THE OPENING TIP: The University of Minnesota Duluth men’s basketball team travels to St. Cloud State this weekend to take on the Huskies in a two-game weekend set. Wins are critical for the Bulldogs this weekend as they are currently on the outside looking in for the NSIC post season tournament. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Friday and 2:00 p.m on Saturday.
THE SCOUTING REPORT ON ST. CLOUD STATE: The Huskies currently sit at 7-7 overall (5-5 NSIC). St. Cloud State is coming off of a weekend sweep of Minnesota Crookston. The Huskies defeated the Golden Eagles 74-70 on Friday night and 78-59 on Saturday. Three players to watch for the Huskies are sophomore guard Anthony Roberts, sophomore guard Caleb Donaldson and freshman forward Josh Tomasi. Roberts leads the Huskies with 21.4 points per game, 8.3 rebounds per game and 37.2 minutes per game. Donaldson is near the top of the leaderboard in a host of categories. He ranks second in points per game with 17.1, second in assists per game with 4.1 and is shooting 56.6% from the field this season. Lastly, Tomasi is currently averaging 10.7 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game and shooting 48.4% from the field this season. St. Cloud State is coached by Matt Reimer. Reimer is entering his seventh season as head coach of the Huskies. He holds a career record of 110-75 (.594) in his six seasons.
THE SERIES: The Bulldogs and Huskies have met 14 times dating back to the 2013-14 season. UMD has gone 6-8 against St. Cloud State in those 14 games. The Bulldogs and the Huskies met twice during the 2019-20 season, resulting in a series split with both home teams successfully defending their home court. Over the last 14 meetings, UMD has had a tough time against to St. Cloud on the road going 2-5 in their last seven meetings. The Bulldogs will look to overcome the recent road struggles against the Huskies this weekend.
THE BROADCAST: Bulldog fans you can watch both broadcasts this weekend by clicking the link here.
LIVE STATS: Follow via SIDEARM live stats by clicking here.
HOW THEY RANK: Here is how the Bulldogs and Huskies rank heading into this weekends regular season finale.
|School||Record||Scoring Offense||Scoring Defense|
|UMD||5-6||77.8 (7th NSIC)||74.1 (8th NSIC)|
|SCSU||7-7||81.9 (4th NSIC)||85.3 (14th NSIC)|
LAST TIME OUT: UMD is coming off a weekend split on the road against the Bemidji State Beavers. The Bulldogs dropped the first game 96-77 on Friday night, but were able to avenge that loss one day later as they took down the Beavers 90-77 on Saturday night. UMD’s starting five powered the way as all five would finish in double figures on the afternoon. Redshirt sophomore guard Drew Blair led the Bulldogs and finished with 25 points, sophomore guard Jack Middleton finished right behind Blair with 24 points, freshman forward Austin Andrews and freshman forward Charlie Katona tallied 14 points each. Lastly, freshman guard Joshua Brown recorded 11 points. UMD will look for more production from their top dogs this weekend against St. Cloud.
YOU CAN’T HAVE OUR BALL BUT WE’LL TAKE YOURS: UMD has been great in the turnover category this year as the Bulldogs are currently forcing 13.0 turnovers per game by their opponents. Add that to only giving the ball away 10.6 times per game and you get a +2.36 turnover margin for the 2020-21 season. That margin ranks fourth best in the NSIC and 38th best in all of NCAA DII. In addition to those marks, the Bulldogs assist to turnover ratio sits at 1.19, good for sixth in the NSIC and 42nd in all of NCAA DII.
SCORING MACHINE: After being a freshman sensation a year ago, the reigns to the Bulldog offense have been officially handed to Blair in 2020-21. Blair leads UMD in points per game going into the last weekend of the regular season with 18.5, which is an increase of over 2.0 points per game from a season ago. His 18.5 points per game ranks fourth in the NSIC and in the top 70 of all players in NCAA DII.
FROM THE FIELD AND FROM DOWNTOWN: The Bulldogs have been filling up the hoop from beyond the arc and from the field this season. UMD currently owns a 39.1% three point shooting percentage in the 2020-21 season. That clip is good for sixth in the NSIC and 28th nationally in all of DII men’s basketball. Additionally from the field, UMD is shooting 47.7% on the season, good for fifth in the NSIC and 41st nationally in all of DII.
BUCKETS ALL AROUND PT 2: Heading into the last weekend of the season, UMD has five players that are currently averaging over ten points per game. Blair leads the way with 18.5 points per game, Katona is second with 13.4 points per game. Andrews comes in right below him with 13.3 points per game. Brown comes in fourth with 12.3 points per game, and Middleton’s 1.6 points per game ranks fifth, meaning all of the Bulldog starting five is averaging over ten points per game for the second consecutive week.
A FORCE IN THE POST PT 2: Andrews continues to be a problem in the post for opposing teams. Andrews is currently carrying a 62.3% field goal percentage. That is good for second in the NSIC conference, up from third last week as he continues to have the best field goal percentage of any NSIC freshman. Additionally, his 62.3% field goal percentage is ranked 19th best in all of NCAA DII and the third highest ranking freshman in all of NCAA DII.
FRESHMAN CRASHING THE GLASS: Katona joins Andrews in the list of the top 25 best players on the glass in the NSIC this season. Andrews’ 7.5 total rebounds per game is eighth best in the NSIC and his average of 3.0 offensive rebounds per game is second in the NSIC. Katona enters the fold this weekend coming at No. 24 with 5.5 rebounds per game.
SCOREBOARD WATCHING PT 2: In this uncertain year, the NSIC has made changes to the postseason format for men’s basketball. The top four teams in the North and South Divisions will make up an eight-team tournament at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, SD. With last weekend’s split, UMD has its work cutout for them in their final regular season matchups against St. Cloud State this weekend. The Bulldogs currently sit in fifth in the NSIC North Division behind Minot State. Two wins this weekend would go a long way in helping UMD secure a spot in the NSIC postseason.
ON TAP: The results of the Bulldogs’ games this weekend, along with results from other NSIC competition, will determine UMD’s fate in the NSIC post season tournament.