BSU Men Picked Fourth, Women Selected Sixth in 2004-05 NSIC Preseason Poll
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Oct. 20, 2004

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Bemidji State University men’s and women’s basketball teams have been picked by Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference coaches to finish fourth and sixth respectively in 2004-05 NSIC polls announced Wednesday by the league office. Standout BSU seniors James Roberson (Chicago, Ill.) and Stacia Swanson (Sioux City, Iowa) were selected as “2004-05 Players to Watch” in the same poll.

Just eight months removed from its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament and the NSIC regular season championship, the men’s program pulled in 47 votes and one first-place tally to grab fourth place. BSU finished the 2003-04, 20-10, its third consecutive season with the 17-plus wins. In the polls, the Beavers are looking up at Northern State in first place, which garnered 70 points and seven first-place votes, Winona State, which has 61 votes and Wayne State with 59 points. Concordia-St. Paul (46), Southwest Minnesota State (42), MSU-Moorhead (39) and Minnesota-Crookston (28) rounded out the poll.

One of just three returning players from last season’s record-setting roster, senior point guard James Roberson has been tabbed by the league as a “Men’s Basketball Player to Watch” in 2004-05. The 2004 NSIC Newcomer of the Year in the conference finished his first season at BSU averaging 11.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. He also led the NSIC with 7.0 assists per game while setting the BSU single-game assists record with 13 dishes versus Concordia-St. Paul (1/2/04). With 167 assists on the season, he also set the single season assist mark at the school.

On the women’s side, Bemidji State moved up from a ninth-place preseason selection prior to the 2003-04 season into a tie for the sixth spot with Minnesota-Crookston with 39 points. The Beavers are coming off their most successful season since the team recorded 19 wins during the 1995-96 campaign going 14-15 in 2003-04.

BSU, which finished in a four-way tie for third place in the NSIC standings last spring, welcomes back senior Stacia Swanson. Swanson has been named as a “2004-05 NSIC Women’s Basketball Player to Watch” after leading the conference in scoring with 16.1 points per game average and being selected First Team All-NSIC a year ago. She also managed to record 6.1 rebounds and 1.75 steals per contest while finishing fourth in the league with a .512 field-goal percentage and second in free-throw percentage at .889

Concordia-St. Paul, which advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament’s North Central Region in 2004, is perched atop the polls with 70 points and seven first-place nods. MSU-Moorhead received the only other first-place vote, garnering 59 points to edge Wayne State (54) and Norther State (54) out for the No. 2 spot. Southwest Minnesota State is seated in fifth with 49 points while Winona State is seated below the Beavers and Golden Eagles to round out the poll with 28 points to finish eighth.
The Bemidji State men begin their 2004-05 campaign with an exhibition against the Grand Forks Air Force Base, Nov. 3 at 7:00 p.m. while the women open their slate at 6:00 p.m. Nov. 15th in a non-conference tilt versus St. Cloud State University. Both games will be played in BSU’s Memorial Hall.