Game Notes: Postseason-packed field awaits UND
The round-robin event will have UND play Cal Poly on Friday (4:30 p.m. CT), host Oregon on Saturday (5:30 p.m. CT) and wraps up the three-day event against Pacific on Sunday (6:30 p.m. CT).
UND VS. CAL POLY SERIES
All-time: Cal Poly leads 1-0
Last Meeting: CP won 47-45 (ot) (Dec. 5, 1984)
UND Head Coach Brian Jones vs. Cal Poly: First Meeting
Cal Poly Head Coach Joe Callero vs. UND: 2-1
UND VS. OREGON SERIES
All-time: First Meeting
UND Head Coach Brian Jones vs. Oregon: First Meeting
Oregon Head Coach Dana Altman vs. UND: First Meeting
UND VS. PACIFIC SERIES
All-time: Series tied 1-1
Last Meeting: UND won 72-67 (Dec. 7, 1978)
UND Head Coach Brian Jones vs. Pacific: First Meeting
Pacific Head Coach Ron Verlin vs. UND: First Meeting
HOW TO TRACK THE GLOBAL SPORTS HARDWOOD CHALLENGE
All three of North Dakota’s games this Thanksgiving weekend will be for fans to watch and Saturday’s contest against host Oregon will be televised on the Pac-12 Network with Aaron Goldsmith handling the play-by-play and former Ducks’ head coach Ernie Kent serving as the color analyst. The non-Oregon games against Cal Poly and Pacific will be streamed live on the internet.
Live Stat: www.GoDucks.com
Live Television: Pac-12 Network (Saturday vs. Oregon only)
Live Video: Pac-12.com/videos/university-oregon (vs. Cal Poly/Pacific)
Live Audio: www.UNDSports.com
Live Radio: 100.3 Cat Country FM (Grand Forks)
Live Chat: www.UNDSports.com
IN THE PAINT...
• GSHC host Oregon (Sweet 16) and Pacific (Second Round) both advanced to the NCAA Tournament, while Friday’s opening-day opponent Cal Poly earned an at-large bid to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament like UND.
• The Mustangs fell to Big Sky foe Weber State 85-43 in the opening round, while UND also dropped a first-round matchup at Northern Iowa 77-66.
• UND has limited history against these three squads having played Cal Poly only once and Pacific twice. Saturday’s game at No. 14/15 Oregon will be the first on the hardwood between the two schools.
• UND enters the GSHC on the heels of a 95-77 victory over rival North Dakota State in front of a sellout crowd in The Betty (3,142). The 18-point win avenged a 20-point loss to the Bison last season in the Fargodome.
• The home team has won each of the four meetings between the two schools in the Division I series.
PREVIEWING THE GLOBAL SPORTS HARDWOOD CHALLENGE FIELD
• Oregon is the only ranked team in the field, but Pacific joins them with a perfect 4-0 start to the season. The Ducks enter the GSHC ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press Top 25 and No. 15 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll.
• The Ducks and Tigers both made the NCAA Tournament a season ago. Oregon advanced to the Sweet 16 before bowing out to eventual national champion Louisville. Pacific lost its opener in the second round to No. 2 seed Miami, 78-49.
• Both Cal Poly and North Dakota lost opening round games in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
• Pacific is paced in scoring by Sama Taku, who was the top returning scorer from last year’s NCAA Tournament squad. Taku is averaging 16.3 ppg as the Tigers have won three of their four games by single digits.
• After dropping its first three games of the season, Cal Poly rebounded by doubling up Bethesda 78-39 on Nov. 23.
• CP head coach Joe Callero faced UND three times during the 2008-09 seaosn, which was his final one at SeattleU. The Redhawks won two of those contests, including the championship game of the Spring Thaw National Independent Tournament in Grand Forks.
• Houston transfer Joseph Young is averaging 23.0 ppg early in his Oregon career. He was granted an NCAA waiver to play immediately.
HUFF NETS BACK-TO-BACK 30-PLUS POINT NIGHTS
Senior Troy Huff became just the ninth player in UND history to register back-to-back games with 30-plus points last week. After scoring a career-high 37 points in front of friends and family at No. 12/15 Wisconsin (Nov. 19), Huff backed up that performance with a 32-point, 10-rebound effort in the 95-77 triumph over rival North Dakota State on Sunday (Nov. 24). The last player to achieve that feat was Jerome Beasley, who reeled off three consecutive 30-point games in the final stretch of his UND career at the end of 2002-03 season. Beasley and Travis Tuttle are the only two players to accomplish that feat twice in their UND careers. Beasley holds the UND record with 14 30-plus scoring games, while Tuttle, Phil Jackson and Dave Vonesh each had 13 during their respective careers. Huff pushed his career total to four with those efforts last week.
HUFF NAMED BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK
For the fourth time in his career, senior Troy Huff was named the Big Sky Player of the Week on Tuesday. Huff averaged 34.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg and 3.0 spg in contests at No. 12/15 Wisconsin and vs. North Dakota State. He shot 67.6 percent from the field (23-for-34) and 58.3 percent from 3-point range (7-for-12). Huff earned three weekly honors in UND’s first season in the league a year ago - that tied him with Montana’s Kareem Jamar for the most in the Big Sky during the 2012-13 season.
WIN NO. 1,500 COMES VS. RIVAL NDSU
UND picked up its 1,500th win in program history with the decisive 95-77 victory over rival North Dakota State. More than 10 percent of those wins have come against the Bison as UND improved to 159-128 all-time against its in-state rival. The program started in 1904-05 and 910 of those victories have come at home.
LIGHTS OUT TRI0
Through three games, UND has a trio players averaging 15 or more points per game and shooting better than 59 percent from the floor: Troy Huff (29.0 ppg; 65.9 percent), Jaron Nash (17.3 ppg; 69.2 percent) and Aaron Anderson (15.3 ppg; 59.4 percent). All three of those players have reached double figures in each game this season.
NCAA RANKINGS (through games of Nov. 24)
Team Scoring Average
3. North Dakota 96.7
Team FG Percentage
5. North Dakota 54.5
Team 3-point FG Percentage
5. North Dakota 46.9
6. TroyHuff 29.0
Senior Aaron Anderson is averaging 17.3 ppg in the early going this season and has done so despite shooting just 26 field goals in three games. Against NDSU, the 5-foot-10 dynamo went 3-for-4 from the field, but went 10-for-12 from the free throw line. Anderson is shooting 69.2 percent from the field (18-for-26) and 83.3 percent from 3-point range (5-for-6). Anderson led UND in scoring in the season opener with 22.
Through three games, the North Dakota reserves are outscoring their opponents 142-48. Those numbers are a bit inflated after the regular starting five came off the bench at No. 12/15 Wisconsin. But, even if you take out the game with the Badgers, UND’s reserves are outscoring still outproducing their opposition 73-39. In that Wisconsin game, senior Troy Huff scored a career-high 37 points in a reserve role, leading to a 69-9 advantage in bench points for the visitors.
DEFENDING THE ARC
A game after allowing No. 12/15 Wisconsin to go 12-for-20 from beyond the arc, UND tightened its defense along the 3-point line against NDSU. The Bison made only one of 12 attempts and were held to 41 percent shooting for the game.
UND scored nearly 33 percent of its points from the charity stripe in the 18-point victory over NDSU on Sunday. The home team went 33-for-41 from the stripe en route to scoring 95 points against the Bison. The teams combined for 57 fouls and 77 foul shots in the contest that saw four NDSU starters and one UND reserve foul out.
HUFF BUMPS BEASLEY
Senior Troy Huff had a memorable night in front of dozens of friends and family in Madison on Nov. 19. He scored a career-high 37 points on 15-of-22 shooting from the floor and moved into UND’s top 10 list of all-time scorers with the effort. Huff bumped Jerome Beasley from the top 10 list and now has 1,440 points for his career. Beasley, who was also the last UND player to score 37 points in a game (at St. Cloud State; 2003), finished his two-year career in Grand Forks with 1,402 points. Beasley was a second-round draft pick by the Miami Heat in the 2003 NBA Draft.
MADNESS IN MADISON
UND lost by 18 to No. 12/15 Wisconsin, but the 85 points scored by UND were the second most allowed by a Bo Ryan-coached Wisconsin team at home in his 13 seasons as the Badgers’ head coach. Seniors Troy Huff (37) and Jaron Nash (19) both had career highs in a game that saw UND shoot 54.5 percent from the field and 53.9 percent from 3-point range.
SELLOUT CROWD WATCHES UND DISPOSE OF RIVAL NDSU
Sunday’s crowd for the UND-North Dakota State game threatened the all-time attendance record at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, but when the final total was announced, it fell 50 short of the record of 3,192 set on Feb. 24, 2006 vs. Minnesota Duluth. The game will go down officially as a sellout as capacity for the building, which was opened in August of 2004, is 3,064.
The 2013-14 North Dakota basketball team has scored more points through three games than any other squad in program history. UND ranks third nationally with a 96.7 ppg clip and the 290 points are 15 more than the 1977-78 team coached by Dave Gunther that held the previous record through three games.
STEFAN GRANTED NCAA WAIVER
Junior Cole Stefan found out earlier this week that he was granted the NCAA waiver he was seeking to play immediately for UND. The NCAA waived the year-in-residence requirement for a men’s basketball student-athlete. Stefan averaged 3.4 ppg in 19 games at Green Bay last season and averaged 4.6 ppg in 25 games at LaSalle as a redshirt freshman during the 2010-11 season. He was a Minnesota Mr. Basketball Award Finalist at Minnetonka High School in 2009 after averaging 19.3 ppg. His squad won the Class AAAA state title his junior season when he averaged 19.0 ppg.
LIKE MOTHER-LIKE SON
In two career games against his mom’s alma mater, Wisconsin, Troy Huff did his best impression of her, scoring 58 points (29.0 ppg) and grabbing 12 rebounds (6.0 rpg) at the Kohl Center. Theresa Huff left Wisconsin after her playing career ended in 1983 as the program’s all-time leading scorer (1,879) and rebounder (1,201) and was inducted into the Badgers’ Hall of Fame in 1998. Huff currently ranks fifth on the scoring charts, but still leads in rebounding. Her son moved into UND’s top 10 list for scoring with his career-high scoring effort in front of family and friends on Tuesday in Madison.
FAST START FOR NASH
In 27 career games at Texas Tech, senior Jaron Nash scored in double figures just once - a 15-point outing against Wake Forest early in the 2011-12 season at the Old Spice Classic. In three games in a UND uniform, Nash has not scored less than double figures. He scored 15 in the opener vs. Minnesota Morris, then set a new Division I career-high with 19 points at Wisconsin. After netting 12 vs. NDSU, Nash is averaging 15.3 ppg through three games and shooting 59.4 percent (19-for-32) from the floor. He is also 50 percent from 3-point range (4-for-8), which is impressive considering he missed the only three long-range attempts he took during his season with the Red Raiders.
Head coach Brian Jones opted to use a completely different starting lineup at Wisconsin (Nov. 19) from the one in the season opener. True freshman Quinton Hooker and Alonzo Traylor started for the first time in their UND careers, while Josh Schuler picked up his 56th career start. Shane Benton earned his ninth career start and Lenny Antwi received his third. The regular starters ended up playing a majority of the minutes when it was all said and done. Senior Aaron Anderson had started the previous 66 games, including all 65 games during his sophomore and junior seasons. Jones said following the game, the second-unit prepared better leading up to the Badgers’ game and outplayed the regulars in a decisivie four-minute game in the final practice that ultimately led to his decision.
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-4 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).
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 in line to redshirt this season, but the coaching staff was to impressed by his play in fall camp to not have him on the active roster during the 2013-14 season. Hooker had four poitns and four more assists in the Wisconsin game. Through two games, he leads the team with eight assists and is averaging 10.5 ppg.
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. Jones now has 104 wins after his team beat NDSU for the second time in four tries during his tenure.
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.
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 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 was the only UND player to have started each game of the last two seasons (65 total) and leads all active players with 101 games played, 342 free throws and 113 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 UND’s all-time career record for steals with 186 and is fifth in assists with 386 through 99 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.
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