BSU Basketball Squads Chosen 2nd & 9th In Polls
Friday, October 25, 2002
Oct. 25, 2002

Minneapolis, Minn. - According to the 2002-03 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll, the BSU men’s basketball squad is picked to finish second (74) in the league, 16 points behind Minnesota-Duluth. UMD will look to repeat as it took the conference crown in 2001-02. Northern State is close behind with 73 points with MSU Moorhead (66) and Southwest State (61) rounding out the top-five. SSU received one first-place vote behind the nine slots that UMD received.

BSU (13-5, 17-11 NSIC) closed out last season winning eight of its final ten, including seven straight, to tie for second in the league with Southwest State. The Beavers will return five players, one of which is 2001-02 First-Team All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference selection in junior forward Charles Hanks (Chicago, Ill.). Hanks was selected as a “Player to Watch” for this season. A 2001-02 NSIC Newcomer of the Year, Hanks ranked in the top 15 in the conference in several statistical categories: second in points/game (17.8), seventh in rebounds/game (6.2) and field goal % (51%); eighth in blocks/game (0.80) and 15th in steals/game (1.3). In addition, Hanks reached double figures for points in 25 of the 28 games including 11 times with 20+ points. Overall, Bemidji State was 8-3 when Hanks went over the 20-point barrier.

On the women’s side, Bemidji State (3-15, 5-22 NSIC) was chosen ninth with 31 votes in the preseason coaches poll. The league’s champion from last season in Southwest State was narrowly picked as the top team with 85 votes. Concordia-St. Paul was second (84), Minnesota-Duluth third (77), Northern State fourth (62), MSU Moorhead fifth (56), Wayne State (Neb.) sixth (48), Minnesota-Crookston seventh (43), Winona State eighth (36) and Minnesota-Morris rounding out the list (18). Both SSU, which is #10 in the Women’s Division II Bulletin Preseason Top 25, and C-SP received five first-place votes.

The Beavers will look to improve on last season’s mark with first-year head coach Mike Power at the helm. Of the 13 players on the roster, Power has seven returners in the line-up. One of those is junior forward Amber Graf (Hammond, Wis.) as she is a 2002-03 preseason “Player to Watch.” Graf leads the BSU returners with 12 double-digit point efforts in 20 games last campaign and was tops on the squad in free throws made (48), free throw percentage (.800) and points per game (10.6). In the conference, she ranked 18th in ppg and 19th in rebounding per contest (4.9) in all games played.

Head coach Jeff Guiot and the men’s squad will open up the regular season against the Vikings from Valley City State on the road Nov. 22 at 8:00 p.m. The first glimpse that BSU fans will get of the Beavers at home will be against the University of Wisconsin-Superior Dec. 2 at 7:00 p.m.

Meanwhile, the first contest for the BSU women is scheduled for 6:00 p.m., Nov. 23 at St. Cloud State. From there, BSU will travel to the Barry University (Fla.) Tournament on Nov. 29-30 to take on Lees-Mcrae College, which was ninth in the final 2001-02 East Region poll, on Friday and Barry University on Saturday. The first event at the BSU Gymnasium will be Dec. 6 against DII powerhouse South Dakota State. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.