Category Archives: North Dakota State Bison

North Dakota State Basketball In Running for Top 100 Player

I saw this on the other night and I heard he was visiting this week.  Jay Harris is ranked as the No. 15 point guard in the nation and No. 64 overall.

The 6’0″ guard from Oswego, IL, is looking at NDSU as well as the University of Northern Iowa and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.


Harris has a great feel for the game with his ball handing, passing, the ability to finish in transition and making plays one on one. Harris can also score in a variety of ways in addition to his ability to get his own shot. He can spot up behind the arc on the side of dribble penetration, come off screens and attack the basket in transition. Harris is terrific at scoring over or around taller defenders although his must get stronger in order to be as successful on the next level. Playing with Boatright really allowed Harris to be very productive at the shooting guard position although he is a true point. Harris also displayed the ability to defend both guard positions and he came up with a couple on ball and cover down post steals with his quick hands. Harris has the talent and basketball IQ to be a terrific college lead guard but he must make the weight room a priority”  From

If Harris signs, he would be the first Top 100 player to commit to the play in Fargo starting in the 2010 season, and the single biggest signing in NDSU basketball history.

Trayvonn Wirght, the 6’7″ 175 pound power forward from Waterloo, IA, has already signed to play for coach Saul Phillips and is rated as the 77th best power forward in the country.

“Wright excels in open court situations where he can use his athleticism to his benefit. He has the ability to score the ball in the paint with different finishes and uses the rim wisely to protect himself. Trayvonn was able to rebound the ball outside of his area and grab the ball at its highest point. However, he was uncomfortable with physical play and needs to learn how to take advantage of his quickness to combat opponent’s strength. Wright has limitations with his ball handling skills; he has no lateral movement in his dribble and cannot easily shift positions; when cut off on drives, he will spin. He has made tremendous strides since the end of the high school season and has a lot of upside.”  From

Landing those two players would be another substantial building block to the foundation that was laid with the plan to; sit the four seniors, Ben Woodside, Brent Winkelmen, Mike Nelson, Lucas Moormann, win the conference, and play in the NCAA tourney the first year eligible.  We could not imgaine the extra hype of Woodside dropping 60 and getting Sportcenter shout-outs.  But it helped.

The 2009-10 season may not be as successful in terms of wins, trophies and accolades, but it is necessary in building this program to the next level.

NDSU’s Midnight Madness on ESPNU

I have a whole lot of college basketball preview and picks to get out there, and I will do that soon.

But first, North Dakota States basketball team will be highlighted on the four hour broadcast on ESPNU and ESPN2.

“Other schools being featured are Connecticut, Duke, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina and Washington. ESPNU anchor Lowell Galindo will host the show with Jim Barbar providing on-site commentary at NDSU.” taken from the Fargo Forum article.

Should be a good time to start the season.

North Dakota State’s Ben Woodside Continues to get Some Love

As a living legend in Fargo, there is not much else Ben Woodside can do that would improve his status in North Dakota. But for the rest of the basketball world, he is relatively a new commodity.

That being said, Woodside was named an All-American Honorable Mention by the AP and has been invited to play in an All-Star game at the Final Four in Detroit.  The game will feature 20 seniors whose teams are no longer playing.

CBS will be airing the game, but no details have been released at the moment.

Here is an article from my local paper.

Good Luck Woody.  I am sure you will do well.

Day Two Recap

Day two had more Madness and it finally resembled tourneys of the past with upsets and game going down to the wire.  We had major programs get beat by the deadly “Mid-Major” and say some great individual performances.  North Dakota State University's Ben Woodside soars past Kansas' Sherron Collins for a basket Friday during the NCAA tournament at the Metrodome in Minnepolis. David Samson/The Forum

1.  Domination of the Day: Louisville over Morehead State.  Runner-up: Cleveland State over Wake Forrest.

2.  Performance of the DayBen Woodside of North Dakota State scored 37 points in the Bison lose to Kansas.  Woodside shot 13-for-23 from the field and 8-for-10 from the foul-line.  Runner-up: Sherron Collins of Kansas.

3.  Upset of the Day:  There are a couple to pick from, but Cleveland State over Wake Forrest is the obvious choice.  Plus they were dominate in this game.  The Vikings looked like the higher seed.

Telling stat of the game: Cleveland State had six turn overs, WF had 18.

4.  Game of the Day:  Again, there were many to pick from, but I think the best game was the Oklahoma State over Tennessee.

5.  Bison Review:  I would say that I was happy with the way the Bison played and Kansas took advantage of NDSU’s weakness in the post.  NDSU was able to hit from deep, but had no counter punch to Cole Aldirch down low.  I was glad to see Woodside play well and he kept the Bison in the game.  He was able to get to the basket very easily and showed that he is a talented player.  The battle between him and Collins was great.

6.  Overall Feeling on the Day:  Other than the 16 vs. 1 seeds – and a couple other random games – the quality of play has been very high in this tournament, and the second day of Big Dance Madness was nothing less.

NDSU Season Ends In A 74-85 Lose To Kansas

It was a good game.  The Bison had chances to win this game, but Kansas was tough down low.  The Bison still in thiese game because of Ben Woodside and their shooting from deep.  But it wasn’t enough.

Woodside showed just what kind of player we have been talking about all season. had this article as the front of the sports section.

I was happy with the out coming, I think North Dakota is proud of the way these guys played and made a name for themelves and this school.

As far as NBA possibility with Woodside:  Before the NCAA’a I thought he might have a chance at getting drafted, but was unsure if NBA people knew anything about him.  Now they do and he will be invite to predraft workouts and camps, and have a chance to show his talented.

Bison Breakdown

In his first post, the new guy broke down the school whose football team lost to the North Dakota State Bison two years ago, the Minnesota Golden Gophers – I will breakdown the darlings of the NCAA’s from Fargo in like fashion.Ben Woodside

1. Key to a Bison Win: Be aggressive but under control. Saul Phillip’s team looked extremely passive in the first half of the Summit League Championship game.  I don’t know if that was nerves or a team that was over confident and waiting for the game to balance out and “come to them”. Either way, they need to play their game with aggression from the opening tip.

2. Key Player for the BisonBen Woodside. Predictable, you might say.  Sure, it’s predictable, he is NDSU’s leading scorer.  Why is he so valuable??  He is the best player in the Summit League and is the 10th leading scorer in the country.  Typically, as Woodside goes, so go the Bison.

3.  X-Factors for Bison: Everyone not named Ben Woodside.  The Bison have capable scorers and I have a feeling Kansas will have a guy hounding Woodside from the moment the ball is in play.  The Bison have double-digit scorers in Mike Nelson (11.9), Brent Winkelman (18.7), and Michale Tviet (9.7)  has picked up his game of late and shoots 46% from deep.  Plus, all the Bison fans will make the Dome feel like a Bison home game (my goal was to say Bison as many times as possible in this paragraph – I got 6). Cole Aldrich

4.  Why the Bison Could Lose: It’s Kansas.  They have Cole Aldrich.  He is a monster in the post.  The Bison were beat-up by Oakland’s 6’11” center, Keith Benson .  Aldrich goes for 15 and 11 a game, and his shot is nearly unblockable – he has the KG behind the head release.

5.  How Far will the Bison Get?: It depends on who wins the West Virginia and Dayton match-up.  I think it will be a tough match-up against WV, NDSU is more efficient on the offense end, but could struggle guarding WV’s length and athletic ability.  Dayton is more balanced, has no player averaging more than 13 points, and shoots only 33% from distance.

Additional Note- The Bison are the 3rd best in the country in FG% at 48.9% and 5th in 3PT% at 41.2%, compared to KU who is 21st in FG% at 47.9% and 34th in 3PT% at 37%.  The Bison starting line-up is taller than KU- expect at center – so the Bison should be able to get their shots off , and if the percentages hold true, NDSU will be in the game.

I do not expect them to win on Friday, but I think is the game is close, the Bison are lead by experienced players who are confident and battle tested.

Fear the Herd!

Eight Thoughts of Madness – plus another point of the highest importance

I am not going to breakdown the brackets, there are enough people to do that.  But I do want to highlight a couple of details, players and match-ups that should be interesting.

1.  I am pretty sure every bubble team got into the tourney.  Minnesota, Michigan, Arizona, etc.

The seeding for said bubble teams is very high.  I think MN is a 10 seed.  I understand that “if” they were to get in, the Gophers are better than many automatic bids and some at large bids.  But a 10 seed is like giving Tubby’s team the “you will make up for your late season disaster” pass, which I am not sure they deserved.

And Penn State and St. Mary’s out, not sure why.

2.  NDSU gets as much of a home court advantage as possible in Minneapolis.

The Bison only have to drive 3 hours or to face No. 3 seeded, and defending champs, Kansas.  Which is great because NDSU travels very well.  Two points:

a.  In the midst of a huge blizzard that dumped 8-12 inches of snow on the region, the Bison nation was in full effect at the Summit League tourney supporting their team in Sioux Falls, South Dakota – I also find the name of the city a little ironic. 

b.  Two years ago,when the Bison football beat the Gophers at the Dome, I was told the Dome was at least 50% Bison fans, and probably more.  So I would expect a “home game” feel to the first round mach-up with Kansas.

There are some very interesting facts surrounding this game with the Jayhawks.Jeff Boschee

  • North Dakota State is the state’s first school to make the NCAA tourney.
  • NDSU is playing Kansas Jayhawks, who recruited Jeff Boschee from Valley City, ND – the first McDonald’s All-American from ND.  Jeff went on to be a four year starter, played in the 2002 Final Four, and finished his career as the Big-12 leader in three pointers made.  Texas’ A.J. Abrams broke that record this year.
  • Kansas center Cole Aldrich was a McDonald’s All-American out of Bloomington, MN who had a coming out party against UNC’s Tyler Hansbrough on the Jayhawk’s way to the national championship.
  • During Boschee’s senior year, Kansas came to Grand Forks, ND and played the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux in the first ever event at the infamous Engelstad Area.
  • Pointless side-note -On that UND team was NBA draft pick Jerome Beasley.

3. Does it bother anyone else that three out of the four No. 1 seeds lost the last game they played?  It bothers me.

4.  I think UConn is not the weakest No. 1 seed, but they are the most likely to lose before the Final Four.  They have a potential match-up against with Purdue or Missouri/Memphis.

5.  Which the toughest region?  The South Region.  UNC, Oklahoma, Syracuse, and Gonzaga make-up the best top four seeds in any bracket and after that is a crap shoot to determine who get out of that mess.

6.  No. 12 seed most likely to beat a No. 5 seed?  I have two.Jordan Hill

  • This may have more to with who the 5 seed is, than who the 12 seed, but  Western Kentucky has a great draw against a bipolar Illinois team that struggles offensively.
  • No. 12 Arizona match’s up with No. 5 Utah in the Midwest Region.  Arizona has at least two NBA players and you might she a “last hurray” type effort with Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill - just imagine if Jared Bayless and Brandon Jennings decided to play for the Wildcats, I bet Lute would have stuck around.

7.  MnM’s. In my brackets I have seven schools that start with the letter “M” playing in the second round.  Five of the in the West Region – Memphis, Missouri, Maryland, Marquette and Mississippi State.

8.  My Final Four – In one bracket I have all four No. 1 seeds.  In the other, three No. 1 seeds and Memphis, but trust me, it gets all crazy before the final four.

9.  On Wednesday evening or so, we are going to have a special guest to help me breakdown some of our favorite teams.  He has a close connection to a couple teams and opinons on the others – which is what we need here, more opinions. 

Now, I have stated that did not play varsity sports in high school, but the new guy did – if you are nice and say king things, he might stick around and post on a regular basis .

So over the next couple days clear your schedule and get ready for the greatest sport event in the world.