[BasketballAlum] "and another win"
gholquis at d.umn.edu
Tue Feb 20 15:22:17 CST 2007
Bulldog Basketball Alumni and Friends:
The University of South Dakota had not lost a North Central Conference
game on their home floor in three years; they were ranked in the top
five in the region, leading the NCC with only one loss, and were ranked
18th in the latest national poll. That all ended last Saturday as the
"Dogs won again 83 to 75. We played a solid game from the opening tip
to the final buzzer. It was a team victory that came about because of
a complete 40 minutes of play. Though we have many areas of the game
in which we need to keep improving, our execution defensively and
offensively was excellent. We found soft spots against their match-up
zone in the center of the lane below the free throw line and on the
baseline short corner 10 feet off the block. Our movement against the
zone created voids in these areas and we effectively made shots. We
shot 54% from the field on the game, but extended our lead in the
second half by shooting 67%, making 21 of 31 shots. Bottom line is our
patience in probing the zone deeper into the shot clock created easy
jump shots and we made them. Though we shot it well, so did USD in the
first half-shooting 60%-the score was tied 31-31 at half time. Our
goal was to withstand their tempo the first ten minutes of the game.
In recent weeks, they had been blowing opponents off the floor in the
first ten minutes. We really slowed the game down and got deep into
the shot clock during this stretch. In the second half, our physical
defensive play held them to 41% shooting.
John Vaudreuil (6-8, 260 lbs. Jr. Bloomington-MN) had 18 points
creating a post presence and Jordan Nuness (6-3, 210 lbs. Jr. Eden
Prairie-MN) extended the zone by making 4 three pointers, scoring 18 as
well. Once again, our bench play was excellent. "Spud" Schade (5-8,
160 lbs. Fr. Oshkosh North High School-WI) played 25 solid minutes for
us scoring three 3's for us in the second half, with five assists.
What was more important was his solid defensive play on USD's lead
guard. Spud and starting lead guard Ryan Breidenbach (6-1, 190 lbs.
Sr. Oregon-WI) have become a solid duo in shutting down our opponent's
lead guards over the past few weeks. Matt Hockett (6-5, 225 lbs. Sr.
McFarland-WI) brought us energy and passion scoring 9 points, combined
with 5 rebounds. More importantly, every loose ball was his, including
the play when he took out half of USD's cheerleading team diving and
saving a ball heading for out of bounds. However, the "Player of the
Week" in the NCC for the second time in three weeks was Bryan Foss
(6-7, 210 lbs. Sr. Osseo High School-MN). He had 29 points, 6
rebounds, and 6 assists. His game was steady and efficient as he has
been all season long. His play has quietly led us over the last three
weeks. Where our energy and passion has come from other players, his
steady performance game in and game out has been in a word-"efficient."
This efficiency has allowed him to be the second leading scorer and
rebounder in the NCC, all while averaging close to 38 minutes per game!
His influence and quiet leadership has been outstanding. As a team we
out rebounded USD, but more impressive was that of the 34 baskets we
scored 27 of them were assisted, with only 9 turnovers.
We return to action on Thursday against the University of
Nebraska-Omaha at Romano Gymnasium. They beat us soundly at Omaha last
month which is a million years ago to the team right now. The formula
we have to win has not changed over the last three weeks. We need to
rebound the ball, defend it by making consecutive defensive stops, and
make hustle plays by playing hard, battling, and competing every
possession. We have made every possession a game winner. I told the
team on February 1st, "If you play the best basketball the next five
weeks of your athletic lives-you can be special, and have special
things happen for the program." They have taken this to heart and
continue to be relentless! The fortitude we have discovered in failure
has not failed us in the stretch run. If we win on Thursday, we will
secure a home seed for the NCC tournament. This team wants their
season to extend into March. All we want to do is keep giving
ourselves a chance to play again.
Saturday we play our final regular season home game against the
University of North Dakota. It is a special day for two reasons. We
will honor before the game the four seniors who have played for the
'Dogs the past four seasons. Foss, Hockett, Breidenbach, and Matt
Rawley (6-8, 220 lbs. Sr. Milwaukee Lutheran High School-WI), will play
in their final regular season home game. These four represent every
aspect of what the UMD Basketball is trying to achieve academically,
athletically, and socially. They have been active in community service
as well as on campus projects, they are good basketball players that
have been dedicated to improving their skill, and all four will
graduate and walk through commencement this May. They have enriched
all of our lives by allowing us be a part of theirs. They have made us
better not because of their athletic prowess, but because of their
character and loyalty to UMD. They will be great alumni of the
basketball program and the university.
The second special occasion of the day is a half time ceremony in which
UMD Athletics and Basketball will salute former Basketball Bulldog and
current Hall of Fame member Harry Oden (Class of 1963) on his Honorary
Doctor of Law degree received from UMD last May at commencement. Harry
has been a life long friend of the university and in particular the
basketball program. He has been a compassionate educator and
humanitarian representing our institution for over 40 years. We look
forward to having him on campus this weekend. Please join us as we
honor five excellent individuals that have meant so much to UMD
PS: There has been a change in the schedule for the radio broadcasts
this week. Thursday's games will be broadcast on AM 710 WDSM, and
Saturday's games on AM 970 WGEE. As always both games will be on the
internet on www.wdsm.am.
Gary W. Holquist
University of Minnesota Duluth
Head Men's Basketball Coach
More information about the BasketballAlum