allowing an opponent to hit 61% of their shots, and being called for 25 fouls. Offensively, SG Kevin Brinker finished with 14 points and SF Brandon Tracy added 10 while reserve PF/C Jaron Dickerson scored 9. New Orleans was led by SF Sam Lane’s 17 points while PF D.J. Benton pulled down 10 rebounds.

Interviewed after the game, Bolton said, “I’m not worried about our defense. Early in the game the Pelicans were hitting about 40% of their shots. But when the refs began whistling us repeatedly, not only did our players get into foul trouble, but they had to play looser defensively and New Orleans took advantage of that. It also contributed to us being less aggressive on the boards. I was pleased that our guys never gave up and made that late run.”

The Bison will take their 0-1 record next to Jacksonville, Florida where they will take on the North Florida Osprey.


#13

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"Unofficial NorDakStater"--a blog by Ron Slocum

 

I caught up with North Dakota State’s lone basketball recruit thus far this season. Jared Bedard was surprisingly talkative. It seems that initially he had every intention of getting away from home so he could be out on his own. Bedard told me, “I was looking at several different schools and pretty much wrote off North Dakota State. Certainly the University of North Dakota showed a lot of interest. And I sort of wanted to get to a Big 10 team. There were a lot of talks with Wisconsin and Iowa. As the summer ended I really was leaning toward the Badgers. Both Coach Bolton and Jones from ND State kept trying to contact me. I had been putting them off all summer, but finally I decided to listen to what Coach Bolton had to say. I was impressed by how he gives his players a lot of independence outside of practices and games. In addition, Coach B wasn’t concerned when I admitted I’d gotten into some scrapes. Nothing serious of course. But he just said to put that behind me. Then I agreed to a campus visit which wasn’t tough since the school is only a couple miles from my home. I’d seen the campus before, but got a much better look and really liked what I saw and experienced. And the players on the team were very open with me. Of course, I knew Kelsey Brown and had played against him a lot since he was just a year ahead of me at South High while I was going to North HS here in Fargo. I’ve always liked how he plays and we hit if off during my visit. Then later, Coach Bedard made a couple home visits, and I was impressed with what he had to say, particularly that he figured I’d get a lot of playing time. So were my parents. So ultimately, it was easy for me to say yes when he offered a scholarship. I’m looking forward to teaming up with Kelsey (Brown) and the rest of the team next season.”

While it may take a year of maturing for Bedard to be a force on the Bison team, he very well could content for a starting job next season. Last season as a senior at North High Schoo, he averaged 15.6 ppg, 5.1 apg, 4.2 rpg, 3.8 spg, and 0.4 bpg. Coach Bolton has repeatedly said that they were very impressed by the way he handles the ball and his uncanny passing ability. His 6-4 height should be an plus, particularly since he is swift afoot and has quick hands.

The Bison still have two unfilled scholarships. When I mentioned that, Bedard replied, “I sure hope they get some strong players, because I want to play on a team that does some damage in the NCAA Tournament.”


#14

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Pepper Thorlakson, KFOG—excerpts of radio play-by-play

 

Thanks for tuning in tonight, Bison fans. We’re coming to you from Jacksonville, Florida where the Bison will go up against the North Florida Osprey. The Osprey are 1-1, whipping South Dakota by a score of 97-83 before losing at Eastern Washington 84-65. The Bison bring in an 0-1 record following their loss at New Orleans earlier this week. 

The Osprey have 4 players averaging in double figures, led by David Rude’s 19 ppg. Their primary offense is the 5-out while they have primarily man-to-man coverage on defense.

Coach Bolton is starting the same lineup as in the Bison’s first game with 6-2 senior Colin Shannon at the point, 6-6 Kevin Brinker at the other guard position, 6-7 sophomore Brandon Tracy at small forward, 6-6 junior James Hall at power forward, and 6-9 senior Matt Haywood at center.

**********
Brinker steals the ball and fires it up court to Shannon who drives to the bucket and slams it home to put the Bison on top 7-2. NDSU continues their aggressive play.
**********
James Hall hits a baseline jumper to score his 6th point and give the Bison’s a 20-11 lead with 9-1/2 minutes left in the half.
**********
Roger’s pass goes awry and Hall picks it off and rives the length of the court for a slam dunk putting North Dakota state ahead 22-11.
**********
Bolton storms off the bench as the refs tag Colin Shannon with a foul. That’s the 8th team foul. 
**********
North Florida’s run continues as they jam home a shot to cut the Bison lead to 25-23.
**********
The teams head to the locker room. The Bison lead 28-26. PF James Hall is the leading scorer for North Dakota State with 9 points. 
**********
Hall is called for his 3rd foul less than 4 minutes into the 2nd half. He goes to the bench with 11 points. 
**********
Brinker cuts to his left, then turns to put up a shot over his defender. The ball slips silently through the net to make it 39-26 in favor of North Dakota State. Brinker now has 13 points.
**********
The Bison continue their pressure defense. With both of North Florida’s point guards suffereing from injuries, their effectiveness is limited.
**********
North Florida scores their 6th straight point narrowing the Bison lead to 49-38. Bolton calls a time out with 7:52 to play to settle his guys. Following the time out, **********
Shannon takes the inbound pass, he cuts around a screen set by Tracy and puts up a jumper. Bison up their lead to 13.
**********
The Osprey are forced to foul. Evans hits the first and misses the second to make 57-48 with 44 seconds left. 
**********
The buzzer sounds and North Dakota State has its first victory of the season. The final score is 59-50. Three Bison players were in double figures. SG Kevin Brinker led their scoring with 15. PF James Hall scored 13 and C Matt Haywood added 10.
**********

PT: Fans, I have Bison head coach Tad Bolton with me. Coach, great game! What was the difference?

TB: Our guys played well together tonight. I think the biggest difference between the two teams tonight was that we were something like +13 in rebounds. Our ability to control the boards kept the Osprey from getting in sync offensively. The Osprey were limited at the point with their two top point guards playing with injuries. We kept the pressure on them which forced a total of 17 turnovers. On the negative side, we were sloppy with the ball and had 17 turnovers ourselves, so that’s something we need to work on. James Hall played a particularly strong game tonight, scoring 15, grabbing 6 rebounds, dishing out 2 assists and defensively getting 2 steals and a block while totally dominating his man defensively.

PT: Now you finally get a home game against Creighton this Monday.

TB: Yes, always good to play at home, but Creighton will be tough.

PT: I’ll let you get to the locker room now. Thanks for the interview.


#15

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NDSU News, college newspaper

 

Bison Top Creighton in OT

North Dakota State’s basketball team played their first home game this season, taking on the Creighton Blue Jays as Sheels Arena to a host of empty seats.

The Bison fell behind 9-2 early as Creighton’s C Josh Stoudamire took control. But NDSU tied it at 17-17 on James Hall fall away jumper with 12:14 to play. On their next possession they took the lead on Brandon Tracy’s long 3. Even though Stoudamire was uncontrollable, finishing the half with 15 points, the Bison play solid ball and hit 63% of their shots to take a 46-42 lead to the locker room. PF Evan Williams came off the bench to lead their scoring with 9 points.

Creighton tied the score 50 seconds into the 2nd half and took a 49-48 lead less than a minute later. Creighton then built a 59-51 lead with 15-1/2 minutes to play. The Bison stayed close but couldn’t get a lead. With 1:42 left they trailed 81-78. After calling a time out, Colin Shannon hit a 3 to tie the game with a minute remaining. Shannon was called for a touch foul and Creighton sunk both free throws. Brandon Tracy was fouled and hit both of his free throws to tie it again with 42 seconds to go. The Blue Jays got the ball inside to Stoudamire who knocked down a 5 footer for his 31st point and a 2 point Creighton lead. With 17 seconds on the clock, James Hall put up a jumper which didn’t drop but he was fouled on the shot. He calmly dropped in both shots and again the game was tied with 17 seconds remaining. Needing a stop, NDSU played tough defense so that Creighton was forced to put up a last second shot that went off the rim taking the game to overtime.

Both teams scored on their first 2 possessions, but then Creighton fouled on the next two possessions by the Bisons resulting in 4 straight points on free throws giving the Bison a 94-90 lead with 2:30 left in OT. The Bison offense kept things going by dropping in 2 field goals, 2 free throws, and a 3 on their next 4 possessions giving NDSU a 103-90 advantage. A late 3 by Creighton made the final score 103-93 for a big win by the Bison.

PG Colin Shannon led the Bison scoring with 23 points. PF Evan William was big coming off the bench, knocking down 19 points. SG Kevin Brinker and SF Brandon Tracy both scored 17. For Creighton, C Josh Stoudamire had a game-high 33 points. SG Sheridan Rose added 19 points.

The Bison’s record now stands as 2-1 as they head back onto the road for games against Rice and Dartmouth.


#16

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Bison Blog

 

Since I have family in Houston, I decided that this was a good time to go visit them and while there, take in the Bison game against the Rice Owls. That way they at least had one fan at the game.

Whlle NDSU garnered an 8-4 lead, the first 8 minutes of play was plain ugly. Poor shooting and lots of turnovers by both teams. But the Bison continued to turn the ball over, finishing the half with 13 turnovers. That allowed the Owls to pull ahead and build a 29-26 halftime advantage. Five Bison players got into foul trouble in the first half.

The game remained close in the early going of the 2nd half, but midway through the half, the Bisons ran out of gas and Rice pulled steadily away to win with ease 66-51. While the Bison controlled the boards 34-24, they made 22 turnovers and hit just 39% of their shots. This contrasted with Rice hitting 54% of their FG attempts. SG Kevin Brinker was the only players on NDSU to score in double figures with 10 points plus he had 4 assists and 8 rebounds. PG Tahj Gibbs scored 17 points for Rice. The loss dropped North Dakota State’s record to 2-2.


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Fargo Forum newspaper

 

 

NDSU Turns Over Game to Dartmouth

Yesterday the North Dakota State basketball team played the Dartmouth Big Green in Hanover, New Hampshire. The Bison made a game of it early in the 1st half, then fell apart allowing Dartmouth to build a double digit lead in the middle stages of the half. But they came back to draw within 4 at the break at 31-27. Dartmouth reasserted themselves early in the 2nd half and quickly re-established a double digit lead that they held onto throughout most of the remainder of the game. North Dakota State suffered a 69-57 loss. As has been the case frequently for the Bison this year, they won the battle of the boards 39-21 but turned the ball over 19 times and got outshot by the Big Green 48% to 40%. C Matt Haywood scored 13 to go along with 7 rebounds and SF Brandon Tracy added 10 points. PF Evan Williams again played well scoring 9 and pulling down 8 boards. Dartmouth’s SF Julian Worrell led all scorers with 20 points. North Dakota State’s season record is now 2-3.

In response to a question about the Bison’s propensity to turn the ball over to their opponents, Coach Tad Bolton replied, “It’s definitely a concern and an aspect of the game we need to work on. It has negated our rebounding advantage in a few of our losses. Another thing I’m concerned about, though, is that our starting point guard, Colin Shannon, is continually being tagged by the refs for very picky fouls and that is keeping him on the bench far more than we want. It’s disappointing.”


#18

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KFGO Radio Sports: Tyler Baines Bison Sports Talk

 

TB: Hey folks, the NDSU game against Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix finished a little before I came on the air. So how did the Bison do? Well, I’ll tell ya. They won 73-61!  But rather than me pontificating about the game, let’s hear what you fans have to say about it. Call in if you attended the game. 
 
And here’s our first caller...it’s Mark the Shark. So Sharky, what stood out for you tonight?
 
MtS: Well first, the crowd at Sheels Arena was mighty small. Lots of elbow room! The Bison came out ready to play. They scored the first 6 points and built a 10 point lead midway through the first half. The team was aggressive and playing some lock-down defense early. So even though there were a lot of empty seats, the fans that were there really got into the game.
 
TB: Glad you like it, Sharky. Thanks for calling in. Our next caller is The Biggest Bison Fan. Tell me, how’d you get that nickname.
 
TBBF: Well, when you go to NDSU football teams, I’m the fan who shows up in the full Bison costume and charge and snort around the stands. So eventually others just starting calling me The Biggest Bison Fan. I don’t wear the costume to basketball games. It would be too hot. For football in North Dakota, the costume actually keeps me cozy warm.

TB: Tell me, what did you see as some key factors in NDSU’s win tonight.

TBBF: I was impressed how they attacked the boards. They positioned well and boxed out the Phoenix players really well. I really think that was the difference in the first half when the Bison got the lead and held onto a double digit lead right up to the end. Even though Wisconsin-Green Bay hit a 3 at the buzzer, the halftime lead was still 31-24.

TB: Now we have Ronnie calling in. Hey Ronnie, good to talk with you again. 

R: Hey man, this game was a blast. We partied before, during and after the game. I might be pretty buzzed, but I’ll tell you what. I liked what I saw tonight. That new coach managed the game well and kept subbing to keep fresh legs on the floor. That also led to really balanced scoring. All 10 Bison who got into the game scored and SF Brandon Tracy, SG Kevin Brinker and PF Evan Williams each finished with 12 points to lead the team’s scoring. I think Colin Shannon finally seems to be getting comfortable at the point. He had 5 assists tonight and was a good court general.

TB: Hey Ronnie, get some sleep and don’t be driving. After the commercial we’ll talk with Wolfman Stan.

TB: OK, we’re back. I’d like to find out what you think the Bison need to work on most, Wolfman.

WS: No doubt about it, Tyler. It’s turnovers. The team turned the ball over all too much from beginning to end. And yes, Wisconsin-Green Bay also failed to protect the ball, but the Bison made 18 turnovers and were a -2 in that statistic. They also didn’t control the Phoenix’ best scorer, SF Kirk Qualls. He finished the game with 19 points.

TB: Wolfman, you definitely know your basketball, so I have no doubt you hit the nail on the head. Let’s hear from Carla, a first time caller.

C: Thanks for taking my call, Mr. Baines.

TB: Hey Carla, we’re all friends here so call me Tyler.

C: Well, uhhh, ok Tyler. This is the first time I’ve ever called in to a radio station. I’m sort of nervous.

TB: No need to be nervous, most of the other people who are listening don’t have the intestinal fortitude you have to call in. So Carla, what’s on your mind?

C: I really like basketball, uhhhhh Tyler. I watch it on TV all the time...both mens’ and womens’ games. But I got so upset at the game tonight by the referees. The refs need to leave their whistles at home and let the guys play the game! The refs were tough on both teams, but they let Wisconsin-Green Bay back in the game in the second half by the penny-ante fouls they were calling against our Bison. 

TB: Good point, Carla. Anything else you want to say?

C: Ummm, well Tyler, just that the Bison shot very well. I heard they hit 50% of their shots in this game. Pretty impressive. And they shot consistently well throughout the game.

TB: I agree. And they held the shooting of Wisconsin-Green Bay to 41%. Great that you called in, Carla. Hope to hear from you again. But we now have to break for news.


#19

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NDSU News, college newspaper

 

Bison Clip Eagles Wings

Boston College came to Sheels Arena ranked #11 in the country with a win over #10 Syracuse and no losses on the road. The 7-1 Eagles brought 3 players scoring in double figures, led by PG Steve Strandmarks’s 17.4 ppg and PF John Morrisey’s 15.6 ppg. Morrisey also was averaging 8 rebounds a game. 

Having a ranked ACC team brought out a little larger crowd than normal. The fans were rewarded with a hard fought game by both teams early. The lead went back and forth with 11 lead changes and 5 ties in the first 10 minutes of the game. But even though the refs sent 3 Bison players to the bench in foul trouble, NDSU clamped down defensively and took a 37-25 lead with 4 minutes to go in the half. The Bison were on top 46-32 at the end of the first half due to their hitting 68% of their shots compared to BC’s 32% shooting. NDSU held a 15-10 rebound advantage, but the Eagles got to the line 11 more times and scored 11 more points on free throws. SG Kelsey Brown led the Bison offensively with 11 points in the half but was matched for high point honors by the Eagles’ PG Steve Strandmark.

The Bison came out on fire and scored the first 9 pts in second half to take a 23 point lead at 55-32. While it looked to be a blow out, NDSU was to need all those points before the end of the game. Bison shooting went cold and BC showed why they were a ranked team by cutting the lead to 9 with 6 minutes to go in the game. Strandmark hit a 3 with a minute left to reduce the lead to 67-62. After SG Kelsey Brown dropped in a pair of free throws, BC hit another 3 and trailed by just 4 points with 40 seconds to go. The Eagles were forced to foul on subsequent possession and PG Colin Shannon hit 4 of 6 free throws to keep BC at bay and allowing NDSU to score a huge 73-68 win.

The Bison held a 47% to 36% shooting advantage and were +9 in rebounds but turned the ball over 20 times. Leading scorer for NDSU was SG Kelsey Brown with 19 points. PF James Hall scored 12 and pulled down 9 rebounds. PG Colin Shannon added 10 points. BC’s sharp-shooting PG Steve Strandmark knocked down a game high 24 points.

When asked about his best game of the season, Kelsey Brown responded, “I was getting some good looks at the basket tonight and got some great screens from my teammates.” James Hall added, “We were psyched coming into the game to be playing a highly ranked team. Coach told us to just play a solid 40 minutes and we would have a chance of winning this one. Although we couldn’t control Strandmark, we were able to squelch everyone else. Our entire team came up big and really put together a solid defensive effort against a very talented team to pull off a big upset.”

With the win, NDSU has now won their last 2 games and stand 4-3 for the season. The Bison will travel to Clinton, South Carolina to take on the Presbyterian Blue Hose this Thursday night.


#20

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WVLY TV Late Night News—Sports Report by Porter Wellington

 

Tonight the North Dakota State Bison went on the road to take on the Presbyterian Blue Hose. The Bison shot the lights out in the first half to take a 39-32 halftime advantage with SG Kevin Brinker leading the way with 11 first half points.

But the hometown refs decided to even things up in the 2nd half by whistling foul after foul against NDSU. The Bison gamely held onto a double digit lead as the guard duo of Kevin Brinker and Colin Shannon poured in field goals to offset the free throws being awarded to Presbyterian. But late in the game the Blue Hose were finally able to close the game with their continuing parade to the foul line. With 1:43 left Presbyterian closed to within 2 points of the Bison. NDSU then completely shut down Presbyterian, though, to come away with a 72-67 victory and increase their win streak to 3 games. They're now 5-3 this season. 

Kevin Brinker finished the game with 21 points and Colin Shannon dropped in 19 for the Bison. Presbyterian’s big center, Teddy Reeves scored 20.

And in other Bison basketball news, the Summit League announced that Kelsey Brown won this week’s Freshman Player of the Week award. Congratulations, Kelsey! Steve Monroe, NDSU's Athletic Director, praised Brown's work ethic and said that he's developing quickly for a freshman and already is a key member of the Bison team.





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