Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Look at North Dakota had a good little preview article on the men's hoops team, so let's take a look at it. The Fighting Sioux will be in their final season in the Great West Conference, and will be joining the Big Sky next year (if you did not already know).

Head coach Brian Jones has all five starters back from his 2011 Great West Conference Tournament championship team. The squad posted a 19-15 record and earned an automatic berth to the Tournament. The sixth-year head coach only lost 9.4 percent of his team's scoring as senior captains Derek Benter (4.0 ppg) and Chris Clausen (3.1 ppg) were the only departures.
This is why everyone around the program is excited about this team now and in the future. They have an excellent five-man class that will all be sophomores, which means that they should have a two solid years together in the Big Sky. If they can improve this year, they will be very interesting entering the Big Sky and ready to possibly compete right away.

Huff earned second team All-Great West honors after leading the team with a 13.3 ppg average. His 452 points also broke the UND freshman scoring record held by Scott Guldseth (418, 1989-90). He finished the season with five 20-plus scoring efforts, including a career high 31-point outing in a road win at Houston Baptist.
Huff is the potential player of the year in the Great West, and will be one of the most talented guys in the Conference the minute UND enters the Big Sky. A lot of the Sioux's hopes rest with Huff, who will need to be a star for UND to take the next step.

Huff, Schuler and Webb teamed with fellow freshmen Brandon Brekke and Aaron Anderson to be the highest-producing rookie class in Division I basketball last season. The freshmen quintet accounted for 65.4 percent of UND's scoring a season ago (1,517 points). The freshmen at Memphis finished second, scoring 63.9 percent (1,615 of 2,524 points) of the Tigers' buckets and the rookies at Kentucky were third, producing 60.5 percent (1,721 of 2,845 points) of the Wildcats' scores.
See above. The hopes of the program rest with these five guys.

Juniors Spencer Goodman and Mitch Wilmer will return to the playing rotation after having their seasons prematurely cut short with injuries. Goodman started all 11 games he appeared in before suffering an injury in the opening minute of play at UMKC (Dec. 18). Wilmer appeared in nine games off the bench, but was lost for the season after suffering an injury in the second half of the North Dakota State tilt (Dec. 11).
The biggest weakness for UND is their size and depth up front, and hopefully the return of these guys will help. They have a lot of talent in the backcourt, but they were often undersized last year. If this can be helped by players such as Goodman and Wilmer, and stressed in recruiting, that will help immensely.\

They should be fun to watch play this year, and perhaps the best team that UND has seen in quite some time.

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