Tag Archives: Ben Woodside

Happy Holidays

I am sure everyone is busy trying to get loose ends taken care of before the end of the year.  I have all my shopping done – which means my wife completed out shopping – I did buy her gift, all by myself!  And I did a fine job, thank you very much.

I hope you have a good holiday and safe travel as we take time to forget about work and focus on family and friends.  With this “time-off”, there will be plenty of sporting events to watch.  The other day we had  No. 2 Texas beat No. 9 Michigan State and No. 1 Kansas beat a tough California team.

So here are some very Quick Hits before I go into a Christmas Cookie Comma.

Final Four = Two Conferences?

There is a very good chance that in the Final Four, we will have two teams from the Big 12 (Kansas and Texas) and two from the Big Ten (MSU and Purdue).  What is missing?  A team from either coasts, the SEC, Big East or the ACC.

Look at the rankings and tell me other than Kentucky, who looks like a legit team?

  • No. 3 Kentucky – Even though I think they are legit – at this point – the Calapari Crew is a John Wall injury away from getting knocked out in the second round of the NCCAs.

Kentucky Side-Note:  Patrick Patterson needs to buy John Wall a very nice Christmas present for getting him easy buckets, and raising his draft stock.  Patterson is ranked No. 9 on Chard Fords Big Board.

  • No.5 Syracuse and No. 6 West Virginia – I have more faith in the Orangemen than the Mountaineers.  But to be fair, I have not seen much of either team.
  • No. 7 Duke – While Kyle Singler is the pre-season All-American, Jon Scheyer is the most important player in Durham.  And if Scheyer goes down, they only have two guards who can really play in Nolan Smith and freshmen, Andre Dawkins.
  • No. 8 Villanova – Could struggle mightily against teams with height and they also do not have the depth like the other teams.  ‘Nova has only two players over 6’8″ in freshmen Mouphtaou Yarou and Maurice Sutton.  Both play around 17 minutes a game, but thats against the cupcakes.
  • No. 10 UNC – While this team is loaded with NBA draft picks,  I am not sure which is the “go-to-guy”.  But I am sure that Roy Williams doesn’t know either.  My suggestion – Will Graves needs more touches.

Note To Media – Everything Will Be Fine With The Vikings!

I am so sick of hearing about a schism – or a feud involving Head Coach Brad Childress and Brett Favre.  Did you notice that I did not have to tell you what Favre’s role is, we know it.  Childress…um…not so much.

This happens to every team, but when it is Brett Favre, it becomes front page news.  Granted, when it is Randy Moss or Terrell Owens, it’s pretty much the same.  Isn’t “ego” great.

If there really is an issue, and Childress is talking about Favre and not to Favre, there is an issue and ultimately Childress is biting the hand that has fed him a nice-new contract extension.  But this happens, you hug-it-out and then you move on.  The have won the division and already locked up their playoff spot, and are playing only because the games are on the schedule.

It will be OK, everyone breath.  Have some egg nog and just one more cookie with the Hersey Kiss in the middle.

*If you go to the serach engine on ESPN.com and type in “Brad Childress” – you get 1948 articles/stories/podcast where Childress is mentioned.  Roughly 92.3% is from the last three days.  Seriously ESPN, way to be your own bull @#$! hype machine.

Mini-Hits

Happy Holidays everyone.

Quick Hits: 12/08/09

Happy Holidays everyone.  I apologize for my lack of posting – I find it tough during the holidays – but this year I have an even more legit “excuse”.  My daughter was born on Nov. 24th.  So my wife and I have been busy with that, along with trying to get everything ready for Christmas.

That being said, here is a very Mini-Quick Hits.

1. Allen Iverson returns to Philly – I will have more on this later.  Here is ESPN.com’s Chris Sheridans view on it.

2. The US Men’s National Team will play England in the first round of the Group Stage of the 2010 World Cup.  I have said this before, but the US Soccer site is pretty sweet.  Here is the article from www.ussoccer.com.

3. Speaking of soccer (that was my well thought-out transition) – Everton, a mid-table club in the English Premier League – also the team of US National Team goalie Tim Howard, is reportedly interested in Landon Donavon.

4. Injury Update

  • Ohio State’s Evan Turner broke 2 vertebrae and will be out up to eight weeks.  Here is the AP article.  I am a big fan of Turner and feel bad for the kid.  I hope he comes back ath the same level, with even more drive!
  • Vikings middle linebacker and Captain E.J. Henderson broke his leg in the game on Sunday night.  After playing in only 4 games last season because of an injury with dislocated toes, the Henderson will be out the reminder of the season.
  • On the other end of the healing spectrum – The Timberwolves welcomed back Kevin Love from a broken wrist. In the three games back, Love has played 24, 26, and 30 minutes and is averaging 15.7 ppg, 9.3 rpg and two steals a game.

5. North Dakota State’s All-Time leading scorer, Ben Woodside, is set to play in the Pro A League All-Star game in France.  Woodside was selected as the member of the best non-French team that will compete against the best French players in the league.  Woodside is averaging 16.6 ppg in 31 minutes a game. 

Woodside also has a blog that he keeps rather up-to-date at http://benwoodside.blogspot.com.

6. The Heisman Trophy finalist have been announced.  They are: Toby Gerhart – RB from Stanford, Mark Ingram – RB from Alabama, Colt McCoy – QB from Texas, Ndamukong Suh – DT from Nebraska , and some guy named Tim Tebow . 

7. It is Really no Surprise, but Joe Mauer was Announced as the Winner of Most Valuable Player in the American League of Major League Baseball.  I wanted that sentence to feel grand and important – so I capitalized a lot!

The following info is from ESPN.com.

AL MVP Voting

Joe Mauer received 27 of 28 first-place votes to win his first AL MVP award. The only other player to get a first-place vote was the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera, who finished fourth. A breakdown of the voting:

Player, team Total
Joe Mauer, Twins 387
Mark Teixeira, Yankees 225
Derek Jeter, Yankees 193

Here is the link for the full article by the AP on ESPN.com. Plus you get some video.

Mauer is only the second catcher, Ivan Rodriguez in ’99, to win the award.  And is the second Twin on the current roster to win the AVP Award.  Justin Morneau won the award in 2006 – that announcement was not as accepted as this one.  Mauer was the best candidate, and it would have been fun, if Morneau would have been healthy, to see them both as top five finisher.

Twins MVPS

  • Mauer
  • Morneau
  • Rod Carew (’77)
  • Harmon Killebrew (’69)
  • Zoilo Versalles (’65)

Quick Hits: 8/19/09

Favre in Minnesota Purple and GoldBrett Favre

This is a surprise to no one and to be honest, it is a great move all around.  Here is some Quick Hits reasoning to why this is a good move.  

For the MN Vikings – They get a legit QB on a team many people believe were a legit QB away from the Super Bowl.

Ziggy Wilf– Financially this is a win-win.  The media coverage and the ticket/jersey sales is going to be awesome.

Adrian Peterson – Teams will not be able to stack the box as much.

Viking Receivers – You get a QB who can throw the ball into the ocean.

Brett Favre – No matter what he says, the Packers ran Favre out of town.  They did – and now he has a chance to shut them up.

Michael Vick – We moved off this topic for a couple days.

The NFL – They get another story line that is not highlighting some criminal act.  Unless you talk to the Packer Fans – they might view this as a misdemeanor at least!  

I have never been a Favre fan, but I have always respected him and enjoyed watching him play.  And I can understand that if a team offers you a chance to play and compete at a high level, $12 Million a year, and an opportunity to go back to Green Bay and stick it to Ted Thompson – you tell me why he doesn’t sign. 

One thing I would like to say to Brett – because I am sure he checks out the blogs:  Remember – this was a good team without you with a great running back and defense, stay within the system.  Please – it worked in Green bay your last year – just let it happen and don’t force the issue unless necessary.

Former Duke PG Greg Paulus to Start at QB for Syracuse

Someone would have to prove it, but I am not sure this has ever happened before.  An athlete that goes from being a starting point guard at one school to becoming the starting quarterback at another school.

Just like the Favre story, this will be an interesting ride.  Click here for the ESPN write-up and video.

MN Timberwolves Head Coach – Kurt Rambis 

The Rambis signing is one that I understand and I “ok” with.  This is a young team that needs to grow together and why not have a new coach that willl grow with them.  Mark Jackson would have been fine, but I do think Rambis is more ready to lead a team.

Ben Woodside Update

NDSU’s All-Time leading scorer is going to play over in France.  After playing on the Timberwolves summer squad, the 5’10” point guard has picked his bags and will follow former teammate Brett Winkelman to Europe.  Winkelman will  play with Edimes Pavia in Italy.

“Woodside signed a contract to play professionally with BCM Gravelines Dunkerque, a team that placed sixth last year in the 16-team Pro A League — the highest league in France. Woodside would not disclose his salary but said he has an option until early September to sign with another team.”  *Taken from Dickinson Press 8/12/09.

Good Luck Guys – have fun.

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.  Yahoo.com 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!

Conference Tournaments

Mission Possible

It was hard watching the North Dakota State game last night’s game against Oakland for the Summit League tourney championship.  The first half was like watching players I had never seen before in the Bison uniform, they were lazy, lacking the energy and confidence we have been used to here in Fargo.Ben Woodside

In the second half, Saul Phillip’s team finally found their confidence and came back from 16 points down to take the lead on a Ben Woodside jumper with 3.3 seconds left in the game.  The win gives the Bison it’s first NCAA birth in the school’s first year eligible.  NDSU’s win is the first of it’s kind since 1972 when Louisiana – Lafayette made the jump to D1 tourney bid.

Congratulations to the Bison and I know former Bison coach Tim Miles is has to be beaming today.  Miles, currently coaching at Colorado State, was the architect behind the Bison vision to red-shirt this year’s senior when they were freshmen, ultimately planning for last nights game five years ago.

Now, I am not sure Woodside and the Bison can be this year’s Steph Curry and Davidson, but I do expect them to competitive as a 12 or 13 seed.  I would expect them to push whom ever they meet in the opening round.

Remember a couple seasons ago?  The Bison, lead by this years starters, beat an Alando Tucker lead Wisconsin team and a Marquette team with the same three guard combo that the Golden Eagles this season.  Both teams were ranked when they lost to the Bison.  They also pushed a talented, but under achieving, USC team before losing by 4 points this season in a game the Woodside did not play well.

All of Fargo is happy that Woodside is getting more publicity, this kid is as fearless as he is talented and should be given a chance at the next level.

For the second time in less than, ESPN’s Andy Katz wrote a blog post on the Bison.

Big Ten

I have no expectations for the Big-Ten tournament, because I have no clue which versions of teams will show up.  As I write this, West Virgina is rolling over Notre Dame in the Big east tourney by 15 points.

Each Big-Ten has a “not so subtle” Jekyll and Hyde issue, with the Michigan State Spartans doing the best job at control the ugly and disgusting side of their teams play.  That being said, they were embarrassed by Northwestern at MSU.

Every team had horrible loses and impressive wins and could go all the way, but I do expect MSU or Purdue to win the whole thing.

Minnesota and Michigan need to win two games to be considered a “tourney quality team”.  Both had great starts to the season, and both let a great opportunity to cement a return to Big-Ten “top level” competition – I expect them to be there soon.

Penn State and Northwestern are both one win away from the tourney.  Both have beaten top tier Big-Ten teams and really should be given a look if they win one or not.

Big East

PITT, UConn, Louisville, Marquette, West Virginia or Villanova?

I am hoping for another UConn/PITT clash, but this is the Big East tourney, so the legend of Gerry McNamara looms heavy over the Madison Square Garden.

Syracuse has played well strong down the stretch, Notre Dame has not.  PITT is almost unbeatable.  Unless you are Providence – who should be a given for selection Sunday.

UConn is a first round lose away from a No. 1 seed, and Louisville needs to win the Big-East tourney to seriously be considered a No. 1 seed.

I have no idea on WVU.  They are not very deep – actually, no team has a lot of quality depth in the Big East – I could be easily persuaded by good argument from a PITT or UConn expert. The Mountaineers do have stud junior De’Sean Butler who is a legit NBA prospect.

My dream is for Notre Dame to win the whole tourney, Luke Harongody deserves better than the NIT.  Without the tourney Championship, I am not sure they will hear their name called on CBS this Sunday.

ACC Tourney

Just like the Big-Ten, the ACC has a quality through out the conference.  You can call UNC and Duke “heavy favorites”, but they have been beaten by lesser teams this season – aka Boston College – aka Tyrese Rice and Headband Bunch.

Clemson is experienced and should be tough,  Wake Forrest is young, talented and capable of winning whole tourney, and then you have Floria State who came out of nowhere.

Every game will be close and I would not be surprised to see any of the top seeded teams lose in their first game or see them all advance.  I know, bold prediction, but I really don’t know what to expect – see Big-Ten Jekyll and Hyde effect.

UNC needs to find PG help while Ty Lawson recovers, Duke needs Kyle Singler to learn how to shot again, if WF is going to go deep Jeff Teague must play all tourney long like he did against UNC, or James Johnson needs to live up to the hype.

Clemson is very balanced, Boston College is not, and Miami is the most frustrating team in the conference, but still could get hot and ride James McClinton for a couple wins.  North Carolina state should be better, Virginia Tech always gives Duke problems, and Virginia went “Wee, Wee, Wee all the way home“.

Side Note– If any of the Memphis Tigers games are remotely close- the C-USA tourney is on their home court –  John Calipari should have to go the rest of March without hair product.

Notre Dame has pulled back with in single digits.  So you are saying there is a chance?  No, I’m not.

Man Crush and Basketballing

I get tired of a lot of  “radio personalities.”  Too many people talking about the same thing, with the same point of view.  It can be either local sports talk or ESPN guys, it doesn’t matter.

But the one guy who I enjoy reading and listening to is ESPN’s Bill Simmons. I have his widget on the side of my blog and I have listened to his pod casts all day and will do the same tomorrow.  Read his stuff, funny and entertaining.

I just his train of thought and insight.

Saturday is the beginning on conference tourney play.  My local heart will be backing the North Dakota State Bison, as the look to back-up the regular season Summit title with the conference tourney championship and a chance to get a seed in the tourney above 16!!  Maybe.

Side-noteIf they win the tourney, they better not get stuck in that damn play-in game!!!

The Summit tournament will be competitive, and the hopes of the Bison faithful will again fall on Ben Woodside when the Bison match up with Centenary in Sioux Falls, SD.

Woodside also won the final Summit player of the week award which should be the icing on the cake that is the POY for the Summit Conference.

I still think he should be up for POY in the NCAA’s.  Too damn good.  Just look at his stats and his teams record.  A win over USC would have helped.  The Bison will be a nice story in the NIT or the NCAA’s as they make their first postseason appearance with the first chance the have.  One for One!!

Good publicity and $$$$$$$. (I heard a million dollars for just one game in the NCAA’s and $500,000 for a single game in the NIT).

The Gophers took a step close to popping the bubble and getting in the tourney with a win over rival Wisconsin.  How crazy would it be if the Bison make it and the Gopher’s do not.

Tubby’s crew needs another win over fellow bubble-boy Michigan, to get grab onto a 7-10 seed.

P.S. – My brother won $200 at half-time of the Gophers/Badgers game when he hit a lay-up, free throw and a 3 pointer in 25 seconds.  If he could have added a half court shot – $25,000.  Oh well, $200 more than he walked in the door with.  Unless he bet someone $200 he could make all four shots.  I don’t think he is that stupid! 🙂