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UND (4-8) vs Dixie State (6-5) 12/18 1 PM


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UND used a barrage of 3 pointers (setting a school record in 3s made with 17) against non D1 North Central.  UND looks to wrap up their non-conference season against Dixie State, who is in their 2nd year of their transition from D1

About The Trailblazers:

The team from St. George, Utah is in the middle of their transition to Division 1.   Last year, despite their 4-10 WAC record, they could show that they could complete with the upper teams in the WAC conference.  Now in year 2, they look to take the next step in their progression in the conference.  So far this year, they are almost at their win totals from last year (they had 8 wins).  Although 4 of those wins were against non d1 teams, they have an impressive win against Southern Utah and pounded Denver by 20 points.  In a basketball hungry state, they certainly will continue to get better and better with a great coaching staff and their ability to get solid players. 

About John Judkins (17th season, 299-137 record at Dixie, 4-10 in WAC).

Judkins is a coach that shows that sometimes you can come home again.  The former Trailblazer is now in his 17th season as head coach and has been apart of their transition from JUCO, to Division 2 (including two different conferences) and now to the D1 level.  It certainly helps to have an experienced coach that has done transitions before to help with their biggest jump yet.  They have had lots of success at the D2 level and it wouldn't be any surprise that Judkins will have even more success in the WAC.  Although this will be a tough year to jump up the standings, they certainly are laying the groundwork for the future.  More exciting for him, a win against UND would give him 300 career wins as a head coach.

Key Player: Cameron Gooden (5'11 Junior Guard)

He might be small, but he has been packing a punch so far for Dixie, averaging 15 ppg, 3.8 rpg, and 4.3 apg.  While still shooting around 30% from 3 pointer, he really has improved his field goal percentage (shooting around 50% from the floor).  Does get to the free throw line a little bit.  So far has cut down his turnovers from last year.  UND needs to slow this guy down, especially in transition.  Panoam and Ethan:  Time to get defensive.

Series History:

This is the 2nd matchup between these two squads.  Dixie took the first matchup last year in Utah, making UND an answer to Trail blazer trivia: Who was the first D1 team that Dixie State defeated in their transition.


1) Status of Sueker

2) Limit them in transition

3) Keep the shooters hot, especially when given zone defense

Summit League Blurbs:

Conference season is ready to commence on Monday!  So here are the matchups

UST (5-6) @ Omaha (1-10):  The new kids on the block have their first matchup in Summit League play as they head down to Omaha.  UST is shown that they are ready to complete in Year 1, not making any of their games easy for their opponents.  Omaha is awful so far this year and a rough start in conference play could start the talk of a change.  I honestly expect UST to win here and could win big.

WIU (8-2) @ DU (4-9):  The surprise team of the conference so far is Western.  It was expected that they were going to take a jump in Year 2 under Jeter, but they have taken a huge leap.  To the point where they could be in the mix with the top 3 teams in the league.  In order to do that, they must start 2-0 against the bottom.  DU under their new head coach is, while the record doesn't show it, a much better organized team.  It might take them a year to really round into shape.  I'll take Western

ORU (6-5) @ USD (7-4): The intriguing matchup of the night is in Verm as the Yotes host the Eagles of ORU.  Despite the losses of Umude (transfer) and AJ (injury), the Yotes have put together a solid non-conference season and looking to use that to have a solid start to conference play.  ORU is trying to regain their mojo from their run last year, as replacing Obanor is proving more difficult than thought.  They still have the best guard in the conference with Abmas, who can shoot it from anywhere.  Give me the Eagles here, but the Yotes are certainly capable of springing the upset at home.

UMKC (5-5) @ SDSU (9-4): The Roos are still playing their 40 minutes of making your life a living hell style of basketball and despite losing McKissic to the portal, they are doing just fine. Allick continues to be one of the underrated players in this league and getting some help from more of their guards.  SDSU has shown to be the most consistent of the contenders so far in non-conference play, but there are some signs of worry with some streaky shooting and defensive questions.  The 3 headed monster of Wilson, Freidel, and Baylor will make life tough for anyone this year.  SDSU should win, but it will be closer than most think.

Off: NDSU (8-4):  Bison are starting to round into form despite early season guard struggles.  It helps to get Griesel back from a life threatening injury. 

The Call:

This is the last game before heading down to Fargo on Wednesday.  UND needs this one to end the non-conference part on a high note.  Questions on Suekers status will be important.  Without him, UND will be without 2 of their regular starters and will be relying heavily on Mathews and T.  UND also wants a little revenge after last years performance against Dixie.  

With that said.  I know that I should pick Dixie given the inconsistencies, but I cannot help it.  I see this as a game where some of the regulars step up and Mathews takes another step in his progress as a post player. They also slow down Dixie enough in transition and shoot just well enough in those tricky Dixie zones. UND wins a close one.

UND 74-72

Game is on ESPN+

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