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UND (5-20, 1-11) @ UST (8-15, 2-9) 2/10 7 PM


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Finally!  UND broke through with their first Summit win of the season over Omaha on Saturday, to close the gap on the final spot for the Summit League Tournament.  They hit the road for the last time of the year as they head to St. Paul to take on the new kids on the block, St. Thomas.

About the Tommies:

Ah St. Thomas.  A Divison 3 power in football and basketball,  the famous Tommie/Jonnie rivarly.  They were on the perch in the MIAC conference.  

Then the conference said... Nah:  We don't want you here anymore.

So an interesting question was asked?  Where would St. Thomas go?  Then an interesting idea came about: What if they went D1 and join the Summit?  Seems like a reasonable request, join a conference that is well within the footprint, gives them a market in Minnesota, capable of completing with their resources.  What wasn't to like?

Well there was one big hangup:  D3 to D1 transfers are a long process and isn't direct.  You had to make a stop at the D2 level.  But UST had an ace up their sleeve.  The fact that they got kicked out of their conference gave them a case to the NCAA.

On July 15, 2020: They got their answer.  Yes, they can transition to D1 directly.  Sure enough, the red carpet rolled out for UST from the Summit League.  Giving the league 10 teams.  

So the process began to build a D1 roster.  Unforuntaely, COVID liminted UST to only a handful of games last year, so they couldn't do the big sendoff they really want to.  However, they began to bring in transfer from D1 teams, players originially from the Twin Cities.  They also started to hit the recruiting trail hard and started to land some very serious talent for the next season, pounding the Twin Cities Metro hard.

Expectations were low, but honestly, I'd say they have exceeded them in year 1.  They had a non-conference where they showed they could complete with several division 1 teams.  They have showed their chops in the Summit league early on, however the fact they only played a few games last year and the depth of the roster is potentially taking its toll.  Plus, they are basically doing this with mostly their D3 roster.

Needless to say, it is still super exciting.   The Tommies are going to get really good, really fast.  They will be a great addition to Sioux Falls next years and it will only be an when, not if, they make a charge to the top of the league.

About Johnny Tauer (226-65, 2-9 Summit)

The Tommie Lifer has had a distinguished career at St. Thomas,  was a player under the great Steve Frtiz and then later an assistant.  When Fritz stepped down, he took the keys and never looked back.  They had 8 1st place finished in his 9 years as coach in the MIAC and capturing a NCAA championship in 2015-16.  Now Tauer has his greatest test yet, as head coaching of a division 1 program.  Given the momentum he has build with recruiting and his successes in year 1, it is only a matter of time before he becomes successful in the Summit League as well.  Not a bad side gig for a tenured Psych professor

Key Player: Riley Miller (6'3 Senior)

The Eden Prarie, MN native really burst onto the scene in non-confernece and early on in the conference season as a sharpshooter from 3.  He has since hit a bit of a slump, but as a dangerous shooter, you never know when you are going to bust out of it.  Still shooting 40% from 3, so you have to respect his outside shot.  Can be a sneaky rebounder, so keep him off the glass and watch him from 3.

Other Games:

SDSU (12-0) @ DU (5-8):  SDSU is 2/3rds the way through a perfect Summit season.  Certainly are showing they are the heavy favorites going into Sioux Falls, but could a slip up happen soon?  Denver nearly has their ticket punched to Sioux Falls, but can they send shockwaves with a big upset to send a message that:  We are a program to be recogned very soon.

USD (6-6) @ Omaha (3-10):  Omaha could take a big step forward to the final spot in Sioux Falls with a win.  USD battling with DU and WIU for the 5th spot and needing this road win to keep pace with these two squads.  

NDSU (9-4) @ WIU (5-7):  The Bison are getting healthy, they have everyone back.  Is it time for another March run?  Western needs to get it going if they want to make a move in Sioux Falls.


1) Handle the first 5 minutes

2) Lean on your size

3) Play desperate

The Call:

UND still has their backs to the wall, they find themselves 2 games back in the race for the final spot in Sioux Falls.  However, there are still many opporutnites for them to get wins and steal that last spot.  With that said, how they handle the Tommie blitzes from downtown is going to be crucial.  If UND is able to tire them out, they should get the win.   Look for them to lean on their size a little bit more and then hit it from outside.  They need this one on the road.  They will get this one on the road

UND 76-69

You can watch on the UST website for free. 

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