MADISON, Wisc. - Five North Dakota seniors are returning to the Kohl Center as a much more seasoned group than when they were freshman during the 2010-11 season. Wisconsin remains one of the top programs in the country, however, as the No. 12/15 Badgers will be ready for a UND team comes to town for a Tuesday matchup at 7 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.
Since suffering that 85-53 loss to the 25th-ranked team in the country nearly four years to the date, that senior quintet has laid a sound foundation for the UND men's basketball program.
Collectively, that group has won 52 games, two conference tournament titles (Great West) and appeared in three CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournaments. And, the Big Sky coaches were so impressed by their first year in the league, that they picked the Green and White to finish second in 2013-14.
This came after UND posted a league-record 12 wins by a newcomer and finishing third in its inaugural season a year ago. Reigning Big Sky scoring champ Troy Huff returns to his home state for the second time. As a freshman, he scored 21 points off the UND bench and has since become the 11th all-time leading scorer in UND history.
UND VS. WISCONSIN SERIES
All-time: UW leads 5-0
In Madison: UW leads 5-0
Last Meeting: Wisconsin won 85-53 (Nov. 16, 2010)
UND Head Coach Brian Jones vs. Wisconsin: 0-1
Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan vs. UND: 1-0
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 TV: Big Ten Network
Live Video: www.UWBadgers.com
Live Stats: www.UWBadgers.com
IN THE PAINT...
• Five current seniors were part of the North Dakota basketball team that played at the Kohl Center four seasons ago. No. 25 Wisconsin won that contest 85-53 (Nov. 16) behind All-Big Ten performer Jon Leuer and his 22 points.
• Wisconsin native Troy Huff scored 21 points off the UND bench to lead the team. Huff’s mother, Theresa, starred at UW from 1979-83 and graduated as the program’s all-time leading scorer (1,879) and rebounder (1,201).
• Guards Josh Schuler (0 pts, 1 reb) and Jamal Webb (7 pts, 3 rebs) started that contest as freshman.
• Current seniors Aaron Anderson (7 pts) and Brandon Brekke (0 pts) also came off the bench in that game vs. the Badgers.
• Wisconsin is the only Big Ten school UND has played since making the move to Division I prior to the 2008-09 season. The Green and White played Nebraska, a current Big Ten member, during the 2010-11 season as well, but the Cornhuskers were a Big 12 member at the time of that game (77-46 loss; Jan. 3, 2011).
• Head coach Brian Jones picked up win No. 103 of his career in the season opener after his team thumped Minnesota Morris 110-69. The victory put him in fourth place on UND’s all-time wins list for men’s basketball.
• UND improved to 5-3 in season and home openers under Jones with the 110-69 victoy over Minnsota Morris on Wednesday. The 110 points scored were the most of the Division I era and tied for the 10th most in program history.
OPPONENT PREVIEW: WISCONSIN
• Head coach Bo Ryan has his latest Wisconsin squad off to a 3-0 start on the season and ranked No. 19 in the latest USA Today Coaches’ Top 25 poll. The Badgers have wins over St. John’s (86-75) in a game played in Sioux Falls, S.D., No. 16 Florida (59-53) and on the road at Green Bay (69-66).
• The Badgers are one of six squads UND is playing this season that advanced to the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
• In their latest win over Green Bay, the Badgers had to rally to knock off the Phoenix, who were playing in front of a sellout crowd at the Resch Center.
• Frank Kaminsky led the scoring effort with 16 points, while Sam Dekker added 13 points.
• Dekker is leading the team in scoring with 15.0 ppg and had a team-high 16 points in the win over the 16th-ranked Gators in Madison.
• He was one of 50 Division I players named to the Wooden Award preseason watch list, which is given annually to the top player in college basketball.
• Ryan is entering his 13th season at the helm of the Badgers that has seen his clubs win five Big Ten titles and 12 straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
• Ryan’s 294 career wins top the charts at Wisconsin.
UND BREEZES BY MORRIS IN SEASON OPENER
Senior Aaron Anderson scored a game-high 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the floor (3-of-3 from 3-point range) as UND rolled to a 110-69 victory over Minnesota Morris in last Wednesday’s season opener (Nov. 13). Anderson was one of five players in double figures: Lenny Antwi (18), Troy Huff (18), Quinton Hooker (17) and Jaron Nash (15).
ONE WIN FROM 1,500
With the victory over Minnesota Morris, UND is now one win away from reaching 1,500 in program history. The program started in 1904-05 and 909 of those victories have come at home.
NO REDSHIRT FOR HOOKER
True freshman Quinton Hooker made his collegiate debut against Minnesota Morris, scoring 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the floor. He also added four assists in the victory. The 2013 Minnesota Mr. Basketball Award winner was a candidate to redshirt this season, but the coaching staff was to impressed by his play in fall camp to not play him during the 2013-14 season.
NASH SOARS IN DEBUT
It was along-waited, but senior Jaron Nash made sure his UND debut was an impressive one. Nash scored 15 points and led the team with eight rebounds in what was his first collegiate game since the 2012 Big 12 Tournament with Texas Tech. His 15 point matched his career-high from his Red Raider playing days (vs. Wake Forest) and three of his six field goals were dunks. He also connected only his only 3-point attempt.
ANTWI FOR THREE
Junior Lenny Antwi has a knack for season openers. After scoring a career and season high 17 points in the 2012-13 season opener vs. Waldorf, the Canadian sharp shooter bested that total with 18 points in the win over Minnesota Morris. Antwi went 7-for-11 from the field, including a 4-for-7 effort from beyond the arc.
YEAR TWO IN THE SKY
The 2013-14 season will mark the second for the club in the Big Sky Conference. In year one, Jones led UND to 12 wins, which were the most ever by a league newcomer and a third-place finish in the league standings. UND opened the campaign 1-4, but finished with an 11-4 mark and won a Division I-program record six games on the road.
HUFF CLAIMS SCORING TITLE
Senior Troy Huff won the Big Sky scoring title with a 19.2 ppg average despite missing eight games with a broken jaw he suffered in the season opener at Kansas State. He averaged 19.7 ppg in Big Sky play and was one of two league players (Montana’s Kareem Jamar) to earn unanimous All-Big Sky first team honors. Huff also landed on the Lou Henson Mid-Major All-America Team.
HUFF CLIMBING THE CHARTS
Huff stands in 11th-place on the school’s all-time scoring charts with 1,371 points after scoring 18 in the season opener vs. Minnesota Morris. Huff needs 31 points to catch Jerome Beasley and insert his name in the top 10. He scored a career-high 481 points as a junior and his point total after three seasons was the third most by a junior in school history. All-time leading scorer Scott Guldseth (2,190) had 1,574 after his junior season and the program’s third all-time leading scorer Travis Tuttle (1,935) had 1,427.
HUFF NAMED TO LOU HENSON PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA TEAM
Huff was one of 25 mid-major players named to the Lou Henson Preseason All-America Team on Oct. 2. Huff landed a spot on the 2012-13 Lou Henson All-America Team after leading the Big Sky in scoring at 19.2 ppg and leading UND to its third-straight CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
HUFF ON CBSSPORTS.COM TOP 30 UNDER-THE-RADAR PERFORMERS
Huff was one of 30 mid-major players listed by CBSSports.com’s Matt Norlander as under-the-radar performers to watch out for during the 2013-14. Here is what Norlander had to say about Huff:
“What a player! Checks in at around 175 pounds, yet averaged seven boards last season. He also scored 19 points for the team currently without a moniker. In addition to sniffing the defensive glass so well, he’s also a good defender and gets into passing lanes so well.”
Huff led the Big Sky in steals per game last season, collecting 59 despite missing eight games. He would have threatened teammate Jamal Webb for the single-season school record if he had remained healthy. Webb finished one shy of that mark with 74.
Senior Aaron Anderson had his best season as a collegian in 2012-13 and earned All-Big Sky second team honors after averaging a career-high 13.3 ppg. Anderson is the only UND player to have started each game of the last two seasons (65 total) and leads all active players with 99 games played, 341 free throws and 110 3-pointers. He also became the 33rd player in UND history to reach the 1,000-point plateau on Feb. 28 in a road win at Portland State. Fittingly, Anderson reached the milestone at the free throw line where he shot 86 percent - fourth best single-season effort in UND history - a season ago.
KING OF THE STEAL
Senior Jamal Webb already sits a top UND’s all-time top 10 list for career steals with 186 and is fifth in assists with 384 through 98 career games. Webb had three steals and four assists in the opener. He led the Big Sky in steals with 74 last season and was one shy of tying UND’s single-season record in that department. He has also averaged 9.4 ppg during his career and has been one of the top rebound guards in the Great West and Big Sky during his career (4.8/g).
Senior Josh Schuler battled through various injuries during the 2012-13 season, but managed to average a career-high 9.2 ppg in 25 contests, which included 20 starts. He shot a career-high 37.1 percent from 3-point range and 79.7 percent from the foul line.
Fellow senior Brandon Brekke was also limited by injuries, appearing in only 19 games. He could never really get on track due to head and ankle injuries, but did average 5.3 ppg and 4.1 rpg when he was able to play.
TRAYLOR REGAINS ELIGIBILITY
Senior Alonzo Traylor had to sit out the second semester of last year’s schedule, but worked hard in the classroom to regain his eligibility for the 2013-14 season. Traylor was starting to come into his own after eight games of last season, but poor academic performance cost him the second half of his first season at UND. Traylor had a double-double in what was his final game of the season in the Big Sky opener at Southern Utah (Dec. 18). He averaged 7.1 ppg and 5.0 rpg in just over 16 minutes per game.
ANTWI INHERITS CLASSMATES
Guard Lenny Antwi went from being the only sophomore on the 2012-13 roster to being one of five juniors on the 2013-14 roster. Big men Chad Calcaterra and Ryan Salmonson will factor into the front court playing rotation, while backcourt mates Estan Tyler and Cole Stefan are slated to sit out the season due to NCAA transfer rules. Stefan is applying to the NCAA for a hardship waiver to play immediately this season, but that process has not yet been completed. Antwi appeared in a career-high 33 games last season and averaged 4.7 ppg, while shooting 35.9 percent from 3-point range.
The term “utility man” is usually reserved for the baseball word, but Shane Benton brought new meaning to it on the hardwood. The lone sophomore on the squad, Benton performed that role admirably last season, appearing in 30 games and starting eight at the power forward position despite standing just six-foot-three. All three of the Benton’s double-digiting scoring games came during Big Sky road wins.
Of the 16 players on the 2013-14 roster, four have played Division I basketball for another program. Newcomer Estan Tyler (Kansas City) will sit out the 2013-14 season due to NCAA transfer rules and have two seasons of eligibility remaining when his career resumes. Tyler led Kansas City in scoring a season ago at a 11.4 ppg clip. Stefan began his collegiate career at LaSalle in 2010-11 and later transferred to Green Bay for the 2012-13 season. He is a sharp-shooter that averaged just over four points per game in 44 combined games as the two schools. Calcaterra spent two seasons at Colorado State and has an NCAA Tournament game appearance under his belt from the 2011-12 Rams’ run to the field of 68. Nash played one season at Texas Tech under Billy Gillespie and had a career-high 15 points vs. Wake Forest at the Old Spice Classic during the 2011-12 season.
Seniors Troy Huff and Aaron Anderson reached the 1,000-point plateau during the 2012-13 season becoming the first set of junior classmates to achieve that feat in UND history. Both are currently looking to climb UND’s scoring chart, while two more classmates are looking to follow suit this season. Point guard Jamal Webb is the closest with only 78 points standing between him and the milestone, while shooting guard Josh Schuler needs 288. Only one class - the 1999-2000 seniors - has a trio of 1,000-point scorers in UND men’s basketball history. Chad Mustard (1996-2000) finished his career eighth on the scoring charts with 1,568 points before going on to a brief NFL career as a tight end for the Denver Broncos. Mustard reached the plateau as a junior, while teammates Marcus Travis and Hunter Reinke surpassed the K-club as seniors. Travis was 14th on the list with 1,229 points before Huff bumped him down to No. 15, while Reinke was 18th when his career ended with 1,185 points.
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