Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Difficult draw

NDSU guard presents plethora of challenges

North Dakota State guard Ben Woodside, front, gets stormed by a group of fans after North Dakota State’s 66-64 victory over Oakland in the Summit League tournament title matchup on March 10 in Sioux Falls, S.D. Woodside figures to be a tough matchup for Kansas at 11:30 a.m. on Friday in Minneapolis.

North Dakota State guard Ben Woodside, front, gets stormed by a group of fans after North Dakota State’s 66-64 victory over Oakland in the Summit League tournament title matchup on March 10 in Sioux Falls, S.D. Woodside figures to be a tough matchup for Kansas at 11:30 a.m. on Friday in Minneapolis.



KU vs. North Dakota State

video thumbnail

Complete coverage of KU's first NCAA matchup of 2009.

Steven Davis, who worked as a Kansas University basketball team manager from 2002-05, just completed his first season as the radio play-by-play voice of UMKC’s Kangaroos.

As such ... he worked a pair of North Dakota State’s basketball games: UMKC’s 65-60 overtime loss to the Bison on Jan. 17 in Kansas City and the Roos’ 87-49 blowout defeat in the rematch on Feb. 12 in Fargo, N.D.

His reaction on Sunday when it was announced that his alma mater would play the Bison of the Summit League at 11:30 a.m. Friday, in a first-round NCAA Tournament game in the Metrodome in Minneapolis?

“Actually I was kind of excited,” Davis said. “I know what a fun matchup it’ll be to see Sherron (Collins) versus (Ben) Woodside and I know how excited Cole (Aldrich, KU center from Minnesota) must be in getting to go home.”

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Collins averages 18.3 points and 5.0 assists a game; the 5-11, 185-pound Woodside 22.8 points and 6.3 assists. Collins has 161 assists versus 107 turnovers; Woodside 202 assists against 98 bobbles.

“He is everything you want in a senior point guard. He is a coach on the floor,” Davis said of Woodside, who hails from Albert Lea, Minn. “He is playing for a coach who went undefeated as a point guard in college (Saul Phillips ran the point for Bo Ryan’s unbeaten Wisconsin-Platteville team in 1995). That says more than anything right there. His coach trusts him to run the show.”

Woodside has made 221 of 481 shots for 45.9 percent. He’s made 64 of 150 threes for 42.7 percent.

“He will pull up and shoot or sometimes pass off and they run him off screens,” Davis said. “He’s a little like Sherron in that he is big and physical and not afraid to go inside. He’s a lot quicker than he looks.”

NDSU’s second-leading scorer is Brett Winkelman, a 6-6 senior forward who averages 18.7 points and 7.4 boards.

“He’s probably the second-best player in the Summit League (behind Woodside),” Davis said. “He can post a little bit, stretch it out, shoot threes (39 of 102 for 38.2 percent) and is very athletic as well.”

Davis saw the veteran Bison team (four fifth-year senior starters) play awfully well one night and ordinary on another.

The difference?

“They called the game in Kansas City their worst game of the year. They could not score,” Davis said. “We (’Roos) got after them on defense, but they were not hitting shots. It’s rare for them to have a night nobody is hitting shots. They were all off, but still managed to get a win. Woodside took over late, got to the line and made plays down the stretch. It’s what good veteran teams do and they are a good, veteran team.”

Of the Roos’ blowout loss in Fargo, Davis said: “Their fans love their sports. They had a pretty good crowd for us on a Thursday night late in the season against a team at the bottom of the league (3,633 fans in 6,000-seat Bison Sports Arena). The game got out of hand in a hurry.”

As far as how best to beat the 26-6 Bison, who play an aggressive man-to-man defense, Davis, the son of KU radio play-by-play announcer Bob Davis, suggested: “Guard them, get after them defensively, try to take them out of what they do.

“They do have some size,” he added, referring to 6-10 center Lucas Moormann. “They won’t be intimidated going against a post presence. I think it’ll be a fun game.”


KGphoto 10 years, 10 months ago

How soon we forget njjayhawk.

The similarities are chilling.

Granted, coach Self was playing with Roy's boys,(including Giddens) but the Patriot League isn't exactly the Big 12 either. And, if anything, the tourney now has even more parody.

Don't go to sleep against these guys.

InfiniteJ 10 years, 10 months ago

KU can't afford to take NDSU lightly and dig themselves a 10-point hole (like they have done so many times this year)......they need to flex on them from the get go and blow them out of the water in the first half.

jchawkfan 10 years, 10 months ago

We just need to treat these guys like MU or Texas and not someone little from a small conference. Get up on them and play tuff defense and get out and run early and often. Let them know what its like to bang around against the big boys night in and night out. I have a feeling if we give the guys some space with a slow pace game and they start hitting some shots their confidence will soar.

cwag 10 years, 10 months ago

Sounds like another job for...

'SuperBrady' !

slowplay 10 years, 10 months ago

KU will NOT take this team lightly. I'll be surprised if they win by less than 20.

keith horinek 10 years, 10 months ago

Like I said Monday, there are a LOT of similarities between this year and the two years we lost in the first round, both teams were very young. Guys, if you are reading this stuff, don't take them too lightly. Get on them early and stay on them. On another note, the big 12 did not get much respect this year in BB. I would like to see all 6 Big 12 teams win their first game. And, wouldn't it shut Vitale up if NC lost early!
Rock Chalk!

rawkhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

I hope KU is confident but not cocky. I agree with all the posts that NDS should not be taken lightly. On the other hand, KU needs to play with a little swagger and be aggressive. They especially need to be aggressive on the defensive side, which should open up offensive opportunities.

InfiniteJ 10 years, 10 months ago

KU has a history of having problems with smaller schools (and/or non BCS schools) in the NCAA tournament; Robert Morris in 1990, New Orleans in 1991, Colgate in 1995, Jackson State in 1997, Rhode Island in 1998, Holy Cross in 2002, Utah State in 2003, and of course the "Killer B's" of a couple years ago. No better time than now to buck that trend and beat the bajesus out of NDSU on Friday.

tulsahawkfan 10 years, 10 months ago

I was at the Bucknell game so I always will be extremely nervous in 1st round games. That game has scarred me for life in that regard.

FinalFour1993 10 years, 10 months ago


I know everyone will get angry at me for doing this, but the word you're looking for is "parity." I only take the time to point it out because good basketball fans like Hawk fans should look like we know what we're talking about. "Parody" describes the NIT in comparison to the Dance, or K-State compared to KU!

Rock Chalk

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

OMG! Phillips is a Bo Ryan disciple!! No wonder the program turned around. Good shooters plus butcher ball.

This will be a very rough game, because Ryan's coached very rough play all the way back to his UW Plattville days. Cole better wear a flack jacket. And Sherron is going to be put on the floor several times early when he tries to penetrate. But KU should still win handily.

However, playing butcher ball team for a first opponent also means KU would have to beat three straight butcher ballers to get anywhere in the tourney: NDSU, WVU, and MSU. Talk about a Butcherer's Row!!!

KU's health and dental insurance premiums are sure to sky rocket when the insurance agents find out KU has to play these three.

But man, oh, man, wouldn't it be fun to beat Ratso Izzo when it counted. I will never forget him laughing at us in East Lansing early in the season. That has to be avenged.

Beating Cheegan State would leave us to face Louisville, Ohio State, or Wake Forest in the Elite Eight. Dang, if Cole were healthy, we could take any of those teams on a good night.

Now back to NDSU and reality: if it were me I would be tempted to sit Cole for NDSU and save him for WVU. It is a gamble worth taking. Self has job security and won a ring. He does not need to care about the early exit monkey. If he plays Cole vs. NDSU, then Cole's foot is going to be bad for WVU. We could very well take NDSU without Cole. We're going to have to have him to get past WVU.

Austin Gray 10 years, 10 months ago

ND State doesn't play quite the "butcher ball" that Ryan's Wisconsin teams play. They don't walk it up the court in the way that Wisconsin does. In fact, they play at about the same place as KU. Additionally, their defense is the 141st most efficient in the country. To put that in perspective, our defense (on a non-Texas Tech, non-Baylor night) is 20th most efficient. ND State's offense scares me greatly, but their defense does not. Unless Sherron starts taking guarded 3's with 25 seconds left in the possession, we should be able to work the ball around and get open looks.

ngonser 10 years, 10 months ago

I'm a homegrown NDSU Bison fan, and have also been a KU fan for many years as some friends attended KU and my wife is from Lawrence. I am torn on this game as I know one of my teams is going to lose the game, most likely NDSU. I believe this is could be a fun matchup to watch. This same NDSU team beat a 15 ranked Wisconsin team and a 6 ranked Marquette team in their freshman and sophomore years respectively. They were also very close to beating USC this season, they probably should have. They are very poised, and remain calm under pressure, as seen in the Summit League championship game where they were down by as many as 14 and did not lead until 1:30 left in the game. I agree that KU should not take NDSU lightly as they do have the capability of pulling off the upset but if KU plays to their potential, I don't think they have anything to worry about. NDSU is definitely over matched in this game. And obviously, the Summit League competition does not compare overall to the Big 12, but in a single game, anything can happen.

arcticjhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

KU will win by 15. That's all I've got to say about that.

BCRavenJHawkfan 10 years, 10 months ago

Can we assume they are human given the UMKC blowout?

But this stat is most troublesome, "Collins has 161 assists versus 107 turnovers; Woodside 202 assists against 98 bobbles".

Our guys have to become stingy with the ball.

d_prowess 10 years, 10 months ago

Did anyone see the end of their Championship game and the scene surrounding the picture used above? It was incredible. The fans stormed the court and then a couple of them basically tackled Woodside which caused others to jump on too. It looked like he got scared and pissed (who wouldn't) and really had to battle to get free. My wife saw it too and wondered how he didn't get hurt!
So that is yet another reason why we at KU do not storm the court!

Daniel Rojas 10 years, 10 months ago

If the Bison have the best 2 players in their conference, then why did Oakland come within 2 of beating them in the most important game of any mid-majors season.... the league tournament championship. With a trip to the big dance on the line seems to me like they didn't dominate the way that everyone is making it sound? I'm getting so sick and tired of hearing about how good they are and I'm sure the hawks are too! This seems to be playing right into the jayhawks "us against the world" mentality. Plenty of billboard material for HCBS to use if he so wishes? The way he made the guys go back to class last friday and soak in all the failure of losing the first game in okc.... I imagine the players are well aware of the tired cinderella talk!!!!

Austin Gray 10 years, 10 months ago

Well, if the Jayhawks are so good, why did they get beat by a team that won only 5 games in the conference? The fact is, you can throw out a lot of logic with regard to conference tournament games. NDSU were playing a team that probably wanted it just as badly as they did and knew them well enough to have beaten them once already in the season. When KU lost to Bucknell, Bucknell had won their conference championship by only 4. Bradley had even lost their conference championship before knocking us out. Conference tournament championship performance is a pretty poor measure of a team's overall quality.

Don't get me wrong, I hope that all this talk of an upset has KU ready to attack and play to win. I think the point that everyone is trying to make when they "up" North Dakota State is that they can't be overlooked for one solitary second. The thought that just because KU had a good season in a significantly better conference make this game a gimme is a good way to have a short stay in the tournament.

KGphoto 10 years, 10 months ago


Yes, typos happen. But your choice of username doesn't exactly procure your "intelligent" status. I'm sure you're trying to portray yourself as a long-time fan, or maybe telling us when you graduated. But all I remember about the Final Four in 1993 was the beat down North Carolina gave us. You might say that the Hawks were a parody of the Tar Heels in that year.

You and jhwkfanlockercombination can continue proving your superior intellect by coming up with clever nicknames like "Mildcats", and the rest of us can just continue being fans. Kay?

FairgroveJayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

KU will come out strong and hyped up come game time. I hope they're not reading all this crud so they don't get all hyped up too early. I can't wait until Friday. I think NDS is a good team from a statistical standpoint and should pose a good challenge but our young hawks will rise to the occasion.


FinalFour1993 10 years, 10 months ago

Actually KGphoto, I chose my username to commemorate the first year that I ever followed college basketball. I remember very fondly how exciting it was to watch the Jayhawks play and how fun it was to get caught up in the Madness. I've been a hardcore fan ever since, despite the beat-down by North Carolina. So, contrary to your observation, my username portrays me as exactly what I am: a fan since 1993.

And honestly, I wasn't busting your balls, just helping with what I thought was probably an honest mistake. You're right, they happen.

Like I said, I know a lot of people get upset about folks making corrections, but so be it.

Rock Chalk

rockemchalkemrobots 10 years, 10 months ago

This argument is very parrotty(it means parrott-like, don't look it up). Can't we all just get along?

Daniel Rojas 10 years, 10 months ago

I agree Dingis....I just got a little fired up after i read that article! I'm not overlooking NDSU, I actually got them picked in a bracket or two? LOL!!! But I think we deserve a little more respect than what we are getting? Maybe deservingly so because of our prior 1 and dones and the losses to TT and BU, but we as fans know what we have as a team and a team like NDSU scares the crap out of us!!!! But I think the media is taking it a little too far.

KGphoto 10 years, 10 months ago

93, no worries.

rockemchalkemrobots. Best username ever. You must be a fan of Sherronatron.

JayJayPG 10 years, 10 months ago

I think all the hype surrounding this "potential" upset will ensure that KU is ready for NDSU and will not take them lightly. I'm glad it is getting this much attention.

I do think that because of our youth, we will come out a little shaky and will probably commit stupid turnovers and silly fouls until the initial tournament anxiety wears off in the first few minutes.

100 10 years, 10 months ago

KU -- just remember how it felt to get beat by TT & Baylor... Awful. And Embarrassing.

If you attack, play vicious D, take care of the ball & box out, yell (talk) as a team, there is no one stopping you guys.

Bring it every game.


rtjayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

All I remember from Bucknell is this "a No. 14 seed with zero NCAA Tournament victories in its 110-year history, five scholarship players and even a borrowed band."

Who does this remind us of this year?

DalTXJayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

There has been talk of the advantage they have being closer to Minn. If they only drew 3600 to a home game, I don't think that will have an impact on the Metrodome.

100 10 years, 10 months ago

All I remember from Bucknell is our perimeter defense standing back on it's heels, inside the three point line the entire game...

waiting for their one handed point guard...

to dribble...



up the court...





Commenting has been disabled for this item.