Beavers start NSIC schedule; host Dragons and Golden Eagles
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Beavers start NSIC schedule; host Dragons and Golden Eagles
This Week: The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team begins the ‘real’ season Dec. 3-4 with Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference home games against Minnesota State University Moorhead and University of Minnesota, Crookston, respectively.    
About Bemidji State: The Beavers went 3-1 in nonconference play to begin the 2010-11 season. BSU gained wins against Finlandia University (84-63) and Jamestown College (75-60) on the road, while downing University of Wisconsin-Stout (89-87) at home to earn its first home opener victory since 2003-04. The one loss came to Michigan Tech University (101-88) in the season opener. Newcomer James Ellisor has made an immediate impact at Bemidji State, averaging 20.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, sitting third and fifth, respectively, in the NSIC.

• The Beavers are riding a three-game winning streak after losing the season opener to Michigan Tech.
• The 3-1 record is the best four-game start to a season for BSU since the 2003-04 squad went 3-1.
• Bemidji State men’s basketball has 899 program wins, looking for that 900th victory this weekend. The program is in its 88th season.

MSU Moorhead:
The Dragons are 4-1 this season with wins against Dickinson State (81-68) and Gustavus Adolphus (68-57) at home and Mayville State (77-73) on the road. The one loss came at the hands of their cross-town rival, Concordia College (83-78). MSUM is led in scoring by junior Charlie Chapman’s 15.8 points per game. Four other Dragons are averaging double figures, including sophomore Alex Novak, who is averaging 14.3 points per contest and pulling down 9.8 rebounds per game.   

Series History: BSU is 80-84 all-time against the Dragons in a series dating back to the 1927-28 season. The Beavers are 2-3 in the last five games, splitting the season series last year, defeating each other on the opposing home court. MSU Moorhead won 73-71 in Bemidji and BSU earned a 79-75 victory in Moorhead.  

About Minnesota, Crookston:
The Golden Eagles are 3-0 to start the 2010-11 season, gaining wins against Finlandia University (84-58), Mayville State (78-76) and Cross Roads College (105-42). UMC has four players averaging in double figures in points, led by junior Larry Brown’s 17.7 points per game. He is also pulling down 4.7 rebounds per game, which also leads the team.

Series History: The Beavers hold a 36-12 all-time advantage against UMC, owning a 4-1 record in the last five contests. BSU swept the season series last year, winning 89-72 in Bemidji and 98-90 in Crookston.    

NSIC Preseason Poll:
The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team finished last season winners in five of its last six games, en route to a 12-15 overall and 8-12 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference mark, good for 11th place in the final conference standings. The 12 wins was the most under fifth-year head coach Matt Bowen, as BSU has increased its win total in each of his seasons at the helm. On Oct. 20, the 2010-11 edition of the NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll was released, slotting the Beavers 10th with 64 points.

BSU’s NSIC Preseason Player to Watch: Patrick Cassidy is the lone senior on a team that sports four juniors (two transfers), eight sophomores and four freshmen. He will be asked to provide leadership on and off the court in 2010-11, while concentrating on being consistent offensively and defensively. Last season Cassidy played and started in 26 games, averaging 26.3 minutes per contest. He posted 8.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 51.2 percent from the field. Cassidy has endured the growing pains of a Bemidji State basketball program that has improved its record in each of the last four seasons, going 12-15 last season. He has played in 80 games in the green in white, averaging 7.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, while shooting 48.1 percent from the field.

Making Strides: Head coach Matt Bowen has increased BSU’s win total every season over his past four years. The Beavers won five games in his first campaign, six in his second, eight in 2008-09 and 12 last season. In 2009-10, the eight NSIC victories the Beavers totalled was the most conference wins under Bowen.

Welcome to BSU:
The Beavers welcome six newcomers to the squad this season, including two junior college transfers. Coming to Bemidji via Glendale Community College are James Ellisor and Ryan Kinnell. Four true freshmen join the squad from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Alaska in Zach Noreen  (Albany HS, Minn.), Maxie Rosenbloom (Johnson HS, Minn.), Jake Schalow (Kaukauna HS, Wis.) and Jeff Whicker (King HS, Alaska).
    In his first four games as a Beaver, Ellisor averaged 20.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in 32.2 minutes, while shooting 56.9 percent from the field and going 21-for-21 from the charity stripe. He scored 25 points in the opener, adding a team-high six rebounds.

Doubling-Up: In the win against Finlandia, junior Bryce Tesdahl recorded his second-career double-double with a team-high 25 points and 10 assists. The 10 assists marks his third-career game with 10 or more helpers and ranks tied for ninth on the BSU single-game chart.
    Ellisor followed-up against UW-Stout Nov. 23 with his first double-double as a Beaver, scoring 13 points and adding 11 rebounds.

Helping Hand: Last season Tesdahl finished second in the NSIC in assists, averaging 15.1 assists per game. He totaled 137 assists in the season, finishing third on BSU’s all-time single-season chart. His 248 career assists ranks 3rd on BSU’s career list (1976-present).

BSU’s Top Career Assist Totals (1976-Present)
#    Assists    Player    Seasons

1.    314    David Lee    1984-88
2.    302    James Roberson    2003-05
3.    248    Bryce Tesdahl    2008-SA