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  1. UND shook off another slow start and made quick work of their non-D1 foe at home. Now they will face an old Great West foe in the middle game of their 3 game home stand as Utah Valley comes into town. This is not the same Utah Valley team that UND had faced in the Great West, not by a long shot. Under 3rd year head coach Mark Pope, Utah Valley has steadily improved and are looking to make a splash this season, batting Grand Canyon and New Mexico State for WAC superiority. They have loaded up with a difficult schedule to start. How would you like to start your season by going to Rupp and then Cameron Indoor for your first two games. To be fair, they held their own against Kentucky (until their president gave the "greatest" halftime prep talk). They also beat a solid UC Davis team at home and went up to Poky and beat ISU. UND and Utah Valley are tied 3-3 in the all time series. UND is 2-1 against them at home, with that one loss a 4OT game. Utah Valley has some very solid talent that they brought in through the transfer route. Akolda Manyang is the 7 foot transfer from Oklahoma. His basketball career has been a odyssey to say the least, but with the minutes he has gotten for UVU, he has made the most, averaging 15 and 9 to start the season. That includes an impressive 17 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists against Duke. Isaac Neilson is the other big body who can rebound very well at 6'11 and has a very high shooting percentage around the rim. He can step out and knock down the 3, so it is necessary to respect his outside shot. Conner Toolson is their 6'4 guard that can shoot it from outside. Kenneth Ogbe is the 6'7 German who can do a little bit of everything. The biggest challenge UND is going to have is team rebounding. This team has a LOT of length up and down the lineup. They are going to have to be at their best at basic fundamentals when it comes to rebounding. Avants and Jones CANNOT get in foul trouble. They also need to knock down some shots to free up driving opportunities for Geno and Stewart. Shooting 15% from 3 is not going to get the job done. Geno needs to get more than 3 points in this one. This is a good UVU team, this would be a good win at home if they can get it. The Call: UND is going to have their hands full with this team. Their length can cause some big (no pun intended) problems. To win this home will take something that they haven't quite done yet, put together a full 40 minutes, which means getting off to a great start. If UND can get the win, it would be a solid win, better than the win over Troy. I think UND performs well, but UVU will be too much inside. UVU 71-65
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