GRAND FORKS, N.D. - North Dakota returns home looking to end a couple of three-game skids as Kansas City visits for a non-conference clash on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. CT. UND has dropped three straight overall and three-straight to the Kangaroos in a series that has spanned the last four seasons.
UND VS. KANSAS CITY SERIES
UND VS. KANSAS CITY SERIES
All-time: Kansas City leads 3-1
In Grand Forks: Kansas City leads 1-0
UND Head Coach Brian Jones vs. Kansas City: 1-3
Kansas City Head Coach Matt Brown vs. UND: 3-1
WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN/TRACK
Radio: 100.3 FM (Grand Forks) or iHeart Radio App (computer or smart phone)
Television: MidCo Sports Network (Ch. 27/622 (HD)
Live Audio Stream: www.UNDSports.com (free)
Live Video: www.BigSkyTV.org (free)
Live Stats: www.UNDSports.com (free)
Live Stats: www.UNDSports.com (free)
Live Chat: www.UNDSports.com (free)
IN THE PAINT...
•UND won the first meeting between the two schools, 61-56, during the 2008-09 season, but the Roos have reeled off trio of tightly-contested victories over the last three seasons. All three of those victories have been by single digits, including a 78-75 victory in 2011-12.
• UMKC is the middle opponent in a stretch of three-straight games against Summit League foes for UND. South Dakota State pulled off a miraculous 71-70 win over UND last Wednesday and the Green and White will conclude their Summit League slate on Sunday at NDSU.
• Head coach Brian Jones is 3-10 against Summit League foes during his career. UND went 2-4 against the Summit League a season ago, winning home games against South Dakota State and North Dakota State.
• UND left Frost Arena in a stunned state-of-mind its last time out as the Jacks got a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Chad White to steal a 71-70 victory from the visitors. White’s desperation attempt fell through and kept a 20-game home winning streak in tact for SDSU.
• Junior Josh Schuler led a quartet of UND scorers in double figures with 13 points. Senior Doug Archer equaled his career-high with 12 points off the bench, while classmate Mitch Wilmer established a new-career high with 11 points. Junior Jamal Webb also added 11 points in the one-point loss, which was just over a year removed from a 38-point loss suffered by UND in the same building.
• Schuler is averaging 15.0 ppg over his last two outings and his 17-point effort at Hawaii was his highest output since scoring 21 at Air Force as a freshman in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
• Wilmer has started the last two games for UND and is averaging 9.0 ppg and 4.5 rpg since moving into Jones’ starting lineup. He had only three previous career starts (all last season) coming into what is his final collegiate campaign.
• Archer came off the bench to equal his career-high with 12 points at SDSU. He connected on a pair of 3-pointers for the first time in his career. His two makes from deep actually matched his career total entering the contest (2-for-10).
• Wilmer and Archer both played a career-high 24 minutes against the Jacks.
• Webb returned to the starting lineup at Hawaii and posted nine points, nine rebounds and six assists against the Rainbow Warriors.
• Webb’s 11 points against the Jacks were a season-high.
• Webb currently leads the Big Sky with 2.0 spg and has eight on the season. That brings his career total to 117, which is fifth on the UND’s all-time charts.
• Junior Aaron Anderson has led the team in scoring in three of its five games this season (12.0 ppg) and he has done some impressive work at the foul line. His 19-for-20 effort (95 percent) is third best in the Big Sky and has brought his career percentage to just over 80 percent (225-for-281, 80.1).
• Junior Brandon Brekke came off the pine for just the third time in his last 54 outings at Hawaii, but had season-highs in points (10), rebounds (7) and minutes played (25).
• Brekke returned to the starting lineup vs SDSU (eight points and five boards).
• 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.
North Dakota goes back on the road, but its only a short trek down to Fargo to face North Dakota State in a rivalry clash with the Bison at the Fargodome on Dec. 9. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. between the two teams who have split the last two meetings since resuming the series.
LAST MEETING WITH THE KANGAROOS
UMKC held off a late rally by North Dakota to pick up a 78-75 victory in non-conference men’s basketball action on Wednesday night at Municipal Auditorium.
UND’s Brandon Brekke scored a career-high 20 points and posted his second double-double of the season, but 12 3-pointers, including seven in the second half, by the home team proved to be the difference in the outcome.
Both teams held double-digit leads in the contest only to see those evaporate. UND’s (4-4) was as many as 12 points midway through the first half, but UMKC (5-5) chipped away and the home team pulled within four to make it a 38-34 contest at halftime.
JACKS USE BUZZER-BEATER TO STEAL WIN
A season after beating North Dakota by 38 points on the same floor, it took a desperation 3-pointer from Chad White for South Dakota State to defeat the visitors this time around at Frost Arena. White’s buzzer-beater capped a thrilling college basketball game between former North Central Conference rivals as SDSU claimed a 71-70 victory over UND on Nov. 28.
Junior Josh Schuler led a quartet of UND players in double figures with 13 points and put UND back in the lead with under two minutes to play with back-to-back baskets. Senior Doug Archer equaled his career-high with 12 points off the bench and classmate Mitch Wilmer added a career-high 11 points.
Junior Jamal Webb rounded out the quartet with 11 points, but on a night where UND made 13-of-16 free throw attempts, his miss on the front-end of a one-and-one with 12 seconds left allowed for White’s heroic shot to matter.
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 three of four starts and is averaging 12.3 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.
BUZZER BEATERS IN BOTH HALVES
Both teams sent the referees to the monitors at the end of each half in Brookings. And, both times the 3-pointers counted. In the first half, junior Jamal Webb tracked down a loose ball and fired away from deep to put his team ahead 38-32 at the break. Unfortunately, the buzzer-beater in the second half went against UND as SDSU’s Chad White threw up a contested 3-pointer that rattled home to give the Jacks the win.
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.
COMEBACK FALLS SHORT IN HAWAII
The 23-point deficit UND faced in the first half at Hawaii ended up being just a shade too much in what ended up being a 71-66 loss to the Rainbow Warriors. The visitors pulled to within three points on several occasions in the final two minutes of play, but could not get any closer as UH finished its season-opening homestand with a 4-1 record. Juniors Aaron Anderson and Josh Schuler led the team with17 points a piece. Anderson finished with 14 second-half points and connected on a career-high five 3-pointers in the contest.
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.
MILES PILING UP
UND is happy to see December finally roll around as the team wrapped up a five-game stretch in November where four were played on the road. The team has traveled nearly 5,900 miles for those four road trips, including the 4,300-mile adventure to Honolulu to play Hawai’i.
UND, which had only overcome a halftime deficit to win once during the 2012-13 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.
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. So far, the 2012-13 juniors have accounted for 64.6 percent of the team’s scoring through five games. The quintet has added a sixth player in JUCO-transfer Alonzo Traylor.
SUMMIT LEAGUE HISTORY
UND is in a stretch of three-straight games against Summit League opponents and the Green and White have a series history with six of the league’s nine current basketball members.
South Dakota, who joined the league in time for the 2011-12 season, and Nebraska-Omaha, who just joined this season, are the two newest members. Head coach Brian Jones is 5-8 all-time against the Coyotes, while he is 1-4 against the Mavericks.
All-time, UND owns the series lead against four of those of schools: South Dakota (99-88), South Dakota State (106-79), Nebraska-Omaha (54-34) and North Dakota State (158-129).
Only Kansas City, who UND has played each of the last four seasons, at 3-1 and Western Illinois at 3-2 own advantages in the all-time series against UND.
OPPONENT PREVIEW: KANSAS CITY
• Head coach Matt Brown is entering his sixth season at the helm of the Kangaroos.
• The 2011-12 squad posted a 10-21 record as the Roos battled through an injury-plagued season. The year prior, Brown led his 2010-11 unit to the best finish of his career at 16-14 and 9-9 in Summit League play.
• Brown has four of five starters back this season as the team is off to a 3-4 start, including a 1-1 tally in Summit League action.
• The one starter lost was a big one, however, as senior Reggie Chamberlain graduated after averaging 17.3 ppg and shot 47.1 percent from 3-point range.
• Forward Kirk Korver, who averaged 7.6 ppg a season ago, is the team’s leading scorer early on and is the only Kangaroo averaging in double figures at 10.1 ppg.
• The Roos are coming off a split during their opening weekend of Summit League play. UMKC won the opener vs. IUPUI on Nov. 29 (79-65), but fell 68-63 to Western Illinois - a team that beat UND twice last season.
• The Roos had three players reach double figures against the Leathernecks, but no starters were able to score 10 or more points. Thomas Staton, who has been the team’s top shooter from the field (52 percent) and 3-point range (46 percent) so far, led the way with 15 points.
• UMKC has not won or lost back-to-back games so far this season. The club opened the campaign with a loss, then has traded wins and losses over the next six games.
UND VS. KANSAS CITY
• Junior Brandon Brekke posted a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds in last year’s meeting with UMKC. He only had one point and one rebound against the Roos during his freshman season.
• Junior Troy Huff, who will sit out his fifth straight game, averaged 14.5 ppg against Kansas City over the last two meetings.
• Junior Josh Schuler, who is starting in place of Huff, has scored nine points in both of his meetings against UMKC. He started against the Roos as a redshirt freshman.
• Junior Jamal Webb is averaging 8.5 ppg, 5.0 apg and 3.0 spg in his two contests against UMKC.