Bemidji State men picked third in 2005 NSIC Coaches' Poll
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Bemidji State men’s basketball team has been picked to finish third in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll and senior forward Spencer Carter (Chicago, Ill.) was named a Preseason Player to Watch, the league office announced today.

The Beavers who finished the 2004-05 campaign in sole possession of second place in the NSIC standings with a record of 10-4 were picked to finish behind NSIC regular-season champion Winona State University and 2005 NSIC Tournament champion Northern State University. The Warriors picked up seven first place votes and a total of 70 points to gain the top spot while NSU collected one first place vote and edged BSU by just two points at 62. Concordia St. Paul was solidly voted into the fourth spot gaining 52 points.

The final four positions were very tightly contested. Southwest Minnesota State University garnered 43 points to nab fifth place while Wayne State College was just five points back in sixth and just two points ahead of Minnesota State University-Moorhead who collected 36 points for seventh. The University of Minnesota-Crookston rounded out the poll in eighth receiving 31 points.

"I fully expected Winona State to be picked to win the league this year. They not only won the league and made the NCAA Tournament, they beat Nebraska-Omaha and made the regional final four," commented BSU head coach Pat Smith. "Until somebody beats them, they are still the champs."

"I thought us and Northern State would be extremely close and we ended up two points apart and probably one first place vote decided that," he added. "Northern State has won the NSIC tournament in back-to-back seasons and justifiably deserve second."

"We have something to prove this year. We finished second in the league last year and return four starters, said Smith. "We look for improvement out of those guys and I would put our newcomers up against anybody's newcomers around the NSIC." He added "We have a tough non-conference schedule and hopefully that will prepare us for our conference season."

Carter finished the 2004-05 campaign as the league's top rebounder averaging over eight boards per game. He was named as the NSIC Player of the Week Jan. 24 after posting back-to-back games of 25 points and 14 rebounds and 19 points and 13 rebounds in NSIC play. He finished his junior campaign averaging 10.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.

In addition to Carter, the team returns Third Team All-NSIC selection Alvin Muse (South Holland, Ill.) and 2005 NSIC Newcomer of the year in Duane Fields (Los Angeles, Calif.).

The Bemidji State men are coming off of a season in which they posted a 17-12 overall and were 10-4 in NSIC play. The team's second-place finish when coupled with a 2003-04 NSIC championship marks the first time since the Beavers garnered back-to-back runner-up campaigns in 1971-72 and 1972-73 that BSU has ended the season in one of the league's top two spots in consecutive seasons.

2005-06 Preseason NSIC Coaches Poll
1. Winona State - 70 (7)
2. Northern State - 62 (1)
3. Bemidji State - 60
4. Concordia-St. Paul - 52
5. Southwest Minnesota State - 43
6. Wayne State - 38
7. MSU-Moorhead - 36
8. Minnesota-Crookston - 31

2005-06 NSIC Preseason Player of the Year
Matt Hammer (Sr., Northern State)