OMAHA, Neb. - Two former North Central Conference rivals will square off in Division I postseason play when North Dakota travels to Omaha to face the Mavericks in the opening round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). Tipoff is slated for Wednesday, March 19 from Ralston Arena.
The teams have met only once as Division I foes when Omaha used a late run to defeat North Dakota last season in a ESPN BracketBuster Series game. That was the first meeting in over five seasons after the two teams met 88 times at the Division II level.
UND VS. OMAHA SERIES
All-time/In Omaha: UND leads 54-35/UND trails 16-23
Last Meeting: Omaha 83, UND 75 (Feb. 23, 2013; Omaha, Neb.)
UND Head Coach Brian Jones vs. Omaha: 1-5
Omaha Head Coach Derrin Hansen vs. UND: 5-3
WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN/TRACK
Live Stream: www.WatchCollegeInsider.com
Radio: 100.3 FM Cat Country (Grand Forks)
Live Stats: www.OMavs.com (free)
Audio Stream: www.UNDSports.com (free)
Live Chat: www.UNDSports.com (free)
IN THE PAINT...
• For UND, this is the fourth consecutive CIT berth, which is the most by any participant in the 32-team field. Omaha is making its first appearance in the postseason as a Division I member.
• The Mavericks are completing the third year of a five-year reclassification process to the Division I level, which is the same one UND completed following the 2012-13 season.
• These two teams have different experiences in the month of March. Omaha has been idle since a 96-95 loss to IPFW on March 1 because, as a transition program, the Mavericks were unable to compete in the Summit League Tournament.
• Meanwhile, UND has played six times in the month of March and owns a 4-2 record after reaching the Big Sky title game this past Saturday.
• Seniors Aaron Anderson and Troy Huff were named to the All-Big Sky Tournament Team after leading the Green and White to their third postseason conference title game in the past four seasons. UND won the 2011 and 2012 Great West Tournament titles.
• Huff averaged 17.7 ppg during Big Sky Tournament play and stands in third place on UND’s all-time scoring charts with 1,993 points. He is seven points away from joining Scott Guldseth (2,190; 1989-93) and Dave Vonesh (2,053; 1986-1991) as the only 2,000-point scorers in program history.
• Huff also broke the UND single-season record for steals after getting two in the Big Sky title game vs. Weber State. He now has 77 on the season, breaking the old mark of 75 held by Rico Burkett (1989-90).
• Anderson established a new UND record in Saturday’s championship game by playing in the 132nd game of his career. He eclipsed the old mark of 131 held by Chris Gardner and David Robertson, who were teammates from 1990-94.
• Senior Alonzo Traylor averaged 11.3 ppg in the Big Sky Tournament and shot 83.3 percent from the field (15-for-18). Traylor averaged 6.8 ppg in the regular season.
• Senior Josh Schuler missed the semifinal round and championship game after injuring his knee in the final second of the quarterfinal win over Sacramento State. Schuler had 11 points off the bench in that win.
• Classmate Jamal Webb tried to give his injured knee a go in Saturday’s title game, but was only able to play four minutes. Webb is the first player in UND history to post four consecutive seasons with at least 50 steals and 100 assists.
• UND is 3-2 in its brief Big Sky Tournament history and own an 8-3 record in postseason conference tournaments since moving to the Division I level (2008-09).
• For the second straight season, North Dakota finished Big Sky play with a 12-8 conference record, but earned the No. 2 seed via a tiebreaker with Northern Arizona and Montana after being the No. 3 seed last year.
OPPONENT PREVIEW: OMAHA
• Head coach Derrin Hansen is in his ninth season as the head coach of the Mavericks and with 148 career victories, ranks second all-time at the university in men’s basketball wins.
• Hansen has Omaha in the postseason for the first time since beginning the transition to Division I three seasons ago. The Mavericks own a 16-14 overall record and finished sixth in the eight-team Summit League standings with a 5-9 league record.
• The Mavericks have not played since a 96-95 overtime loss to IPFW on March at Ralston Arena. Since the team is ineligible for NCAA postseason play, the Mavericks did not participate in the Summit League Tournament.
• Omaha and UND have two common opponents in North Dakota State and South Dakota State on their respective 2013-14 schedules. The Mavericks were swept by NDSU in Summit League play, losing by 22 in Fargo and 16 at home to the Bison.
• UNO split the season series with SDSU with the road team picking up wins. The Mavs beat the Jacks in Brookings 80-71 on Jan. 18, then fell to SDSU by 17 in Ralston Arena on Feb. 13.
• UND provided NDSU with its worst loss of the season on Nov. 24, beating the Summit League champions 95-77 in Grand Forks. SDSU gave UND one of its four home losses winning 77-70 on Dec 21.
• Both of these teams rank among the top 15 in the NCAA in steals per game. UND is 13th at 8.4/g, while Omaha is tied for 14th at 8.3/g.
• Guard C.J. Carter is one of six regulars averaging at least 9.0 ppg. He tops the team at 13.9 ppg and leads the team with 100 assists.
• Center John Karhoff is second on the team at 13.1 ppg and fellow big man Mike Rostampour is the top rebounder at 6.9/g (he averages 9.1 ppg.
• Omaha is the top scoring team in the Summit, averaging 80.2 ppg.
NUMBERS MICROSCOPE: SENIOR STYLE
1-2: Point guard Jamal Webb is UND’s all-time career leader in steals with 238 and ranks second in assists with 384. His steals total is 10th among active Division I players.
2 or 3: The UND men’s basketball team has been a No. 2 or No. 3 seed in each of its five Division I postseason conference tournaments.
3: The 2013-14 senior class has three 1,000-point scorers - only one other class in program history can claim that as well (1999-20; Chad Mustard, Marcus Travis and Hunter Reinke).
7: With 1,993 points career points, senior Troy Huff ranks 12th among active scorers in Division I basketball (3rd at UND) and needs seven points to become third player in school history to reach 2,000-point clip.
44: The 2013-14 seniors combined to go 44-12 at home during their four-year run at UND. The team went 11-3 at The Betty this season.
465: UND’s seven seniors have combined to start 465 career games.
640: Huff has scored 640 points this season, which is a career-high and marks the fifth most points scored in a single season by any UND player. Dave Vonesh holds the single-season record at 788 points.
Four members of the 2013-14 senior class compiled an 8-2 record in postseason conference tournaments over their four-year careers. The only two losses during that span came against Weber State in the 2013 Big Sky semifinals and 2014 Big Sky title game. Two of those runs resulted in Great West Tournament titles in 2011 and 2012. Here is a look at that quartet’s career numbers in postseason tournaments:
Troy Huff (10g, 16.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.7 apg, 2.5 spg)
Jamal Webb (10g, 9.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.9 spg)
Aaron Anderson (10g, 10.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.2 apg, 0.9 spg)
Josh Schuler (8g, 7.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.8 spg)
Huff has been named to the all-tournament team in each of his first three conference tournaments, earning All-Great West Tournament Team accolades as a freshman and sophomore. He then earned All-Big Sky Tournament Team honors last season as a junior. Webb was named the 2011 Great West Tournament MVP.
JONES IN THE POSTSEASON
Head coach Brian Jones has posted a 10-5 record in postseason conferentce tournament play during his eight seasons at North Dakota. Jones has led his team to a pair of conference tournament titles (2011 and 2012 Great West) and his sqaud advanced to the semifinals of the program’s inaugural Big Sky Tournament a season ago and reached the title game this year after posting wins over seventh-seeded Sacramento State (79-76) and fifth-seeded Portland State (79-63). Before making the move to Division I, Jones led his final DII squad to a memorable run at the North Central Conference Tournament, advancing to the title game as the No. 8 seed. In his four postseason conference tournaments at the Division I level, Jones’ teams have been no lower than the No. 3 seed.
WHAT A NEW YEAR
After posting a 3-8 record during the months of November and December, UND has turned things around and registered a 14-8 record since the turn of the New Year. The Green and White have won six of eight entering the opening round of the CIT.
SENIOR TRIO EARNS ALL-BIG SKY ACCOLADES, WEBB TOP RESERVE
For the second consecutive season, senior Troy Huff was a unanimous selection on the All-Big Sky First Team selected by the league’s 11 head coaches and announced on Monday by conference officials.
Classmate Jamal Webb was selected as the Co-Reserve of the Year, sharing the honor with Portland State’s DaShaun Wiggins. Webb and backcourt mate Aaron Anderson were also named to the honorable mention All-Big Sky team.
INDIVIDUAL BIG SKY AWARDS
MVP – Davion Berry, Sr., G/F, WeberState
Newcomer of the Year – Quinton Upshur, Jr., G, Northern Arizona
Freshman of the Year – Jeremy Sengelin, G, WeberState
Defensive Player of the Year – Joel Bolomboy, So., G, WeberState
Reserve of the Year – Jamal Webb, Sr., G, North Dakota & DaShaun Wiggins, Jr., G, PortlandState
*Davion Berry, Sr., G/F (Weber State)
*Troy Huff, Sr., G/F (North Dakota)
*Kareem Jamar, Sr., G/F (Montana)
*Mikh McKinney, Jr., G (Sacramento State)
Tyler Harvey, So., G (Eastern Washington)
Quinton Upshur, Jr., G (Northern Arizona)
* unanimous selection
Derrick Barden, Sr., F (Northern Colorado)
Gary Winston, Jr., G, (PortlandState)
Kyle Tresnak, Sr., C (WeberState)
Chris Hansen, Jr., F (Idaho State)
Tate Unruh, Sr., G (Northern Colorado)
Venky Jois, So., F (Eastern Washington); Keron DeShields Jr., G (Montana); JordanGregory, Jr., G (Montana), Flavien Davis, Sr.,F (MontanaState); Aaron Anderson, Sr., G, (North Dakota); Jamal Webb, Sr., G (North Dakota); Max Jacobsen, Sr., F (Northern Arizona); DaShaun Wiggins, Jr., G (PortlandState); Dylan Garrity, Jr., G (Sacramento State); Joel Bolomboy, So., F (WeberState)
LOOKING BACK: 2014 BIG SKY TOURNAMENT
(1) Weber State 88, (2) North Dakota 67 (Finals)
OGDEN, Utah - Top-seeded Weber State used a fast start and fed off the energy of its home crowd to knock off second-seeded North Dakota 88-67 in the Big Sky Championship Game on Saturday at the Dee Events Center. The Wildcats earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. Weber State opened the game making 10 of its first 11 shots from the field, including five 3-pointers to jump out to a 25-14 lead and never looked back. UND (17-16) stayed within striking distance until a late run by Weber State put the game out of reach. UND hung around because of the play of a quartet of seniors, but unfortunately that group was missing two key cogs in this one. Troy Huff led UND in scoring with 17 points and Alonzo Traylor added 15 points, but the club struggled without its floor general Jamal Webb and one of its steadiest players in Josh Schuler.
(2) North Dakota 79, (5) Portland State 63 (Semifinals)
OGDEN, Utah - UND earned a chance to dance after defeating fifth-seeded Portland State 79-63 in the first semifinal of the Big Sky Tournament at the Dee Events Center. Senior Aaron Anderson had 19 points and classmate Troy Huff added 18 as UND never trailed in the contest and had a double-digit lead for a majority of the game. Seniors Alonzo Traylor and Jaron Nash dominated down low early in the game, starting a combined 8-for-9 from the field as UND raced out to a 22-11 advantage in the opening eight minutes of play. The Vikings would never get the deficit back to single digits before the half as the Green and White built a 39-25 lead at the break.
(2) North Dakota 79, (7) Sacramento State 76 (Quarterfinals)
OGDEN, Utah - In a league that saw its final standings be as tight as any in Division I basketball, second-seeded North Dakota was not surprisingly taken to the wire by seventh-seeded and upset-minded Sacramento State, but held on to post a 79-76 in the first quarterfinal of the Big Sky Men’s Basketball Tournament. It was UND’s seniors that proved to be clutch down the stretch as the Green and White held on to earn its second consecutive trip to the tournament’s semifinal round since joining the league. Senior Aaron Anderson had 14 of his 16 points in the second half and his acrobatic layup with just over three minutes to play gave his squad the lead for good. Troy Huff added 18 for UND (16-15) and classmates Josh Schuler and Alonzo Traylor each came up big with 11 points off the bench.
COLLEGEINSIDER.COM POSTSEASON TOURNAMENT HISTORY
UND will be making its fourth straight appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, earning automatic bids in 2011 and 2012 after winning the Great West Tournament title, then accepting at-large lids in 2013 and this season as a Big Sky member. UND is 0-3 all-time in the event that has seen the team pitted against schools from the Missouri Valley Conference (twice) and Mountain West Conference. UND’s matchup with Omaha in the 2014 event will be its first against a Summit League opponent.
UND’s CIT HISTORY
2013: Northern Iowa 77, UND 66 (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
2012: Drake 70, UND 64 (Des Moines, Iowa)
2011: Air Force 77, UND 67 (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
PAST CIT Champions
2013: East Carolina
2011: Santa Clara
2010: Missouri State
2009: Old Dominion
Six active players have appeared in CIT games for the Green and White over the past four seasons. Here is a look at their career stat lines:
CAREER LINE IN THE CIT
# PLAYERS (gp; ppg, rpg, apg)
0 Aaron Andreson (3; 5.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.7 apg)
3 Lenny Antwi (2; 4.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.0 apg)
5 Troy Huff (3; 19.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.3 spg)
10 Shane Benton (1; 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg, 0.0 apg)
11 Jamal Webb (3; 5.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.7 apg)
32 Josh Schuler (3; 9.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.0 apg)
REWIND: 2013 ESPN BRACKETBUSTER SERIES
Omaha 83, UND 75 (Feb. 23, 2014; Ralston Arena)
OMAHA - Omaha outlasted North Dakota in a back-and-forth affair on Saturday as the Mavericks posted an 83-75 victory in a Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters tilt. Fans at the new Ralston Arena were reminded of what was once a great North Central Conference rivalry as the lead changed 20 times, including 17 in the second half during the first matchup between the two teams at the Division I level. Junior Troy Huff scored a game-high 21 points and classmate Aaron Anderson added 19 points, but UND could manage just two points in the closing five minutes of the contest.
Omaha’s Justin Simmons finished with 20 points to lead the Mavs and it was his 3-pointer with just under four minutes to play that tied the game at 73-73. That trifecta sparked the 13-2 closing run by the Mavs, who have now won five straight in the series. Junior Jamal Webb added eight points for UND, but his two free throws down the stretch were all the scoring UND could manage.
Alex Welhouse hit a back-breaking trey with 1:16 to play that pushed UNO’s lead to five at 80-75. That would provide the largest lead of the half by either team as the teams were matching baskets at a furious pace. Welhouse finished with 13 points as four different Mavs finished in double figures. John Karhoff added a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
UND’s largest lead after halftime was at 55-51 following a 3-pointer by Huff. That was the sixth consecutive make for UND from beyond the arc, but the Mavs would let the visitors get two more 3-point attempts off in the closing 15 minutes. Huff had 14 first-half points and Anderson scored 12 in a three-minute stretch late in the stanza that allowed UND to erase a 25-13 deficit and draw even at 41-41 by halftime.
The impact this year’s seven-member senior class has made during the program’s infancy as a Division I member has been immense and probably will not be truly felt until years from now. However, there are some measurable things about this class that show just how successful it has been over the past four seasons. There are 69 victories, an overall winning record, four consecutive CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament appearances and two Great West Tournament titles. The unit has won 12 Big Sky games in each of the last two seasons. The 12 last season were the most ever by a league newcomer. The class boasts a trio of 1,000-point scorers - only one other class in UND history (1999-2000 seniors) can claim that.
If not for untimely injuries, that number could easily be four or even five. The class has multiple All-Conference and All-Tournament team accolades to its credit and has started 465 games and logged well over 15,000 minutes of game time throughout their careers. As far as history goes, the class will leave several entries into UND’s all-time and single-season record book for everything from points and steals to 3-pointers made and assists. There may never be another class in the history of UND basketball that can lay claim to this level of significance.
MORE MILESTONES FOR MALLIE
In the regular season finale at Southern Utah, senior Jamal Webb became the first player in UND history to put together four consecutive seasons with at least 50 steals and 100 assists. He has 55 steals on the season and 104 assists and is the program’s all-time career leader in steals with 238 and ranks second in assists with 484.
SAVING HIS BEST FOR LAST
Senior Troy Huff’s 34 points against Northern Colorado in his final home game on March 4 equaled his most in a Big Sky game (at EWU last season) and were the most he scored in his career at The Betty. Huff made a career-high 15 free throws (17 attempts) in the victory and 21 of his game-high output came in the first half when UND scored a season-high 56 points in the opening 20 minutes (shot 79 percent from the field; 19-24). He averaged 24.0 ppg during the final three-game homestand.
THE MARCH IS ON
Head coach Brian Jones owns an 20-11 record in the month of March since he took over the UND program prior to the 2006-07 season. Over the last three-plus seasons, Jones’ record is an impressive 15-6 with two Great West Tournament titles, an appearance in the 2013 Big Sky Tournament semifinals and a title game appearance in 2014.
SENIOR DAY-JA VU
Is there a better way to end Senior Day then for a senior to hit a game-winning buzzer beater? The answer is no and remarkably, UND has been witness to such a feat twice in a three-year stretch. Former UND hoopster Patrick Mitchell brought the home court crowd to its feet on his Senior Day back in 2011 when his free-throw line jumper at the horn gave his team a 57-56 victory over Utah Valley. The Betty Engelstad Sioux Center fans were treated to another improbable Senior Day ending on March 1 when from nearly the identical spot on the floor as Mitchell’s heroics, Troy Huff gave his team a thrilling 69-67 victory over Eastern Washington with an off-balance, one-handed thrust that fell through the strings as the horn sounded.
HUFF REACHES 1,000-POINT PLATEAU AS BIG SKY MEMBER
With 24 points in the win over Portland State on Feb. 27, senior Troy Huff eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau over the past two seasons since UND joined the Big Sky Conference. His point total over the past two seasons entering the CIT is 1,121, which trails only Davion Berry of Weber State (1,134) among league players. The Milwaukee native also became became the first UND player to since Jerome Beasley had 772 points as a senior season in 2002-03 to score 500-plus points in a season.
Listed at 5-foot-10 and 150 pounds, senior Aaron Anderson does not possess the biggest stature on the North Dakota men’s basketball team, but you’d be hard-pressed to find someone with more passion on the roster. The Brooklyn Park native has played 132 career games - more than any other player in UND history. He has started 94 of those during his three-plus seasons in Grand Forks. What is remarkable about those numbers are he has never missed a game in his collegiate career. He is averaging 10.7 ppg for his career and will go down as one of the program’s top free throw (81.4 percent) and 3-pointer shooters (41.6 percent) of all time. The career record for games played at UND was held by Chris Gardner and David Robertson, who played in 131 games each during their careers from 1990-94. Classmate Jamal Webb is fourth on this list with 130 career games played, while Troy Huff is eighth with 122.
Seniors Jamal Webb and Troy Huff rank one-two on UND’s all-time charts for career steals with 238 and 224, respectively, so it should come as little surprise that duo ranked among the top three in the Big Sky stats this season. UND ranks 13th nationally, averaging 8.4 spg as a team, which is also tops in the Big Sky. Huff is having his best season in the theif category, getting a league-leading 2.3 spg, while Webb is in third at 1.7 spg. Huff had a league-leading 44 in Big Sky play, while Webb was second with 36. With 77 total steals, Huff broke UND’s single-season record of 75 set by Rico Burkett during the 1989-90 season. Webb fell one shy of that mark last season.
HUFF MOVES INTO TOP 10 ON REBOUNDING CHARTS
Senior Troy Huff has led the team in rebounding in 21 of 33 games and ranks fifth in the Big Sky in that category (6.8 rpg). In leauge play, Huff averaged 7.2 rpg, which is sixth best among Big Sky players. He leads the team with five doube-doubles and has 15 for his career. With a team-high six rebounds in the win over UNC on March 4, Huff moved past Scott Guldseth, who is the program’s all-time leading scorer, into 10th place on the all-time rebounding list. Huff became just the 10th player in UND history to score 1,000 points and pull down 700 rebounds in a career earlier this season. He currently has 738 boards, which puts him in ninth.
MORE ROUND NUMBERS FOR MALLIE
The 1,000-point club is not the first milestone senior Jamal Webb reached during his UND tenure. He already became the first player in UND history to reach 200 steals in a career and just the fourth to dish out 400 assists. He has also been one of the top rebounding guards in program history and corralled rebound No. 500 in a win over Idaho State on Jan. 9. By reaching 1,000 points, Webb became the first player in school history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 400 assists and 200 steals in a career. Webb currently ranks 21st on the all-time scoring charts with 1,150 points.
NASH MAKING IMPACT
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 31 games in a UND uniform, Nash has reached double figures 19 times and scored a career-high 27 points at Weber State on Feb. 6. Nash is averaging 10.8 ppg for UND after only scoring 2.6 ppg in 27 contests with the Red Raiders during the 2011-12 season. Nash has led UND in scoring four times this season.
The senior trio of Aaron Anderson, Troy Huff and Jamal Webb each have played well over 3,000 minutes during their UND careers that began as true freshman in 2010-11. Here is a look at where the three sit, respectively, on a number of UND’s top 10 career lists:
Aaron Anderson (Sr., G, Brooklyn Park, Minn.)
Games Played (1st, 132)
Steals (4th; 140)
Assists (6th; 357)
Free throws made (6th; 446)
Free throws attempted (9th; 548)
3-pointers made (7th; 149)
3-point field goal percentage (6th; 41.6)
3-point field goals attempted (9th; 357)
Troy Huff (Sr., G, Milwaukee, Wis.)
Games Played (t6th; 124)
Points (3rd; 1,993)
Rebounds (7th; 745)
Field goals made (4th; 694)
Field goals attempted (2nd; 1,596)
Free throws made (t3rd; 466)
Free throws attempted (1st; 684)
3-pointers attempted (6th; 473)
3-pointers made (10th; 139)
Steals (2nd; 224)
Jamal Webb (Sr., G, Buffalo, N.Y.)
Games Played (4th; 130)
Steals (1st; 238)
Assists (2nd; 484)
WHEREVER YOU NEED ME
Senior Jamal Webb was back in the starting lineup for the last seven games of the regular season after coming off the bench for eight straight. Webb played well in that reserve role, averaging 7.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.3 apg and 1.9 spg, but he was dynamite back in a starting role. UND went 5-2 in those contests and Webb averaged 12.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg and 4.0 apg. He equaled his career-high with 23 points at Sacramento State on Feb. 20, then had a season-high nine rebounds at Northern Arizona (Feb. 22) that he matched on Senior Day against Eastern Washington (March 1). Webb, who went 7-for-7 from the foul line against SAC on Feb. 20, was 17-for-22 (77.2 percent) from the charity stripe in those seven games.
ON THE BOARDS...FINALLY
It took 15 games, but UND finally held an advantage in rebounding over a Division I opponent when the Green and White outrebounded Montana State 33-26 on Jan. 18. UND is now 7-5 overall when outrebounding opponents this season. UND is 8-11 when being outrebounded.
AMONG THE BEST IN THE NATION
In the latest NCAA rankings, UND entered the week 13th in the country in steals per game (8.4) and 14th in turnover margin (+3.4). UND tops the Big Sky in both of those categories. The defense is also forcing teams into just over 15 turnovers a game, which is tops in the league.
-- UND --