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UND (3-3) vs Utah Tech (2-3) 11/25 1 PM (North Dakota MTE)


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UND did exactly what they needed to do against a non d1 opponent:  hammer them into submission, no injuries, and got to rest some players in the 2nd. Now UND gets to enjoy staying at home for the rest of the week and hosting a holiday tournament.  First up, the team formally known as Dixie State, Utah Tech!  This is the team that UND has played the last two years.

About Utah Tech (the team formally known as Dixie State)

The Trailblazers are still trying to blaze (sorry) their own path in the D1 world.   As UND fans know, the transition to D1 play can be tedeious as it is now Year 3 of the 5 year transition (24-25 cant come fast enough for them).  So far, there have been some bumps in the road.  Last year, they stayed around .500 until the last 4 games of the season, where things fell apart.  Nevertheless, this is the usual life of a transition D1 team.  

This season, this is a much younger Utah Tech team, most of the squad appears to be freshman or sophomores.  There are still some skilled veteran leaders on this squad and they have delivered wins against Idaho and CSU Northridge (FYI, this is where DAE and Igbanugo transferred to).  However, the coaching staff is still entact and the team will continue to improve and make their charge in the WACky WAC conference.  With their tricky zone defense and their inside-out offense, they can still cause problems for non-WAC teams.  Just keep building Utah Tech, it will be 24-25 before you know it. 

About John Judkins (18th season, 307-151 record at Dixie, 10-22 in WAC).

Judkins is a coach that shows that sometimes you can come home again.  The former Trailblazer is now in his 18th 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. It hasn't come yet for Utah Tech, but this is the biggest jump so it might take a while before they are ready to charge up the standings.  Before Utah Tech, he coached at Snow College and was 284-128 at his time at Snow.  With a coach close to 600 all time wins, he knows what he is doing.

Key player: Cameron Gooden (5'11 Senior)

After a dissapointing Junior season, the senior guard from Frisco, Texas has really put together a solid senior season, scoring around 16 points a game.  Where he has really improved from was from 3, shooting around 38% from beyond the arc.  He also has improved his rebounding, almost grabbing 5 rebounds a game.  He is coming off his best performance of the season, scoring 27 points on 8-10 shooting, 3-4 from 3, and 8-10 from the line.  Trent is going to need to shut him down.


1) How does UND handle the zone?

2) Can the UND frontcourt handle the Tech Big?

3) Can Omot and Eaglestaff continue to take steps forward?

The Call:

Tech has been vexxing to UND in their first two matchups.  UND is the answer to a Tech trivia question (who did they beat for their first D1 win).  Last year, it was the day after the Sueker injury and Howard leaving the team.  This is a winnable game for UND at home, if they can continue to build off of their performance from Stout and the continue development of Omot and Eaglestaff.  Getting Brooks back would also give UND another person to guard on the perimeter.  I think this will be the beginning of the real growth.  UND comes outs and figures out the zone and comes away with a 5 point win and their 3rd D1 win on the year.

UND 79-76

Game is on ESPN+


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