North Dakota State Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

North Dakota State Bison
Summit (23-9, 12-4)


North Dakota State seemed to be in a battle with South Dakota State the entire season. The two teams split their regular season meetings, with each team winning on its home floor, and ended up tied atop the Summit League standings at 12-4. The third meeting at a neutral floor would decide who would represent the conference in the NCAA Tournament. The Bison edged South Dakota State 57-56. And this team remembers last season when they went to the NCAA Tournament and knocked off Oklahoma. However, this group is quite different than the one that beat the Sooners a year ago.

Big Wins: 12/16 Akron (55-46), 1/4 South Dakota State (72-69), 3/10 vs South Dakota State (57-56)
Bad Losses: 12/3 at Southern Miss (65-78), 1/14 at South Dakota (67-71), 1/24 at Fort Wayne (71-77)
Coach: David Richman

Why They Can Surprise:
What isn’t different is the star of last year’s NCAA Tournament win, Lawrence Alexander. The senior scored 27 points in the win over the Sooners and has taken that momentum into this season where he is averaging 18.9 points per game. Alexander is a great outside shooter and can use his ball handling skills to find a way to get to the basket. Alexander is one of the main reasons why NDSU is so effective taking care of the ball, but sophomore guard Carlin Dupree deserves credit too. He leads the team in assists and is developing into a great perimeter defender. Any team that averages fewer than ten turnovers per game can stay close against tough competition.

Why They Can Disappoint:
The Bison and first year coach David Richman have scoring options behind Alexander, yet none have been particularly consistent. In the NCAA Tournament, players like A.J. Jacobson, Dexter Werner and Kory Brown must step up and help take the pressure off of Alexander or at least take advantage of their opportunities while the opposition is worried about Alexander. That is exactly what happened last season when Alexander stepped up and knocked down shots while Oklahoma was keying in on the now departed Taylor Braun. The frontcourt is relatively young and inexperienced too and that is not a great thing at this point in the season. A.J. Jacobson has had a great freshman campaign, but he is not going to bang around in the paint. Chris Kading and Dexter Werner will have to do that and it remains to be seen if they are ready to battle with quality big men. This team could see the best post players in the tournament they have faced since the season opener against Texas where they were outrebounded by 19 and let the Texas frontcourt walk all over them.

Probable Starters:
Carlin Dupree, Sophomore, Guard, 7.0 ppg, 2.7 apg, 4.7 rpg
Lawrence Alexander, Senior, Guard, 18.9 ppg, 1.8 apg, 4.6 rpg
Kory Brown, Junior, Guard, 8.2 ppg, 1.6 apg, 4.9 rpg
A.J. Jacobson, Freshman, Forward, 11.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Chris Kading, Junior, Forward, 5.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.5 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Paul Miller, Freshman, Guard, 6.5 ppg, 1.0 apg
Dexter Werner, Sophomore, Forward, 8.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.1 bpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 64.9 (234th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.9 (59, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.1 (199, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.3 (133, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.0 (107, 4)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.4 (38, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.8 (143, 6)
Rebound Margin: 1.8 (118, 3)
Assists Per Game: 9.8 (325, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.7 (7, 1)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NCAA    Second Round win over Oklahoma
2014    NCAA    Third Round loss to San Diego State
2013    CBI    First Round loss to Western Michigan
2012    CBI    First Round loss to Wyoming
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Kansas

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules