GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Following a 2-0 start to their season at home, the Fighting Sioux men's basketball team ventures to Bradley this Saturday for their first road game of the campaign. The matchup with the Braves is the team’s only road contest in the month of November. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. from Carver Arena.
IN THE PAINT...
All-time Bradley leads 11-0
In Peoria Bradley leads 11-0
UND Head Coach Brian Jones vs. Bradley First Meeting
Bradley Head Coach Geno Ford vs. UND First Meeting
IN THE PAINT...
• Following a 2-0 start to their season at home, the Fighting Sioux venture to Bradley this Saturday for their first road game of the campaign. The matchup with the Braves is the team’s only road contest in the month of November (six games).
• Fans will be able to watch the contest live through a video stream by accessing UNDInsider (subscription required) on FightingSioux.com - the official site of UND Athletics.
• The game can also be heard locally in Grand Forks on Cat Country 93.1 FM with Paul Ralston handling the play-by-play.
• Neither head coach in this UND-Bradley matchup was born the last two times these teams met on the hardwood in January of 1969.
• This will be the 12th meeting all-time and every game has been played in Peoria.
• The Braves have won all 11 meetings played in the series, which dates back to the 1940-41 season. The closest UND came to defeating Bradley was a 75-72 overtime loss in 1964.
• UND went 4-11 on the road in 2010-11 with all four of those victories coming in Great West play.
• The Sioux last won a road opener in 2008-09 at UMKC 61-56 in a game that what was also the season opener. UND plays at UMKC on Dec. 7 this season.
• The 2-0 start for UND is the first for head coach Brian Jones since taking over the program in 2007-08. It is also the first for the program since the 2004-05 season. The last time a UND team won its first three games was during the 2002-03 when that squad opened with a 4-0 record.
• Sophomore Aaron Anderson (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) has paced the Sioux in scoring in both games during the team’s 2-0 start this season. He achieved that feat three times as a freshman and shared team high honors on two other occasions.
• Anderson scored 18 in the season-opening win vs. Waldorf and added 17 in the victory over future Big Sky opponent Idaho State on Monday.
• Classmate Jamal Webb (Buffalo, N.Y.) is the only other Sioux to reach double figures in both games as he scored 11 vs. Waldorf and added 15 vs. the Bengals. Webb added six rebounds and six assists in the win over Idaho State.
• The sophomore trio of Anderson, Webb and Troy Huff (Milwaukee, Wis.) are a combined 31-for-51 (60.8 percent) from the floor in the opening two games. Anderson leads that charge with an 11-for-16 (68.8 percent) clip, including a 4-for-5 effort vs. Idaho State.
• Huff scored all of eight of his points against the Bengals in the second half after sitting most of the first half due to foul trouble. The preseason first team All-Great West selection had 16 in the opener vs. Waldorf.
• The 6-foot-4 guard also leads the team in rebounding (13; 6.5 rpg) and steal (five, 2.5 spg) in the early going. Reserve forward Jordan Allard (Fargo, N.D.) has been productive on the glass as well, pulling down 5.5 rpg through two contests.
• With the victory over Idaho State, the Sioux are now 2-5 against future Big Sky opponents since beginning the transition to Division in 2008-09.
• UND has a home-and-home series with the Bengals this season and have two other Big Sky games on the schedule - a home matchup with Montana (Nov. 23, 7 p.m.) and a road tilt at Sacramento State (Dec. 18, 7:05 p.m.).
• For the second straight season the Fighting Sioux opened the campaign with a 31-point victory over Waldorf College, knocking off the Warriors 93-62 on Saturday afternoon. UND defeated Waldorf in the opener last season 77-46 to post the first of 19 wins in 2010-11.
• The score was tied 4-4 in the early going, but a 25-1 run over an eight-plus minute stretch by UND quickly put the game out of reach for the visitors.
• All five Sioux starters reached double figures as Anderson paced the quintet with 18 points. It was just the second career start for Anderson, who also added a game-high five assists. He finished 7-for-11 from the field.
• Huff chipped in with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the floor. Huff helped lead a 46-31 advantage on the glass with a team-high seven rebounds.
• Mitchell, Webb and center Brandon Brekke (East Grand Forks, N.D.) rounded out the double-digit quintet with 11 points each.
• Mitchell also blocked three shots as the Sioux had eight blocks in the contest. He had 56 a season ago and now has 118 for his career - a total that ranks fifth on UND’s all-time charts.
• Allard also added eight points and six rebounds to lead the bench in those categories against the Warriors.
• The only change-up from last season’s starting five that started 21 of the last 22 games was Anderson got the nod over classmate Josh Schuler (Urbana, Ohio). Schuler did log a team-high 27 minutes off the bench.
• Junior Doug Archer (Conception Junction, Mo.) had a productive five minutes against the Warriors, scoring six points and pulling down four rebounds. Archer only scored 16 points all of last season (23 games).
• UND played 14 players in the opener and 13 of them found the scoring column. The only two players on the roster that did not play were junior Spencer Goodman (Jackson, Mo.), and freshman Shane Benton (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), who is redshirting.
• True freshmen Lenny Antwi (Montreal, Quebec) and Josh Gentry (Indianapolis, Ind.) both played double-digit minutes in the opener. Antwi finished with two points on a pair of free throws and grabbed three rebounds, while Gentry sank one free throw and had three rebounds and two assists in his collegiate debut.
• On the eve of the opener, Huff, Mitchell and Webb earned presason All-Great West honors in an announcement made by league officials. Huff garnered first-team accolades, while Mitchell was named to the second team for the second straight season. Webb was an honorable mention selection.
• The Sioux played their lone exhibition game of the season at Minot State on Oct. 30 in a contest to raise support for the state’s flood victims. UND built a 42-20 advantage at the break and coasted to the 80-60 victory. Anderson was also the top scorer in that contest, leading a quartet of UND players in double figures with 12.
• Jones lost only 9.4 percent of his team’s scoring from his 19-15 squad as senior captains Derek Benter (4.0 ppg, Crosby N.D.) and Chris Clausen (3.1 ppg, Adelaide, Australia) were the only departures.
• The Sioux are the reigning Great West Conference Tournament champions and the conference tournament triumph was the first at the Division I era and first overall since winning the 1994 North Central Conference tournament title (Division II).
• Mitchell was named the GWC Tournament MVP after averaging averaged 13.3 ppg and 5.7 rpg during UND’s run to the three-game run to the title. He scored 14 points and had four blocks in the double-overtime victory over South Dakota in the championship game.
• Mitchell was joined on the GWC All-Tournament team by Huff, who led the Sioux in scoring in each of their three GWC tournament victories (14.3 ppg in the tourney). Both players finished the season with 25 double-digit scoring efforts.
• Huff earned second team All-Great West honors after leading the team with a 13.3 ppg average during the season. His 452 points also broke the UND freshman scoring record held by Scott Guldseth (418, 1989-90).
• Huff finished the season with five 20-plus scoring efforts, including a career high 31-point outing in a road win at Houston Baptist (March 3). He also earned Mid-Major Freshman All-America honors from CollegeInsider.com.
• Two fellow classmates joined Huff on UND’s top 10 list for freshman scoring last season. Webb was eighth with 316 points (9.3 ppg) and Schuler finished tenth with 300 points (8.8 ppg).
• Huff, Schuler and Webb teamed with Anderson and Brekke to be the highest-producing rookie class in Division I basketball last season. The freshmen quintet accounted for 65.4 percent of UND’s scoring a season ago (1,517 points). The freshmen at Memphis finished second, scoring 63.9 percent (1,615 of 2,524 points) of the Tigers’ buckets and the rookies at Kentucky were third, producing 60.5 percent (1,721 of 2,845 points) of the Wildcats’ scores.
• Anderson was the only freshman not in Jones’ standard starting lineup for a majority of last season, but he averaged over 22 minutes a game and scored 260 points (7.6 ppg) in his first collegiate season. The 5-foot-10 point guard led the team with an 80 percent clip from the free throw line. He sank 116 freebies out of a team-high 145 attempts.
• The 11-game tournaround from an eight-win season in 2010-11 was the third best in program history.
• Junior Mitch Wilmer will return to the playing rotation after having his 2010-11 season prematurely cut short with an injury. Wilmer appeared in nine games off the bench, but was lost for the season after suffering an injury in the second half of the North Dakota State tilt (Dec. 11).
SCOUTING THE BRAVES
Bradley is off to a 2-0 start as well under the direction of first-year head coach Geno Ford. The former Akron head coach inherited a BU team that went 12-20 last season (4-14 MVC) and lost two of its top three scorers. The Braves, who were picked to finish 10th in the Missouri Valley Preseason Coaches’ Poll, defeated UMKC 68-58 in their opener at Carver Arena on Nov. 13. Then, the team moved venues to the on-campus Renaissance Coliseum on Wednesday night where they defeated Southeast Missouri State 66-65 in thrilling fashion. It was the first on-campus game for the Braves in 30 seasons and forward Taylor Brown converted an old-fashioned 3-point play with four seconds remaining to secure the win. Brown is one of three Braves averaging double figures through the first two games. Dyricus Simms-Edwards is pacing the team with a 17.0 ppg average. The Peoria native had 21 in the opener against the Kangaroos. Big man Jordan Prosser is averaging a double-double (13.5 ppg, 12.5 rpg) after pulling down 17 boards in the opener to go with 12 points.
HUFF, MITCHELL EARN GWC PRESEASON ACCOLADES
Sophomore Troy Huff (Milwaukee, Wis.) earned preseason first team All-Great West honors and senior Patrick Mitchell (Des Moines, Iowa) was named to the second team in release made my league officials last week. Sophomore Jamal Webb (Buffalo, N.Y.) earned honorable mention honors. It was the second straight season Mitchell earned second-team preseason accolades.
FIRST TEAM SECOND TEAM
Ben Aird, Utah Valley Holton Hunsaker, Utah Valley
Chris Flores, NJIT Patrick Mitchell, North Dakota
Troy Huff, North Dakota Brandon Provost, Texas-Pan American
Isaiah Wilkerson, NJIT Geddes Robinson, Utah Valley
*Isaih Williams, Utah Valley Jeremy Robinson, Chicago State
Preseason Player of the Year Aaron Urbanus, Texas-Pan American
UND PEGGED TO FINISH SECOND IN GWC PRESEASON POLL
Only defending Great West Conference regular season champion Utah Valley was ahead of the Fighting Sioux men’s basketball team in the 2011-12 preseason coaches’ poll released by league officials on Monday. The Wolverines topped the poll with 34 points and received five of six first-place votes, while North Dakota secured the remaining one to finish second in the poll with 28 points.
The Great West Conference Tournament champions were one point ahead of NJIT (27), who was picked third after being the preseason favorite in 2010-11. Texas-Pan American finished fourth in the voting with 15 points, while Chicago State and Houston Baptist shared fifth with 11 points apiece.
Great West Coaches’ Preseason Poll
1. Utah Valley (34)
2. North Dakota (28)
3. NJIT (27)
4. Texas-Pan American (15)
5. Chicago State (11)
6. Houston Baptist (11)
COLLEGE SPORTS MADNESS PUTS FOUR SIOUX ON PRESEASON ALL-GWC SQUADS
Four UND starters from last year’s Great West Conference Tournament championship team were named to the College Sports Madness Preseason All-Great West teams released in mid-October. Sophomore guard Troy Huff (Milwaukee, Wis.), who broke the UND freshman scoring record in 2010-11, was named to the first team. He averaged a team-leading 13.3 ppg and upped that to a 14.8 ppg clip in GWC games.
Senior forward Patrick Mitchell (Des Moines, Iowa) and sophomore point guard Jamal Webb (Buffalo, N.Y.) were both named to the second team. Mitchell, who earned GWC Tournament MVP accolades, and Huff shared team-high honors with 25 double-digit scoring games during the 19-win campaign. Mitchell also led the league in blocks with 46 and led the Sioux in rebounding at a 5.8 rpg.
Webb led the GWC in assists with 139 (4.1 apg) and was the league’s top rebounding guard after corralling 183 boards (5.4 rpg). He also averaged 9.3 ppg and his 315 points scored were the eighth most by a UND freshman. Sophomore forward Brandon Brekke (East Grand Forks, Minn.) rounded out the quartet being honored with a spot on the fourth team. Brekke averaged 9.2 ppg and 6.1 rpg in GWC action after starting 11 of 12 league contests.