BURNSVILLE, Minn. -- The young group of the Bemidji State University men’s basketball program is moving up after being selected 10th overall and fifth in the North Division of the 2017-18 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll, released today. Sophomore guard Jai’Vionne Green was selected as BSU’s Player to Watch after setting a program record among true freshmen with 454 points last season.
Two NSIC North Division programs rank among the top four of the 2017-18 poll, lead at the top by Northern State University with 213 points overall and eight first-place votes. Fellow North Division program Minnesota State University Moorhead was picked fourth overall with 187 points and one first-place vote. Southwest Minnesota State University, with 211 points and seven first-place votes, was selected second overall while Augustana University, with 190 points, was picked third.
Bemidji State moved up four spots from last year’s poll to 10th overall after receiving 92 points from NSIC coaches. The Beavers also moved up two spots from last year’s divisional poll to fifth with 24 points. Northern State leads the divisional poll with 48 points and six first-place votes, followed by MSU Moorhead with 42 points and two first-place votes. St. Cloud State University, with 38 points, and Minot State University, with 32 points, were placed above Bemidji State in the NSIC North poll.
St. Cloud State guard Gage Davis was selected as the NSIC North Division Preseason of the Year for the second consecutive season while Southwest Minnesota State guard Ryan Bruggeman was selected as the NSIC South Division Preseason Player of the Year.
NSIC coaches rank each team from one to 15 with a first place vote receiving 15 points, second place 14, third place 13, etc. Coaches do not rank their own team or vote for their own players.
Jai’Vionne Green, a sophomore from Wauwatosa, Wis., was selected as BSU’s Player to Watch after a historic freshman campaign last season. He averaged a team-high 16.2 points per game on his way to the most points ever scored by a BSU freshman with 454. Green shot 46.5 percent from the field and led the team shooting 46.8 percent from 3-point range.
The Beavers finished the 2016-17 season 10-18 overall and 8-14 in the NSIC. Bemidji State returns six letterwinners from a season ago while bringing in six true freshmen.
Head Coach Mike Boschee enters his sixth season with the program while totaling a 64-75 record with the Beavers.
Bemidji State begins the 2017-18 season at the NSIC/MIAA Classic against Lindenwood University and University of Central Missouri in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. The season-opening tournament will be the second consecutive season the Beavers have participated in.
|1. Northern State (8)||213||1. Northern State (6)||48|
|2. Southwest Minn. State (7)||211||2. MSU Moorhead (2)||42|
|3. Augustana||190||3. St. Cloud State||36|
|4. MSU Moorhead (1)||187||4. Minot State||32|
|5. Minnesota State||172||5. Bemidji State||24|
|6. St. Cloud State||153||6. Minnesota Duluth||19|
|7. Minot State||134||7. Minnesota Crookston||13|
|8. Upper Iowa||123||8. University of Mary||8|
|9. Sioux Falls||97||South Division||Points|
|10. Bemidji State||92||1. Southwest Minn. State (5)||45|
|11. Wayne State||91||2. Augustana (2)||44|
|12. Winona State||90||3. Minnesota State (1)||37|
|13. Minnesota Duluth||46||4. Upper Iowa (1)||32|
|14. Minnesota Crookston||44||5. Sioux Falls||23|
|14. Concordia-St. Paul||44||6. Wayne State||20|
|16. University of Mary||33||7. Winona State||15|
|first place votes in ()||8. Concordia-St. Paul||8|
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).