GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The North Dakota men’s basketball team will be looking for the program’s 900th home victory on Wednesday against Crown College. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
The previous 899 wins have come at seven different venues with the UND Fieldhouse holding the most victories with 538. UND has won 77 home games since moving the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center prior to the 2004-05 season, including a 13-1 mark last season.
UND VS. CROWN COLLEGE SERIES
All-time First Meeting
in Grand Forks First Meeting
UND Head Coach Brian Jones vs. Crown College 0-0
Crown College Head Coach Luke Herbert vs. UND 0-0
WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN/TRACK
Radio: 100.3 FM (Grand Forks) or iHeart Radio App (computer or smart phone)
Live Audio Stream: www.UNDSports.com (free)
Live Streaming: www.BigSkyTV.org (free)
Live Chat: www.UNDSports.com (free)
Live Stats: www.UNDSports.com
IN THE PAINT...
• This will be the first meeting between UND and Crown on the hardwood and it will also be the first time the Storm have played a Division I opponent. Crown is a NCAA Division III member located in St. Bonafacius, Minn.
• UND is 3-3 in home openers under head coach Brian Jones, including victories over Waldorf College in its last two.
• With the 85-52 loss at K-State, North Dakota is fell to 3-4 in season openers under Jones. The last time UND won a season opener on the road was at Kansas City (UMKC) on Nov. 14, 2008 (61-56).
• Junior Troy Huff led UND with 12 points in the season opener at K-State. He led UND in scoring a team-high 10 times during the 2011-12 season.
• Senior Jordan Allard made just the fourth start of his career in Friday’s opener. The Fargo native leads all active players with 94 career appearances. He had eight points and six rebounds vs. the Wildcats.
• Junior Jamal Webb had a team-high three steals against K-State to up his career total to 115. He only needs 13 more steals to move into second place by himself on the career charts. Webb had 57 as a sophomore, which tied for the fifth most in a single-season at the school.
• Junior Aaron Anderon led a 70.6 percent effort from the free throw line for UND in the opener at K-State. Anderson went 4-for-4 and has led the team from the charity stripe in each of the last two seasons.
• UND did struggle from beyond the arc, knocking down only 2-of-18 attempts in the contest. Anderson missed all six of his tries, which were the most without a make in his career.
• Jones has four starters back and six of his top seven scorers from his 2012 Great West Conference Tournament championship team. The seventh-year head coach will have to replace second team All-Great West performer Patrick Mitchell, who averaged 10.4 ppg and 4.4 rpg during his final season with the program.
• The 2011-12 squad posted a 17-15 record and earned an automatic berth to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament for the second consecutive season. UND lost at Drake, 70-64, in the opening round of postseason play.
• The 2012-13 season will mark the first one for the team in the Big Sky Conference and first chance at an NCAA Tournament automatic bid. UND wrapped up its five-year transition to Division I and three-year run in the Great West Conference last season.
• UND split its four contests against Big Sky opponents in 2011-12. The Green and White defeated eventual regular season and tournament champion Montana 88-81 in overtime at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. UND also split a home-and-home series with Idaho State and lost at Sacramento State (75-64) after leading the Hornets by six at halftime.
• Jones bolstered in already loaded junior class with a trio of transfers. Forward Jaron Nash (6-8, 185) transferred to UND from Texas Tech and the Waterloo, Iowa native is seeking a waiver from the NCAA to play immediately due to family health reasons. Forward Alonzo Traylor (6-7, 214) comes to UND from Iowa Western Community College. Traylor averaged 14.0 ppg and 6.6 rpg as a sophomore en route to earning All-Region XI second team honors. Fellow post player Ryan Salmonson (6-9, 216) rounds out the trio and joins UND after two seasons of JUCO basketball at Cosumnes River College in California. He averaged 9.5 ppg and 5.3 rpg in his final season with the Hawks.
• Redshirting during the 2012-13 season will be walk-on guard Thomas Blake and Houston Baptist transfer Dustin Hobaugh. Hobaugh played as a true freshman for the Huskies last season and will sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules. He will have three seasons of eligibility remaining starting with the 2013-14 season.
• The 2011-12 season was the last for the UND men’s basketball team to compete under the Fighting Sioux nickname. The longtime nickname was retired this past summer and all University athletic teams will go by the University of North Dakota, North Dakota or UND until Jan. 1, 2015.
ONCE UPON A NOVEMBER
The North Dakota men’s basketball team opens the 2012-13 season with four of its first five games on the road. Wednesday’s match up with Crown College will be the only chance UND fans will have in the month of November to see Head coach Brian Jones’ squad play in the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. December will provide many more opportunities, however, for the home fans to cheer on the Green and White. UND has four of its six games in the last month of 2012 scheduled for tis home court.
FIRST TIME OUT
Kansas State proved to be a tall task in the 2012-13 season opener for North Dakota on Friday night in Manhattan. The Wildcats overcame a sluggish first half to post an 85-52 victory over UND. It did not come easy for the Wildcats in the first half, however, as UND was only trailing by only one with just over five minutes to play. The home team used a 10-2 spurt to build a nine-point lead at the break and wore out the visitors in the second half, outscoring UND 49-25. Sophomore Troy Huff (Milwaukee, Wis.) led all UND players with 12 points. Junior Alonzo Traylor (Minneapolis, Minn.) added seven points and a team-high seven rebounds in his UND debut. Senior Jordan Allard (Fargo, N.D.0 chipped in eight points and six rebounds. Foul trouble haunted UND throughout the contest as the visitors were whistled for 25 fouls and three players were disqualified after picking up five fouls.
Seven teams on UND’s 2011-12 docket advanced to postseason tournaments, including four to the NCAA Tournament (Kansas, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota State). UND beat two of those teams at home (Montana and South Dakota State). North Dakota State and Western Illinois both made the CBI Invitational, while GWC foe Utah Valley earned an at-large bid to join UND in the CIT Tournament.
The schedule does not get any easier in 2012-13, as UND’s slate has seven more teams on it that advanced to postseason tournaments. Kansas State advanced to the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. Northern Iowa made the second round of the NIT. Both Montana and South Dakota State lost their first games in the NCAA Tournament. Bowling Green and Weber State joined UND in the CIT Postseason Tournament, while NDSU lost in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational.
UND, which had only overcome a halftime deficit to win once during the regular season, rallied from such deficits in both 2012 GWC Tournament wins. UND trailed by as many as 14 to No. 3 seed Texas-Pan American before storming back to post a 63-59 victory. And, against the fourthseeded Highlanders in the championship game, UND trailed by two before outscoring NJIT 48-31 after the break.
COUNT ME IN
Junior Aaron Anderson (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) and Huff were the only two UND players to start all 32 games in 2011-12. Anderson had started one game as a true freshman. He ranked second on the team in scoring at 11.0 ppg and fi nished tops among GWC players with 40 assists (4.0/g) in league games.
Junior Brandon Brekke (East Grand Forks, Minn.) was one of the top field goal shooters at the NCAA Division I level last season, making 68.2 percent of his shots (116-for-170). Brekke did not have enough makes (five per game required) to qualify in the national rankings (Missouri’s Ricardo Ratliff led the country at 69.3 percent), but he did lead the Great West Conference in both regular season and league games.
WEBB NETS HARDWARE
Sophomore Jamal Webb (Buffalo, N.Y.) earned GWC Tournament MVP honors after averaging 15.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.0 spg and 2.0 apg in Chicago. He scored a game-high 19 points to go with six rebounds and three steals in leading the rally past the Broncs in the semifinals. Webb, then added 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals in the title tilt with NJIT. Webb was joined on the All-GWC Tournament team by classmate Troy Huff (Milwaukee, Wis.), who had a team-high 15 points and eight rebounds in the title game. Huff also averaged 3.5 apg and 3.5 spg in tournament play.
HUFF, MITCHELL EARN ALL-GWC HONORS
Huff and senior Patrick Mitchell (Des Moines, Iowa) were named to the All-Great West second team following the regular season. Huff earned the accolade for the second straight year after leading UND in scoring in GWC play at 13.2 ppg. Mitchell landed a spot on the team after averaging a career-high 10.4 ppg and pulling down 4.4 rpg.
ONLY TWO BETTER
Huff ’s 872 career points were the third most in UND history for a sophomore. Only Scott Guldseth (1989-93; 981), who is UND’s all-time leading scorer with 2,190 points, and Travis Tuttle (1992-97; 878) had more. Huff had a team-high 12 points in the opener vs. K-State to move closer to the 900-point plateau.
Webb along with classmates Aaron Anderson (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) and Brandon Brekke (East Grand Forks, Minn.) collected All-Great West honorable mention honors for their play during the regular season. Webb was the top 3-point shooter in GWC games, knocking down 48.6 percent of his attempts (18-for-37). He also ranked third in assists (3.5/g; 108) and first in steals (1.8/g; 57) in overall games. Webb’s career-high 57 steals are tied for the fifth most in a single season, while his two-year total of 108 is already the eighth most in school history. Anderson averaged 11.0 ppg in his first season as a starter – a clip that ranked second on the squad. He led the GWC with a 48.1 percent clip from 3-point range in overall games (37-for-77). Anderson went 9-for-9 from the foul line in the GWC Tournament, averaging 10.0 ppg in the two wins. He was the top free-throw shooter on the team (88-for-144; 77.2 percent) for the second straight season. Brekke led the GWC in field-goal percentage this season with a 67.9 percent clip (116-for-170). He did not have enough attempts to rank in the NCAA. He also led the club with four double-doubles and averaged 9.2 ppg and 6.1 rpg.
UND’s quintet of Aaron Anderson, Brandon Brekke, Troy Huff , Josh Schuler and Jamal Webb produced 65.4 percent of UND’s points in 2010-11, which was tops among any freshman class in the country. As sophomores, that unit upped that number to 70.9 percent of the team’s scoring (1,526 of 2,153). However, that sophomore unit had company at the top of the national charts. The Memphis sophomores, a unit UND edged out last season (63.9 percent as freshmen), produced 73.6 percent (1,923 of 2,614) and North Dakota State’s sophomores concluded the Bison season scoring 71.3 percent (1,564 of 2,194) of their team’s points.
BEST AT THE BETTY
UND wrapped up its home slate with a 13-1 record and 10 straight wins thanks to a thrilling 57-56 victory over Utah Valley. The last time a UND team finished with only one home loss was the 2001-02 team that went 14-1 at the Hyslop Sports Center. The 13-1 mark was the best for the program since moving into the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center prior to the 2003-04 season. The 1989-90 (16-0) and 1990-91 (18-0) teams were the last to go undefeated at home. UND is 896-256 all-time at home.
Huff led the team with 23 double-figure scoring games during the 2011-12 season after sharing the team lead as a freshman with 25. With his 12-point outing at K-State, the junior now has 49 for his career.
MITCHELL WINDS UP 20th ON ALL-TIME SCORING CHARTS, SECOND IN CAREER BLOCKS
With the game in hand against NJIT on Jan. 26, senior Patrick Mitchell (Des Moines, Iowa) had one more matter of business to attend to in the waining moments of what would turn out to be an 80-63 victory over the Highlanders. He entered the game needing 13 points to become the 31st member of UND’s 1,000-point club. He had been stuck on nine until with just under three minutes to play when sophomore Aaron Anderson lobbed a pass for the high-flying Mitchell, who flushed it home for points 997 and 998. The alley-oop provided a 19-point cushion for the home team and the two nearly hooked up again for the milestone basket, but Mitchell would have to earn the elusive point from the foul line where he went with 57 seconds left to play. He calmly sank both charity shots and left the court with the milestone under his belt and to a standing ovation from the home crowd. The last player to reach the elite club was a teammate of Mitchell’s during his freshman and sophomore seasons -- Travis Bledsoe (21st on the list; 1,130 points). Mitchell would end up bumping his former teammate to 22nd on the list as he closed out his career in the 20th spot with 1,136 points.