North Dakota St. Scouting Report

The North Dakota State (NDSU) Bison, from the Summit League, are 5-5 heading into tonight’s matchup against Arizona.  They are traveling to Tucson after a 101-58 win against Valley City State on December 12th.   On November 13th they played and lost to USC 75-65.


#2 Paul Miller 6’4″ G (Sr.)

#11 Jared Samuelson 6’3″ G (So.)

#24 Tyson Ward 6’6″ G (So.)

#21 A.J. Jacobson 6’6″ G (Sr.)

#30 Spencer Eliason 6’9″ F (Jr.)

Off the bench:  #42 Dylan Miller 6’8″ F (Jr.), #23 Deng Geu 6’8″ F (So.), #34 Rocky Kreuser 6’9″ F (Fr.), #22 Cameron Hunter 6’3″ G (Fr.), #13 Khy Kabellis 6’5″ G (So.).

Offense:  NDSU mainly worked from 3 offensive sets:  a perimeter weave, high pick-and-roll, and perimeter pick-and-pop.  They had good floor spacing and moved the ball very well around the perimeter.  They were patient and rarely took forced or bad shots.

Defense:  Half-court man to man for the entire game against Valley City.  The guards would occasionally switch on perimeter ball screens, and they played good overall team defense.

Strengths:  Good team chemistry and well coached.  NDSU was very disciplined and patient on offense.  They were deceptively quick and #2 Miller is a very versatile and tough player, leading the team in points, rebounding, and assists with 16, 6, and 4.

Weaknesses:  Very poor offensive rebounding–of the 351 Division 1 teams, NDSU ranks 346th in that category.  They do not get to the foul line very often either.  Overall not a highly athletic team.

Summary:  This is a solid team that plays well together.  They are led by #2 Miller (also leading the team averaging 32 minutes per game and 13 shot attempts) but do have a couple of athletic and versatile players in #24 Ward and #23 Geu, both of whom were very active offensively and got to the rim in their game against Valley City.  #21 Jacobson and # 11 Samuelson provide very good 3 point shooting at 56% and 42%.  Both are attempting about 4 shots per game from behind the arc.  The bigs #30 Eliason, #42 Dylan Miller, and #34 Kreuser seem interchangeable with the exception of #34 Kreuser being able and willing to step out and shoot from the perimeter.

Keys for Arizona:  The Cats have a definite size and athleticism advantage in this match-up.  NDSU may have to mix in some zone defense in this game if they have trouble defending and rebounding.  Now that Rawle Alkins is back–and hasn’t seemed to miss a beat while seamlessly integrating his skills into this year’s team–the Cats can rely on their Big 3 of Ayton, Trier, and Alkins to take control of this game early.  The Cats are 5th in the NCAA with a 52% field-goal percentage and should be able to dominate the glass against a poor rebounding NDSU team.  PJC against NDSU’s best player, #2 Paul Miller, will be a key matchup to watch as Miller is an integral part of NDSU’s offense.


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