GRAND FORKS, N.D. - UND plays Presentation College on Thursday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in what will be the team’s final tuneup before opening up its inaugural Big Sky slate next Monday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
UND VS. PRESENTATION SERIES
All-time: First Meeting
In Grand Forks: First Meeting
UND Head Coach Brian Jones vs. Presentation: First Meeting
Presentation Head Coach Jeremy Reigle vs. UND: First Meeting
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 Video: www.BigSkyTV.org (free)
Live Stats: www.UNDSports.com (free)
Live Chat: www.UNDSports.com (free)
IN THE PAINT...
• The Saints will be the second NCAA Division III opponent for UND this season as the squad defeated Crown College, 87-51, nearly a month ago on Nov. 14.
• The last time at home, UND but could not over free throw issues (14-for-30) and a 41-28 deficit in the rebounding department in a 73-70 loss to Kansas City. It was the fourth straight win in the series for UMKC.
• Junior Jamal Webb scored a season-high 20 points, which is also the most by a UND player in a game this season. He went 9-for-11 from the field and 2-for-3 from 3-point range, but came up empty in six trips to the free throw line.
• Seniors Mitch Wilmer and Doug Archer each had three blocked shots in the game. For Wilmer, it was the third time this season he equaled his career high in blocked shots, while Archer established a new career best with his three swats.
• In his last outing, Wilmer established another career-high, this time in scoring as he scored 12 points against North Dakota State at the Fargodome last Sunday. Wilmer’s efforts were not enough to help UND get a win as the Bison picked up the 72-52 victory and continued the trend of the home team winning in each of the last five meetings dating back to the 2003-04 season.
• Junior Aaron Anderson also scored 12 points against the Bison to register his team-leading fifth double-digit scoring game, but UND also turned the ball over 19 times and gave up 18 offensive rebounds to NDSU.
• Anderson is now just four points shy of surpassing the 700-point total for his career. He is one of five juniors on the team that have scored at least 500 points in their careers. Injured classmate Troy Huff leads that quintet with 884 career points. Jamal Webb is next with 663, while Josh Schuler (552) and Brandon Brekke (510) both also have passed the halfway point to 1,000 career points.
• UND suffered another injury to a starter in the NDSU game as power forward Brandon Brekke left the game after taking an inadvertent elbow to his head. Brekke played just three minutes against the Bison. As a sophomore in UND’s 59-54 victory over the Bison, Brekke scored a game-high 17 points. His status is day-to-day.
• The 2012-13 season will mark the first one for the team in the Big Sky 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 last season.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
The Saints will be the final tuneup for the UND men’s basketball team before it embarks on the program’s inaugural Big Sky season. UND will open with fellow newcomer Southern Utah on Monday, Dec. 17 at 8:30 p.m. CT. All Big Sky home and away games will be available for UND fans to stream live at www.BigSkyTV.org. The tilt between UND and Thunderbirds will be one of two league games on what will be the season-opening night for Big Sky play. Montana State will also visit Northern Arizona that night.
LAST TIME OUT
The home team won again as has been the trend since the North Dakota-North Dakota State men’s basketball rivalry resumed three seasons ago with both teams now at the Division I level. The home team had also won the two previous meetings during the 2003-04 season before the rivalry went dormant for seven seasons. This time around, the Bison dealt UND a 72-52 setback thanks to a game-high 22 points by senior Taylor Braun on Sunday at the Fargodome.
Junior Aaron Anderson and Mitch Wilmer each scored 12 points to pace UND, but the visitors turned the ball over 19 times and gave up 18 offensive rebounds to the Bison, who improved to 8-2.
NDSU took advantage of the absence of junior Brandon Brekke, who played only three minutes before suffering a concussion early on. He scored a game-high 17 points in UND’s win over the Bison in Grand Forks a year ago. The loss was the fifth straight overall and third in a row to a Summit League foe for UND.
WILMER TAKING WELL TO HIS NEW ROLE
Senior Mitch Wilmer has started the last four games for UND and the Warroad, Minn., native is enjoying his best stretch of basketball. Wilmer, who had only three starts coming into the season, is averaging 8.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 2.0 bgp during those four games. He has twice set his career-high in scoring, chipping in with 11 points at South Dakota State (Nov. 28) and upping that to 12 at North Dakota State (Dec. 9). Two of Wilmer’s three double-digit scoring games in his career have come at the Fargodome. He also has a trio of games with three blocked shots and ranks fourth in the Big Sky in that department, averaging 1.6/g.
FORMER NCC FOE WILL BE FIRST BIG SKY HOME OPPONENT
The first Big Sky opponent to play at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center will be a familiar one for UND men’s basketball fans. Northern Colorado will come to town for a pre-Christmas clash with its former North Central Conference rivals on Friday, Dec. 21. Tipoff with the Bears is slated for 7:05 p.m.
A BLIP ON THE RADAR
There is no hiding the fact that a 14-for-30 effort at the free throw line was a major culprit in the 73-70 home setback to Kansas City last Wednesday, but that effort has not been the norm this season. In the team’s other six games, UND is 77-for-102 from the stripe (75.5 percent). The team responded with a 16-for-19 effort from the foul line in the Fargodome. In fact the 84.2 percent clip was the highest of the season for UND.
LOTS OF BURN
Junior Jamal Webb is averaging 35.0 minutes per game in UND’s six games this season - that figure is the second highest average among Big Sky players this season. He is also third in the Big Sky in steals per game at 1.8 an outing. Webb has 11 to move his career total to 120, which is the fifth most on the UND all-time charts.
ANTWI OFF TO A SCORCHING START
Sophomore Lenny Antwi is the team’s best 3-point shooter early on in the season, connecting on 12-of-25 attempts. His 48 percent clip is fourth best among Big Sky players. Antwi took 27 attempts from beyond the arc during his freshman season and made only seven (25.9 percent).
HUFF MAKING PROGRESS
Leading scorer Troy Huff is making progress in his recovery from a broken jaw suffered in the season opener at Kansas State. Huff, who led UND in scoring in each of the last two seasons at just over 13.0 ppg, had his wires removed a week ago and has resumed some basketball activities.
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.
ROSTER ROUND UP
Head coach Brian Jones has a 16-man roster, but only 12 of those players are active for the 2012-13 season. The team was hoping for good news from the NCAA on granting Texas Tech transfer Jaron Nash a waiver to play immediately and not have to sit out this season, but the organization denied UND’s request. The team is appealing the ruling. Houston Baptist transfer Dustin Hobaugh transferred to UND after one season with the Huskies to pursue a degree in commercial aviation. Hobaugh is sitting out the 2012-13 season and will have three left to play starting with the 2013-14 campaign.
Besides Nash and Hobaugh, Jones is using redshirt seasons on junior college transer Ryan Salmonson and freshman walk-on Thomas Blake. Salmonson played two seasons at Cosumnes River Community College, while Blake prepped at St. Maria Goretti in Hagerstown, Md.
With junior Troy Huff sidelined since scoring 12 points in the season opener at K-State, classmate Josh Schuler has filled his scoring void. Schuler has reached double figures in four of five starts and is averaging 11.8 ppg in Huff’s absence. Schuler had a season-high 17 points at Hawaii, which were the most since scoring 21 in the opening round of the Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament at Air Force. Schuler added a team-high 13 points in the one-point heartbreaker at SDSU.
SPINNING QUITE THE WEBB
Not only is junior Jamal Webb already one of the top ball stealers in UND men’s basketball history, but the Buffalo, N.Y. native is closing in on adding his name to another all-time Top 10 list in the program’s record books. Through just 71 career games, Webb has 269 assists (3.8/g). He only needs eight more to move into a tie for 10th place. Burke Barlow (1993-95) holds the career mark at 595, which is a comfortable margin over second-place standee Ben Jacobson (1990-93), who had 420 helpers during his UND career. Webb, if his average holds, could move into at least fifth place entering his senior campaign. Doug Moe (1978-81) currently holds that spot with 330 assists.
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, as sophomores, that 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. So far, the 2012-13 juniors have accounted for 64.9 percent of the team’s scoring through seven games. The quintet has added a sixth player in JUCO-transfer Alonzo Traylor, who is averaging 4.3 ppg and 4.0 rpg off the bench.
OPPONENT PREVIEW: PRESENTATION COLLEGE
• Head coach Jeremy Reigle is entering his third season at the helm of the Saints and has led his team to a 21-38 record, including a 4-5 start to the 2012-13 campaign.
• Presentation is a NCAA Division III program that is currently in its transition from the NAIA level. Located in Aberdeen, S.D., the school has an enrollment of 786.
• The Saints started a men’s basketball program in 1995 and have amassed 172 victories during 17-plus seasons.
• The team advanced to the NAIA Division II National Tournament in 2003 after winning the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Championship. That has been the only trip for the Saints to postseason play.
• The Saints are coming off a 96-89 loss to Oglala Lakota College on Dec. 8. It was the third straight loss
• Junior guard Chaz Haymond led Presentation in that game with 20 points. It was his third 20-plus point scoring game of the season as he is averaging 15.7 ppg in regular season play.
• Classmate Travis Cleveland added 18 points against Oglala Lakota in what was his first start since the exhibition game at Minnesota-Crookston on Nov. 9. He only had seven points in five previous games off the bench.
• Senior Darrell Farr is averaging a team-high 16.2 ppg in six starts for the Saints. He had a season-high 24 points in a victory over Crossroads College and has reached double figures in every game he has played this season. He also has four double-doubles to his credit and is averaging 9.8 rpg.