265 posts in this topic

UND met its ultimate goal of making it to the NCAA Tournament and winning both the Regular and Tournament titles in the Big Sky.  What can they do for an encore next year in their final year in the Big Sky? Here is some brief thoughts on the matter.

Key losses:  Quinton Hooker and Corey Baldwin

UND loses the heart and soul of this program, and a 3 year starter, in Quinton Hooker. He led UND to the promise land and was the never say die leader of this team.  He was the perfect ambassador to this program.2 time 1st team All-Big Sky honors.  They also lose a solid starter in Corey Baldwin.  Corey saved some of his best games for the BSC tourney and hit some big shots for us this year and brought a certain swagger to this team that will be greatly missed.  How UND replaces these two will go a long way to their success next year.

Returning: Geno Crandall (JR), Drick Bernstein (SR), Cortez Seales (JR), Connor Avants (JR), Carson Shanks (SR), Josh Collins (JR), Billy Brown (SO), Kienan Walter (SO)

The good news is, unlike in 2013-14, UND has a solid core returning.  They return 3 starters from the lineup and bring back their top 2 reserves.  Geno was a great secondary option/primary option, but it is his team now and should grab that brass ring. He has Big Sky POY potential in a loaded race.  UND brings back a lot of its post players in Drick, Avants and Shanks.  These guys are becoming old men it seems with a lot of starting/game experience between the 3 of them. BSC 6th man of year Seales should step into the starting up to replace Baldwin.  These guys have got a lot of experience and have been solid contributors throughout the year.  Collins is a great glue guy who can do the little things, but can he expand a little bit more.  Brown and Walter didn't have much opportunity to get quality minutes their freshman years but they will need to have big summers and will have opportunities to gain more. 

Newcomers: Marlon Stewart (SO, sat out 16-17 transfer), Jafar Kinsey (JUCO, sat out 2016-17, redshirt)*, Tray Buchanan, Garrett Franklin, and Aanen Moody

*okay I am stretching here but whatever.  The biggest newcomer to this list is the Creighton transfer Marlon Stewart.  He has all the clippings to be a very good player for UND, teammate of Seales from high school.  Can he come in and be at least like Geno was his redshirt freshman year at minimum?  The others might have their chances at niching out a role on the bench, that will need all the help it can get. I am very interested to if either Buchanan or Moody ,or both, find their way into the rotation.  Kinsey will have his shot after sitting out a year as well.

Way too early  starting lineup

Geno

Stewart

Seales

Drick

Avants

Way too early predictions

1) Idaho

2) Weber

3) Griz

4) MSU

5) UND

6) SAC

7) EWU

8) PSU

9) NAU

10) ISU

11) UNC

12) SUU

I like Idaho a lot next year with what they are brining back plus the return of their 2nd best player due to injury. Weber is going to be back with a vengeance with Harding and several big bodies, including the much hyped transfer from Utah.  The Griz will have another solid team with Rorie and will improve their post position as well.  MSU brings their entire team back but if Hall leave they might fall back to the middle of the pack.  I think the 4-6 range is to be expected.  Things can change between now and October.

Key questions:

1) How do you replace Hooker?

2) Which current and incoming freshman step up?

3) How much impact will Stewart have?

4) Who will be out of nowhere improved player?

5) How soon does the extension for Jones get done?

Early synopsis:

I see this team next year as a 16-18 win team and as a bridge year to bigger things in the Summit in 2018.  They have a lot coming back but filling Hooker's shoes will be big.  They might struggle early but I think they will be hitting their stride by February.  Conference schedule will be tougher with 2 guaranteed matchups with Griz, Cats, Eags, and Vandals.  Only get Weber once.  If they can gel quicker and Stewart is as advertised and the bench play improves, they can be in the mix again. 

*FULL DISCLOSURE:  That is if everything stays the same. It would be nice if nobody left for a change.

 

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I believe Aanen Moody has said that the coaches told him he will have the opportunity to be the first guy off the bench. 

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Moody shot south of 40% in state tourney...I like Kinsey and the kid from Buchanan will be in front of him....UND  looks to be hurting from the 3 pt line next season...Bernstine and Shanks  could graduate before next season...

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5 hours ago, sioux24/7 said:

I believe Aanen Moody has said that the coaches told him he will have the opportunity to be the first guy off the bench. 

I really like Moody's potential. Yes, he didn't play up to his standards in the semi's at the state tournament, but he's got a pretty unique skillset for a ND kid. I believe he will contribute a lot next year.

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Moody also won't be asked to shoot in bulk once at UND.  He can shoot, quick release.  Needs to stop drifting when shooting off the dribble, though.  Bad habit and hard to be accurate that way.

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With the experience UND has returning (and it's not average experience; it's NCAA tourney experience), I would expect UND to make another run at the BSC tourney championship. Nothing is guaranteed, but UND should have the talent and definitely the experience now.  If UND made it to the NCAA in 2018, I'd feel fairly good about Geno and the team performing very well and possibly getting a first round win (due to experience and new found composure). 

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A rebounding, defensive big man would be nice.  6'6"-6'8" range.  Seems like they are one body short down low.

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1 hour ago, UND1983 said:

A rebounding, defensive big man would be nice.  6'6"-6'8" range.  Seems like they are one body short down low.

I agree. Add another big body down low and UND would be looking alright for next season. 

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If Drick can consistently play like he did against Arizona we will be a dangerous team next year. He was taking the ball to the hoop aggressively instead of taking that twelve foot shot that he rarely makes. Seales was becoming an offensive threat the second half of the season. If Shanks can stop taking all of those fouls away from the ball and improve offensively just a little I really like our chances of repeating next year. I haven't been this excited for UND basketball since the early 90's!!!!  

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Do we still have an open scholly to give after the mid-year departure of Rolls-Tyson?  Would be nice to pull a Jim Hayford move and find a JUCO or grad transfer big who can shoot and defend to fill that spot for next year. (IF IT'S AVAILABLE)  Our resume as an NCAA tourney team might help entice someone like that. 

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Hope we can get a couple big time teams on the schedule for next season. Helps the RPI and helps in tourney prep.  Maybe hit up Alford for a visit to Pauley. Those kind of games are also attractivery to recruits and for road tripping fans as well.  This will be a veteran enough team that the experience outweighs the likelihood of a few more Ls on the ledger.   Really need to limit the like of Mayville and Presentation moving forward. 

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32 minutes ago, hoops44 said:

No open schollys unless further attrition.

Who took SRT's money or was he a walk-on and that's why it was made it easier to leave the program?

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9 minutes ago, Teeder11 said:

Who took SRT's money or was he a walk-on and that's why it was made it easier to leave the program?

Jones signed 3 kids before SRT left...putting them one over ...then SRT left putting them at full.....

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2 minutes ago, hoops44 said:

Jones signed 3 kids before SRT left...putting them one over ...then SRT left putting them at full.....

Got it ...thanks!

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41 minutes ago, nodakvindy said:

Hope we can get a couple big time teams on the schedule for next season. Helps the RPI and helps in tourney prep.  Maybe hit up Alford for a visit to Pauley. Those kind of games are also attractivery to recruits and for road tripping fans as well.  This will be a veteran enough team that the experience outweighs the likelihood of a few more Ls on the ledger.   Really need to limit the like of Mayville and Presentation moving forward. 

am i only person that would trade three homes games against presentation, mayville, and sodak mines for three road games on tv against southern cal, ucla, and san diego state?

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6 minutes ago, SIOUXFAN97 said:

am i only person that would trade three homes games against presentation, mayville, and sodak mines for three road games on tv against southern cal, ucla, and san diego state?

I would, although I'd prefer an ACC game as well. 

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8 minutes ago, nodakvindy said:

I would, although I'd prefer an ACC game as well. 

agreed...get three games in five days...unc, wake, and duke? get exposure and cash!!!

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If UND ever plays North Carolina I will be there an nothing could stop me.  Finally made it to the Dean Dome and it was a great experience. 

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with all the alumni down in phoenix/vegas an arizona (revenge/rematch), asu, and unlv road trip would be awesome...cheap flights into mesa and cheap back out of vegas

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On 3/17/2017 at 2:05 PM, hoops44 said:

Moody shot south of 40% in state tourney...I like Kinsey and the kid from Buchanan will be in front of him....UND  looks to be hurting from the 3 pt line next season...Bernstine and Shanks  could graduate before next season...

You seem to be implying that Bernstine and Shanks will be graduate transfers.  Shanks only came to UND because of Hooker.  Have taken it that Bernstine and Hooker were close too.  Hooker was the glue that  brought this team together.

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Injuries did not hurt this team much.  That can't be said for prior years.  This year was truly blessed.

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For those that are asking for games against big time opponents, what is in it them? They have a lot of mid and low level Division I schools that are much closer. Those schools are probably better known by the local fans. They all want to play the big name schools. And it probably doesn't cost much for them to travel because they are close. Plus playing UND hurts the RPI. Those are a couple of the reasons it is hard to find higher level opponents that will play UND.

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26 minutes ago, 82SiouxGuy said:

For those that are asking for games against big time opponents, what is in it them? They have a lot of mid and low level Division I schools that are much closer. Those schools are probably better known by the local fans. They all want to play the big name schools. And it probably doesn't cost much for them to travel because they are close. Plus playing UND hurts the RPI. Those are a couple of the reasons it is hard to find higher level opponents that will play UND.

Just reviewing the November Big Sky schedule showed these games before Thanksgiving:

Mont St @ Wash St

Portland St @ Ariz St

Sacramento St @ Colorado

Sacramento St @ Nebraska

Montana @ Southern  California

Weber St @ Stanford

North Carolina St @ Montana St

Washington St @ Montana

Northern Arizona @ Washington

Northern Colorado @ Arizona

Montana @ Mississippi

 

Not one of these were in the local area except Wash St, not one was played for RPI reasons, and most had large travel expenses.  The budget at UND appears to be the reason that we can't get similar games.

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