Beavers and Mavericks begin new year with season opener in Mankato, Minn.

Beavers and Mavericks begin new year with season opener in Mankato, Minn.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Beavers and Mavericks begin new year with season opener in Mankato, Minn.

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s basketball program will take its first steps on the court in the 2020-21 season opener Saturday, Jan. 2 and Sunday, Jan. 3 with a road contest against Minnesota State University, Mankato. The Beavers enter their 99th season as a program and the ninth under Head Coach Mike Boschee.

The Series vs. Minnesota State

  • Minnesota State leads the all-time series against Bemidji State, 72-36.
  • BSU and MSU played twice during the 2019-20 season, with both games going to the Mavericks. Minnesota State knocked Bemidji State out of the NSIC Tournament, 71-61, on Feb. 27, 2020, to end the Beavers’ season.
  • Over BSU and MSU’s two meetings last season, senior forward Derek Thompson averaged 13.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
  • The last win by BSU over MSU came on Feb. 27, 2019, 66-56, as the eighth-seeded Beavers knocked off the first-seeded Mavericks to open the NSIC Tournament in Mankato, Minn.
  • The series began Jan. 27, 1933, a 24-23 win by Minnesota State in Bemidji, Minn.

Fast Break Bemidji State

  • BSU’s January season-opener is the latest in the program’s 99-year history to begin a season. The latest the Beavers’ had begun a season prior to this season was Dec. 15, doing so twice, to open the 1921-22 and 1934-35 seasons.
  • The Beavers are 5-3 in season-openers under Boschee, 2-6 in road openers, and 4-4 when facing an NSIC team for the first time.
  • Bemidji State comes off the 2019-20 season in which it finished 14-13 overall and 11-11 in NSIC play, both of which mark the most wins for BSU since the 2013-14 season.
  • The team brought in five newcomers to the roster, including three transfers (guard Tyler Behrendt, guard/forward Edgars Kaufmanis, guard Mohamed Kone) and two true freshmen (guard Michael Casper, forward Wyatt Olson).
  • The Beavers return two All-NSIC student-athletes, including All-NSIC Second Team selection Derek Thompson and All-NSIC Honorable Mention member Nick Wagner. Wagner was selected as BSU’s 2020-21 Player to Watch.
  • Wagner set the program single-season record with 80 3-point field goals last season and scored at least 20 points six times, including two 30-point games. He was near the top of the NSIC in multiple 3-point shooting categories, ranking second in 3-point field goal percentage and third in 3-point field goals per game.
  • Thompson averaged 14.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting 51.2 percent from the field last season.
  • Bemidji State outshot its opponents in 17 of 27 games last season, including 14 of 22 NSIC regular-season contests. The Beavers finished the season shooting .479 from the field, the highest percentage for the program since the 2013-14 season. BSU also outshot its opponents from behind the 3-point arc in 16 games. The Beavers’ .407 3-point field goal percentage is the highest for the program since the 2003-04 season.
  • BSU was one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the nation last season, ranking 14th nationally and first in the NSIC in 3-point field goal percentage. Overall, the Beavers ranked among the top four in the conference in 3-point field goals per game, free throw percentage, assists per game, defensive rebounds per game, scoring margin, and scoring offense.
  • Bemidji State was voted to finish third in the NSIC North Division, as the NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll was released mid-December. The conference poll was split into divisions without an overall poll, as the 2020-21 season will crown only North Division and South Division champions.
  • BSU’s preseason ranking is the highest for the program since the NSIC split into the North and South Division format during the 2012-13 season.
  • BSU received 35 points in the preseason coaches’ poll, falling behind Northern State University in first with 49 total points and seven first-place votes, and Minnesota State University Moorhead in second with 43 total points and one first-place vote.

Scouting Minnesota State

  • Minnesota State finished the 2019-20 season with a 17-15 mark and advanced to the NSIC Tournament Final before a season-ending loss to Northern State University, 80-59. The Mavericks ended the Beavers’ 2019-20 season with a 71-61 win on Feb. 26 during the first round of the NSIC Tournament.
  • Head Coach Matt Margenthaler enters his 20th season with the program in 2020-21 with an overall record of 410-179 and a mark of 181-79 in conference play. He has led MSU to seven NSIC titles and 13 NCAA Tournament appearances.
  • Minnesota State returns six letter winners, including two starters in sophomore Ryland Holt and junior Kelby Kramer. In 23 starts and 31 total appearances, Holt notched 14.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game to go along with five double-doubles, earning him NSIC Freshman of the Year honors. Kramer started all 32 games for MSU last season, tallied seven double-doubles and ranked fourth in the nation with 79 blocks.
  • MSU was selected to finish fourth in the NSIC South Division with 31 points in the NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
  • Kramer was named the Mavericks Player to Watch for the 2020-21 season, as released in the NSIC Preseason Coaches' Poll.

For more information on the Bemidji State athletic programs, tickets or schedules, visit, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), or like them on Facebook (

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).