2003-04 Schedule For Bemidji State Is Announced
Wednesday, April 9, 2003
April 9, 2003

Bemidji, Minn. - Bemidji State, which was the only club to sweep league champion Northern State last season, faces the prospect of dealing with four of the top seven regional programs while taking on one of the fiercest conference’s in the country for the 2003-04 season. To make matters more difficult, 11 of the first 13 contests are on the road - nine of those being against .500+ teams, seven with 20 or more victories.

St. Cloud State (second), South Dakota State (fourth), North Dakota (fifth) and South Dakota (seventh) are all on the docket as each one was recognized in the final 2002-2003 North Central Region polls. With North Dakota State in the mix, all five clubs ended the year on the top half in the North Central Conference standings - NDSU was fourth and USD fifth with SCSU, SDSU and UND filling the top three spots.

SCSU, which finished 19th in the country, advanced to the regional finals and ended with a 26-4 record. Ranked 21st in the final national polls, the Jackrabbits advanced to the regional finals where they lost to regional champion, Nebraska-Kearney. SDSU currently has the fifth longest active home-court winning streak at 16 games. The Fighting Sioux participated in the regional semifinals with a 20-9 mark but lost DII Bulletin & Daktronics Player of the Year in senior Jerome Beasley. USD looks to return NABC All-North Central Region Second Team performer Josh Mueller while the Bison are the epitome of recent success - they are 179-103 (.635) in the last 10 seasons including nine winning campaigns and five years of 20+ wins.

Pittsburg State and Missouri Southern are newcomers to the Bemidji State plate in school history. PSU, the school where head coach Jeff Guiot received NAIA All-American accolades his senior year, made it’s 10th straight Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Conference Tournament last year. Also, Pittsburg State reached 1,200 all-time victories - one of just 13 DII programs to have done so since becoming a NCAA-affiliated program in 1990. MSC, members of the MIAA as well, ended last season with a 20-9 overall mark and reached the semifinals of the league tournament.

Jamestown College headlines the other three non-conference teams (Wisconsin-Superior, St. Scholastica). The Jimmies went a school-best 29-5 en route to an appearance at the NAIA Elite 8. They took first in the Dakota Athletics Conference-10 and finished #3 in the NAIA polls. The second NAIA school on the schedule, St. Scholastica, made it to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament finals in 2002-03 and hopes to return junior Chris Rauschenfels, who was an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American. UW-S joins CSS as the only non-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference teams to finish below the .500 mark - UW-S was 5-20 overall.

After earning the third-seed for the NSIC Tournament in the winter, the Beavers will host the top two teams (Northern State, Southwest State) in the first half of the league slate. That will be part of a season-long five game home stand. MSU Moorhead, which ended BSU’s run in the semifinals of the conference tournament, is in the mix there as well. Four of the final five regular season games are on the road as all the teams finished sixth-place or better.

Bemidji State finished 17-12 overall last year and has totaled 34 victories in the past two season’s - the most since the 1972-74 seasons. Also, BSU led the country in three-pointers per game (11.7) and since 1987, finished with the sixth-highest season total (338) of treys in NCAA Division II.