North Dakota State Hosts Kansas City Thursday, South Dakota Saturday
Release: January 29, 2013
THIS WEEK: After losing back-to-back road games against the first- and second-place teams in The Summit League, the North Dakota State men's basketball team (16-5, 7-2) looks to get back in the win column against Kansas City (6-16, 3-6) at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, and South Dakota (8-13, 4-5) at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Bison Sports Arena (5,830) in Fargo.
WATCH: Live video of both games will be available to NDSU All Access subscribers on GoBison.com. Prices are $9.95 for a monthly subscription, $29.95 for four months and $79.95 annually. Live stats will be on GoBison.com and the NDSU Bison mobile app for Android, iPhone and iPod Touch.
LISTEN: KFGO-AM 790 of Fargo and Bison Radio Network affiliate KLTC-AM 1460 of Dickinson will broadcast live with KFGO's Scott Miller calling the play-by-play and NDSU director of sales and broadcasting Jeremy Jorgenson as color analyst. Coverage includes 20-minute pregame and postgame shows. Live audio streaming will be on GoBison.com and the NDSU Bison mobile app for Android, iPhone and iPod Touch.
THE SERIES: Thursday will be the 14th meeting between North Dakota State and Kansas City since 2004-05. NDSU leads the series 9-4 after winning 63-44 on Jan. 5 in Kansas City. The Bison are 5-1 in Fargo and have won two straight including an 89-88 double overtime win two years ago and a 55-54 win last year.
Saturday will be the 166th meeting between North Dakota State and South Dakota dating back to 1922-23. NDSU has won three straight to take an 83-59 lead in the series including the 92-66 victory Jan. 3 in Vermillion. USD has lost four straight in Fargo since its 86-73 win in February 2002.
ABOUT KANSAS CITY: The Kangaroos are 6-16 overall and 3-6 in The Summit League after last week's 67-59 home loss to Omaha. Estan Tyler leads the Roos with 11.5 points and 3.3 assists per game and Thomas Staton averages 11.3 points per game. Fred Chatmon is the team's leading rebounder with 7.6 per game. Head coach Matt Brown (Shippensburg, 1994) has a 58-114 record in his sixth season at UMKC.
ABOUT SOUTH DAKOTA: The Coyotes are 8-13 overall fifth in The Summit League with a 4-5 record entering Thursday's game at South Dakota State. USD lost 95-90 at home to Omaha last week. Juevol Myles leads the Coyotes with 16.0 points, 2.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game, Trevor Gruis averages 11.6 points and a team-high 6.2 rebounds per game. Head coach Dave Boots (Augsburg, 1979) has a 501-218 record in his 25th season at USD and a 616-291 record in his 31st year overall.
BISON GO COLD AT FROST ARENA: North Dakota State shot a season-low 25 percent in the second half of a 69-53 loss at South Dakota State last Saturday. TrayVonn Wright scored 16 points, Mike Felt made four 3-pointers for 12 points, and Marshall Bjorklund grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds for the Bison. Nate Wolters scored 26 points for SDSU, including a 3-pointer that cut NDSU's lead to 37-31 at halftime. That was the start of a 22-3 SDSU run that put the game out of reach as the Bison went scoreless for 9 minutes in the second half.
BISON 59th IN FOURTH NCAA RPI: North Dakota State dropped six spots to 59th in the fourth NCAA Rating Percentage Index released Monday, Jan. 28. NDSU had its highest rating in program history at No. 46 in the first RPI, passing the No. 86 final ranking by the 2009 NCAA tournament team and No. 80 ranking after last season's 10-3 start. NDSU is the highest-rated Summit League team ahead of South Dakota State (60) and Western Illinois (133). The Bison were rated 46th, 54th, and 53rd the past three weeks.
BISON 17th IN MID-MAJOR POLL: North Dakota State fell two spots to 17th in the tenth CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 released Monday, Jan. 28. NDSU's had its highest ranking in program history Jan. 14 when the Bison were No. 10, passing the No. 11 held Jan. 7 and by NDSU's 2009 Summit League championship and NCAA tournament team went 26-7 and was 11th in the final poll. NDSU received votes in the first two polls this year and was ranked 25th, 25th, 22nd, 14th, 11th,10th and 15th the past seven weeks.
BRAUN OUT 4-6 WEEKS: North Dakota State junior Taylor Braun will be out 4-6 weeks with a fracture in his right foot sustained during the second half of the Oakland game Jan. 12. Braun made 66 consecutive starts dating back to Dec. 30, 2010, and with 991 career points is in line to become the 28th player in school history to score 1,000. Braun is averaging 12.7 points over 78 career games. Michael Tveidt (2007-11) was the last 1,000-point scorer at NDSU.
WRIGHT THIRD IN CAREER BLOCKS: North Dakota State junior TrayVonn Wright is third in NDSU history with 97 career blocks. Wright has blocked a shot in 19 straight games from Nov. 12 to Jan. 19, including a career-high five blocks in the home win over Oakland.
NDSU Career Blocks
1. Jason Wenschlag, 220 (1989-93)
2. Joe Regnier, 146 (1985-89)
3. TrayVonn Wright, 97 (2010-present)
BISON BLOCKING SHOTS AT NEAR-RECORD PACE: North Dakota State's average of 4.7 blocks per game ranked 56th nationally through Sunday and would be third best in school history. NDSU has blocked at least four shots in 16 of 21 games with a season-low of one block at Kansas City and a season-high nine blocks at Morehead State.
BJORKLUND LEADS NATION IN SHOOTING:
North Dakota State forward Marshall Bjorklund's .717 shooting
percentage leads the nation for the fifth straight week in the NCAA Division I
statistics through Sunday. Bjorklund made 24 consecutive field goals over a
three-game span against Morehead State, South Dakota State and South Dakota,
four shy of the NCAA all-divisions record of 28 straight field goals made by
NDSU's Lance Berwald over a three-game span in February 1984. Bjorklund is second among NCAA active career
NCAA Division I Active Career Leaders, FG%
1. Taylor Smith, Stephen F. Austin - .697
2. Marshall Bjorklund, North Dakota State - .676
3. Jordan Morgan, Michigan - .624
4. Cody Zeller, Indiana - .614
5. Jack Cooley, Notre Dame - .610
SCORING DEFENSE: North Dakota State ranked 11th nationally through Sunday allowing just 56.8 points per game, which would be the best scoring defense in school history dating back to 1950-51. The Duquesne and James Madison games marked the first back-to-back 40-point efforts by the NDSU defense since 1990-91 when the Bison did it against North Dakota (L, 28-49) and Omaha (W, 65-48). NDSU has held eighth opponents under 50 points and prior to this year had done that just seven times in eight seasons of Division I basketball.
NCAA STATS: North Dakota State ranked among the top 50
nationally in eight categories in the 14th NCAA statistics report through
Sunday, Jan. 27. Individually, Marshall
Bjorklund ranked first in field-goal percentage (.710).
NDSU in the NCAA Stats, all games through Jan. 27
11th - scoring defense (56.8)
18th - FG percentage (.483)
22nd - fewest turnovers per game (11.4)
23rd - FG percentage defense (.381)
25th - 3FG percentage (.384)
29th - scoring margin (+12.3)
43rd - winning percentage (.762)
47th - assist/turnover ratio (1.20)
ALEXANDER PLAYER OF THE WEEK: North Dakota State guard Lawrence Alexander was named Summit League Player of the Week for the first time in his career Dec. 31. Alexander had 18 points and a season-high six assists in North Dakota State's 65-62 home win over South Dakota State. He was 6-for-10 from the field and grabbed two rebounds. Alexander scored nine points in the game's final five minutes to help the Bison overcome a four-point deficit. He played all 40 minutes and had zero turnovers in the second half.
BRAUN TWO-TIME SUMMIT PLAYER OF THE WEEK: North Dakota State's Taylor Braun was named Summit League Player of the Week by the league office for the second time in three weeks Dec. 10. Braun averaged 22.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in a pair of victories. He made 11 of 12 free throws and scored a game-high 23 points at Morehead State, and he led the Bison with 22 points and a career-high five steals against North Dakota. He earned his first career award Nov. 26 after averaging 11.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists over four games and being named MVP of the Progressive Legends Classic Pittsburgh Subregional.
BRAUN TIES 3-POINT RECORD: Taylor Braun tied a school record with seven 3-pointers made in the 95-51 win over Omaha on Nov. 29. Braun had 26 points and nine rebounds in the game and NDSU finished one shy of its team record making 15 of 25 shots from behind the arc. Braun tied the mark held by several players including Mike Felt, who made seven against Centenary in January 2011.
BRAUN MVP, WRIGHT ALL-TOURNAMENT: North Dakota State's Taylor Braun was named Most Valuable Player and TrayVonn Wright was named to the all-tournament team at the Progressive Legends Classic subregional. Braun averaged 14.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists in NDSU's 3-0 run through the tournament. Wright averaged 12.3 points and 7.3 rebounds. Eleven of his 22 rebounds were on the offensive glass.
BISON WIN ANOTHER TOURNAMENT: Non-conference tournaments have been a success for the Bison in recent years. North Dakota State won the Pittsburgh Subregional of the Progressive Legends Classic with wins Nov. 19-21 over Youngstown State, Duquesne and James Madison. NDSU went 3-0 last year at the University of San Francisco's Hilltop Challenge and 2-1 in the Basketball Travelers Invitational at Oregon two years ago. NDSU has a 17-6 record in non-conference tournaments since 2005-06 including championships at Montana State (Dec. 2005), Marquette (Dec. 2006) and San Francisco (Nov. 2011).
BISON PICKED SECOND IN SUMMIT: North Dakota State was picked to finish second out of nine teams in The Summit League according to a preseason poll of the league's head coaches, sports information directors and media. Defending Summit League tournament champion South Dakota State was the unanimous pick to win the league with all 30 available first-place votes and 390 points. North Dakota State had 321 points and got SDSU's vote for first place, Oakland was third with 310 points and Western Illinois fourth with 274 points. IUPUI edged Fort Wayne by two points for fifth place. Kansas City, South Dakota and league newcomer Omaha filled out the seventh, eighth and ninth spots in order. NDSU had three players named to the preseason all-league teams. Junior guard Taylor Braun was voted to the first team and junior forward Marshall Bjorklund and sophomore guard Lawrence Alexander landed on the second team.
SECOND POSTSEASON APPEARANCE: Last year's College Basketball Invitational presented by Zebra Pen was NDSU's second postseason appearance since beginning Division I play in 2004-05 and the first since the 2009 NCAA tournament when the Bison won the Summit League tournament and lost to No. 3 seed Kansas 84-74 in the first round of the Midwest Region. NDSU's first year of postseason eligibility was 2009 after a five-year reclassification from Division II that left the Bison out of the playoffs from 2005 through 2008.
PHILLIPS FOURTH NDSU COACH TO 100: Saul
Phillips is in his sixth season as head coach at North Dakota State and
fourth on the school's all-time wins list with a 100-72 record. Phillips directed NDSU to its first Summit
League championship and NCAA Division I tournament appearance in 2009, and was
one of 10 finalists for the Hugh Durham Mid-Major Coach of the Year award. A Bison assistant for three seasons, Phillips
came to NDSU from Wisconsin, where he was director of basketball operations for
three years under Bo Ryan. He was
an assistant for two seasons each at Milwaukee and Lake Superior State and a
graduate assistant at Wayne State in Nebraska for one year.
NDSU All-Time Coaching Victories
1. Erv Inniger, 244-150, 1978-92
2. Chuck Bentson, 169-207, 1949-65
3. Bob Lowe, 141-102, 1933-46
4. Saul Phillips, 100-72, 2007-present
NDSU COACHING HISTORY: NDSU's four previous head coaches have all gone on to bigger jobs and are all still actively coaching. Tim Miles (2001-07) went to Colorado State and is now the head coach at Nebraska. Greg McDermott (2000-01) went to Northern Iowa and Iowa State, and is now the head coach at Creighton. Ray Giacoletti (1997-00) went to Eastern Washington and Utah and is currently an assistant at Gonzaga. Tom Billeter (1992-97) went to St. John's and Texas A&M as an assistant coach and is now in his 10th year as head coach at Division II Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D.
BISON IN THE PROS: Five former Bison have played professional basketball since the school began Division I play in 2004-05. Forward Andre Smith (2005-07) is playing in Russia, guard Ben Woodside (2005-09) is in Turkey, and forward Michael Tveidt (2007-11) is in Spain. Forward Brett Winkelman (2005-09) played in Italy and guard Mike Nelson (2005-09) played with the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the NBA Development League.
FIVE SUMMIT TEAMS IN POSTSEASON: A record five Summit League men's basketball teams made postseason appearances last March, eclipsing the high of three teams in 1990 and tying for third-most among mid-major leagues in 2012. South Dakota State was in the NCAA, Oral Roberts made the NIT, North Dakota State and Western Illinois were in the College Basketball Invitational, and Oakland played in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
THE SUMMIT LEAGUE: This is North Dakota State's sixth year in The Summit League after reclassifying from Division II and spending three seasons as a Division I independent. Other members are Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI); University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC); University of Nebraska-Omaha; Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.; University of South Dakota; South Dakota State University; and Western Illinois University. The Summit League dropped from 10 teams to nine this year with the addition of Omaha from Division II and the departure of Southern Utah to the Big Sky Conference and Oral Roberts to the Southland Conference. The Summit League will be back to 10 members with the addition of Denver in 2013-14.