#93 North Dakota State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Eduardo Martinez

North Dakota State Bison

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #93
Conference Rank: #2 Summit

North Dakota State Team Page#93 North Dakota State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy North Dakota State Basketball Tickets

North Dakota State is coming off a successful season and returns all five starters for the 2013-2014 season. NDSU finished the 2012-2013 campaign with a record of 24-10 (12-4, second place in the Summit League) and earned a postseason birth in the CBI, where the Bison eventually lost to Western Michigan in a 72-71 overtime thriller. With the core roster returning this season, look for NDSU to once again challenge for a Summit League championship.

2012-13 Record: 24-10, 12-4
2012-13 Postseason: CBI
Coach: Saul Phillips
Coach Record: 108-77 at NDSU, 108-77 overall

Who’s Out:
Jaime Mauch and Nate Zastrow are the lone graduates from last year's team, but both played minimally for the Bison. Zastrow appeared in 32 games and started one, but he only averaged 7.4 minutes per game. Mauch played even less, only logging 33 minutes in nine games.

Who’s In:
NDSU welcomes three freshmen to the roster this year, guard Carlin Dupree and forwards A.J. Jacobson and Dexter Werner. Werner is a second year freshman, having redshirted last season. He’s the most experienced of the group, but they won’t be counted on heavily this year. Not only does NDSU return its starting lineup, but key reserves Mike Felt, Chris Kading and Brett VandenBergh return as well.

Who to Watch:
Senior guard Taylor Braun has been NDSU’s leading scorer the past two seasons, and he returns as the Bison’s primary offensive weapon. He’s a stat sheet stuffer, posting averages of 15.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists last season. Braun did miss some time last year when he suffered a stress fracture in his right foot. Prior to the injury, North Dakota State was 7-0 in Summit League play. Braun missed nine conference games, and NDSU went 5-4 without him. Senior forward Marshall Bjorklund also returns as a highly efficient big man. He averaged 11.5 points a game while shooting a scintillating .667 percent from the field.

Final Projection:
Lawrence Alexander and Kory Brown will provide stability to NDSU’s backcourt, as they were starters a year ago. Senior Forward TrayVonn Wright was the team’s leading rebounder last year, averaging 6.0 rebounds per game. Braun was the focal point of opposing defenses and the rest of the starters responded well and provided a solid supporting cast. Alexander, Bjorklund and Wright all averaged at least 10 points per game. But what makes North Dakota State so good is their stout defense. They ranked as not only one of the best defensive teams in the Summit League, but they ranked in the upper echelon country-wide as well. With a well-balanced offensive attack led by Braun and a stellar defense, NDSU figures to be in contention for postseason play again.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Lawrence Alexander, Junior, Guard, 10.8 points per game
Kory Brown, Sophomore, Guard, 4.9 points per game
Taylor Braun, Senior, Guard, 15.4 points per game
TrayVonn Wright, Senior, Forward, 10.3 points per game
Marshall Bjorklund, Senior, Forward, 11.5 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.1 (180th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 56.1 (9, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.8 (28, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.6 (13, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.9 (98, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.8 (82, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.2 (83, 3)
Rebound Margin: +5.1 (37, 1)
Assists Per Game: 12.5 (183, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.0 (20, 2)


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