Friday, December 20, 2013

TGIF Tidbits

*Greetings and happy Friday!

*We start today with an absolutely filthy game-winning goal by Casey Johnson of Grand Forks Central.

The best high school goal I've seen in person

*It's not everyday a ESPN anchor tweets about a high school goal.
*Not only was it to beat rival Red River, Casey said it was the first time he's beaten Red River in ANY sport in high school.

*It was the first time Central beat Red River in hockey since 2011. Red River is not the same state champion it was last year. We knew that early in the season. I thought that with the Riders getting Aaron Sauve back in net for the first time of the year, they could hold off the Knights and that looked to be the case early with Red River going up 1-0. But the Knights fought back to score two straight to win it at Purpur. Congrats to the Knights.

*Speaking of hockey, the US women's team is playing an exhibition with Canada Friday night at the Ralph. Grand Forks will have the joy of watching two of their own with the Lamoureux twins.
*Here the twins are practicing those "one-timers" that the WCHA is all too familiar with.

*Warroad native Gigi Marvin also returns to the area sporting the red, white, and blue. Marvin will be playing as a defenseman, the position she played in "squirts"-Judging from when I interviewed her, she won't care, as long as she is playing hockey.

*I think it's neat that the Ralph gets to host a game, even if it is an exhibition. It was too bad the arena lost out on not getting a women's Frozen Four. It's too nice of an arena and the passion for hockey in North Dakota makes that unacceptable.

*WDAZ is having an online vote for "Team Of The Year"-The vote is between 15 area high school teams that  finished the 2013 calendar year as section champs or made at least the semifinals. In just three days, we've received over 7,000 votes!
You can vote here
*Thanks for the read and have a great weekend!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday Munchies-What a weekend for UND, Famous Jameis, WDAZ's Team Of The Year

*Greetings and good Monday to all of you, hope the weekend treated you well!

*It certainly treated UND well. Both men's and women's hockey teams completed sweeps. The women's basketball team beat rival NDSU to now make it four straight over the Bison with Bismarck native Madi Buck pouring in 37 points. The men's hoops team ended its losing streak with a win over Presentation on Sunday.

*Let's start with the big rivalry win for North Dakota over NDSU Saturday at The Betty. We knew both teams were evenly matched and that proved to be true. Both squads played very well in a very clean game that went down to the wire. The difference in the end was UND's Madi Buck. In what was an incredible display of shooting, Madi "Buckets" went 10-15 from the field, 5-6 from deep, and chipped in with nine rebounds. Certainly, not a bad day at the office. She also landed the "dagger" three when UND and NDSU were tied at 81 with just over a minute to play.

*Madi was the talk of the town but some of the chatter should include the name "Leah Szabla." The freshman from Brooklyn Park had 13 points on only six shots, nine assists, and five rebounds. For a point guard, that is a great stat line.

*The home team was tested going down by eight with seven minutes to go in front of a crowd of 2,261. But Brew's Crew responded and took over in the final minutes. Big win for UND.

*The UND men's basketball team got back to its winning ways with a beat down of Presentation. The UND fans usually stand until the opponent scores. Well, after UND went up 18-0, they gave up and just sat down. After falling in five straight games away from home, a 78-32 blowout win was exactly what the doctor ordered. UND gets South Dakota State at home on Saturday. That should make for a very entertaining game.

*The men's hockey team has now made it five straight. Sweeps over Western Michigan and Northern Michigan are exactly what the doctor ordered going into break. Dave Hakstol's team has a reputation of playing better in the second half of the season it's looking like that might be the case again this year. UND is finally starting to get some production from its younger players, the likes of Grand Forks native Luke Johnson. Although again unranked in the latest polls, UND is starting to claw its way back to where they should be.

                                       UND adds the finishing touch on the weekend sweep

*The women's hockey team also got a sweep this past weekend, this time over Minnesota State. That means the team, at 12-4-2, has got off to its best start EVER. It just shows how great of a job Brian Idalski has done since taking over the program.

*Speaking of women's hockey, the USA Olympic team will have an exhibition with Canada at the Ralph this Friday night. To add to that, the Lamoureux twins make their return to Grand Forks. This should make for a great night on Friday night. The Ralph should be packed.

*I was fortunate enough to have a vote in this year's Heisman. I had a lot of people agree with me as I had Winston one, McCarron two, and Lynch three.

*It does seem as the "glammer" of the Heisman has gone down for whatever reason. This year we saw six finalists, the first time in almost 20 years. Didn't matter for "Famous Jameis" as he won in a cakewalk.

*Within the next few days, we will reveal our list for the "WDAZ Team of the Year" Like the Heisman, it will be up to you to vote who the team is. List will be revealed soon.

*Have a good week all!

Friday, December 13, 2013

TGIF Tidbits

*Greetings and Happy Friday!
*We start with #ChuckThePigskin and the next Nick Saban, Chris McComas. If you're wondering who the heck Chris McCumas is, you're not alone.
*Just watch the link. Hilarious.
Chucking The Controller For Coaching
*My favorite part of the resume is the section, "What they are saying about me.."
"You are really good..."-Some random guy playing football online with PS3
"I like your new hair cut!"-My mom
And my favorite, "Hurry up with this damn PowerPoint and lets go to Starbucks." A guy I work with

*Can you imagine if this kid and McCumas got together and coached a team? They would never lose! #ChuckThePigskin #AnnexationOfPuertoRico #Domination
*As I said in the story, it would be a "Hail Mary" if this guy did get the job but the response around the UND community has been great. They too, like McComas, are having fun.
A pledge for Chris to come to Grand Forks
*All I know is, it was a blast to do the story and he has a lot of peoples votes in The Frozen Tundra.
*McComas says coaching isn't for him and if he saw the local forecast, he would say North Dakota isn't for him.
*I can't wait to go out in the Grand Forks nightlife and see someone rocking one of these bad boys. Classic.
*Have a good weekend all!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Applicants For UND Head Coaching Job

Ian Shields
Jeff Mills
Bart Andrus
Bryant Soland
Kyle Schweigert
Michael Cummings
Norman Joseph
Ed Meierkort
Jason Kremer
Chris Stein
Todd Hoffner
Darrius Smith
Lane Powell
Joe Hagins
Howard Feggins
Sean Embree
Stephen Axman
Tony Coaxum
Lenny Doerfler
Michael Bath
Luis Rodriguez
Zach Shay
Chris McComas
Kevin Magouirk
Clyde Gregory
Jamie Marshall
Bruce Barnum
John Klacik
Glen Young
David Kenny
Vince Okruch
Bill Bleil
Anthoney Hill
Robin Pflugrad
Michael Markuson
Andrew Jordan
Larry Cole
Bob Connelly
Brian Bottenfield
Lacy McBeath
Maurice Drayton
Jake Moreland
Robin Ross
Robert Keys
Stephen Settle
Reg Trotter
Nick Calcutta
Ken Knapczyk
Efrain Martinez
Louis Esposito
Daren Wilkinson
Charrles Coe
Michael Kelly
Damian Mincey
Mario Felix
Doug Madoski
Jovan Dewitt
Ryan Held
Robert Lancaster
Eric Young
Robert Ianello
Nick Siciliano
Seth Wallace
Marcus Patton
Alex Pateras
Camm Richmond
Steven Smith
Dale Carlson
Larry Willis
David Taynor
Nick Garrett

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Munchies

*What a weekend it was for the Red River Valley. The UND men's hockey team gets its first sweep of the season at Western Michigan. The UND men's basketball team plays at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse while the women's team takes Minnesota to the wire. The biggest news coming from Fargo where after the Bison crushed Furham, it leaked out that head coach Craig Bohl is leaving for Wyoming.

*This was news that shocked all of the FCS world, not just NDSU fans. We knew the move was coming. When and to where were the question marks. Saturday night, we found those out.

*Although Wyoming doesn't sound "sexy" on paper, the chance to coach at an FBS school and have the CHANCE to play in a BCS game, is worth the move for Bohl. Yes, winning NC after NC at an FCS school is great. But there comes a time in a coaches career, as we've time and time again, where they have to move on.

*Bohl has done so much for the program, NDSU, and Fargo. Did anyone ever see GameDay coming to Fargo? You would be lying to yourself if you said yes. Did anyone see NDSU going back to back at the FCS level, say 15 years ago. No. A lot of the Bison success, if not all of it, can be attributed to Bohl.

*It is too bad that the story leaked out on social media and not officially by NDSU. That is the age we live in, however. Bison fans should not be bitter by that OR THE TIMING of the move. As Gene Taylor said Sunday in his press conference, there is NO GOOD TIMING for something like this. Yes, it puts the Bison in a unique position as they go for their third straight title, in which Bohl will coach the rest of the way.

*Yes, I believe it will be a distraction. No, I don't think it will impact the team and their pursuit for a third straight title. We saw today, for example, with Bohl not making his weekly press conference, that it is already having some impact on the daily schedule. I believe this senior class is mature enough to get past the distractions and win it all in Frisco.
*Personally, I wish the best for anyone who served on the Solich staff at Nebraska. Bohl was fired as the defensive coordinator when the Husker program started to slip. Although the move seemed right at the time, Nebraska fans might look back and wonder if it was indeed the right move.

*While it was a noisy weekend in Fargo, literally (take a look of the decibel level graphic @NDSUAthletics tweeted out of the FargoDome on Saturday) all was quiet in Grand Forks.

*The men's and women's hockey teams were out of town as were the basketball teams. It was a big weekend for the men's hockey team as it finally got its first sweep of the year. If UND can take care of business at home this weekend against Northern Michigan, the team will have a ton of momentum going into the break. Momentum they need going into the second half of the schedule. It was nice to see UND get some scoring from the "young guns" including NCHC rookie of the week, Luke Johnson. The young players on the team are going to be the difference makers in whether this team can make another push at a Frozen Four. There is concern with the team even making REGIONALS but I think they get in, and as we all know, anything can happen.

*It is nice to see a UND goalie put together two nice games in a row. TRF native Zane Gothberg had a monster save to finish off the sweep and put the exclamation point on a good weekend. Let's see if those games can string into weekends.

*It was another tough test for the men's basketball team Saturday night in front of a national audience on FoxSports1. Although Butler won handily, I think UND proved some things. The biggest being they don't give up. I thought UND played decent in the half court which is not their game at all. Knowing that, I thought Brian Jones would throw on the press throughout. It wasn't until the second half when UND really tried to speed up the game by slapping on the press.

*North Dakota needs to learn a few things-How to get stops when they need them and how to get scoring when Troy Huff isn't dropping 30.

*Although it wasn't the result UND fans wanted to see, all these tough games do is help UND in March.

*It was a tough one to grasp for the UND women's basketball team who had rival Minnesota on the ropes at their house. It shows that Travis Brewster's squad can play with the "big teams" but it is hard to win when you struggle as much as the team did in the second half.

*The Heisman finalists were announced this afternoon and there are six finalists, the most candidates since 1994. Having a vote, I'm glad that all three on my list will be going to New York City.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

UND Travels To Butler, Visits Historic Hinkle

*Here is a quick preview before you watch the game on Fox Sports 1 at 5 p.m.
*This is the first meeting between the two teams and the first time UND has ever played a Big East team.
*Butler is 5-2 as UND is 2-4.
*Butler is averaging 73 a ballgame while giving up 67.
*Butler went 14-2 on their home floor while the Bulldogs are 229-34 at Hinkle in the last 18 seasons.
*Both Butler losses have come by two points, both at the Old Spice Classic.
*Although not ranked, the Bulldogs look as if they might be that typical "Butler" team that will make a deep run into the NCAA Tournament.
*Let's talk x's and o's-
*Butler posts a great one, two punch in Kellen Dunham(6-6 Sophomore) and Khyle Marshall(6-6 Senior) Both players are coming off great performances at the Old Spice Tournament where Dunham dropped 32 against Washington State(Averaged 20 in the three tournament games) while Marshall dropped 30 against the Cougars(Averages 17 PPG, 7 RPG)
*The Bulldogs are pretty top heavy with these two but also get plenty of production from 6-9 Junior Kameron Woods who averages 11 and 9.
*The question is, who guards these guys? I don't think UND coach Brian Jones plays zone because of Dunham's ability to shoot the three (Attempts almost 7 a game) I think probably Huff gets Dunham, Nash guards Marshall.
*Kameron Woods is going to be today's difference maker. UND has to find someone who can guard the big man. When UND traveled to Wisconsin, I thought Kaminsky would have a big game because UND didn't have anyone who could match up with the 7-footer. Luckily, Woods won't fire up any threes but North Dakota must find a way to limit him in the paint. Getting him in foul trouble would be huge.
*I don't think UND goes zone but I say Butler does. UND struggled big time against the zone when Pacific threw it at them in Oregon. I'm sure the UND coaching staff is anticipating zone and practiced against it all week. Although a good outside shooting team, UND cannot rely on the three ball today. Yes, if Huff gets hot like he did at Wisconsin, you feed him the ball and let him shoot it. But the green and white must find a way to break down the zone by swinging the basketball and getting penetration in the paint(this could help with getting Woods in foul trouble)
*North Dakota must be ready to play defense. Marshall shoots 55 percent from the field which is the staple of Butler basketball-work the offense, get high percentage shots. It would be nice if UND threw on the press to speed the game up as UND wants to see over 160 points combined, Butler would take 100 points combined.
*I think UND puts together one of its best games of the year. It doesn't mean they're going to win but I think it is close. Another thing to keep in mind is Butler is not a great free throw shooting team(65%) so if it does go down to the wire, I think it helps UND.
*I'll say Butler wins it 83-76 but I wouldn't be shocked if North Dakota pulls off the upset. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

T.G.I.F Tidbits

*Greetings and Happy Friday!

*We start with UND volleyball. On Wednesday, we learned that head coach Ashley Hardee resigned from his position after five years. This coming after he was placed on administrative leave Monday. It was reported that Hardee was the driver of a hit and run accident early Sunday morning in Portland, Oregon while his team was out there for the Big Sky Tournament. No one was injured and allegedly he and five of his players were on their way to the airport. There are still a lot of questions surrounding the incident but the details are starting to file in.

*Hardee's statement that the University released:  “I would like to extend a sincere apology to the program, the university and the community for a serious lapse in judgment." I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work at the University of North Dakota, and I thank the entire community for its tremendous support over the past five years.”

*Here is what the Portland State Vanguard reported:
"Officer Rominger responded to University Place Hotel at 5:05 a.m. and contacted non-student Patricia Sorensen, who reported a hit and run. It was learned by non-student Dave Krueger that the head coach for the women’s volleyball team from the University of North Dakota, William Ashley “Ash” Hardee, was responsible. Non-student Ellen Krueger told her father, Dave, that Hardee was visibly intoxicated and crashed a rental GMC Yukon into the Volkswagen Jetta before driving her and another to Portland International Airport"

*Story from WDAZ Sports
*Story from The Grand Forks Herald

*A source informed WDAZ Sports Hardee "probably should not have been driving" but would not elaborate. We don't know if the incident was alcohol related. Hardee did receive a DUI in June of 2012.

*I will say this: In my short time working with Hardee, (covering his team, interviewing him, etc.) he was always willing to cooperate. The players liked him and played hard for him. His success at UND cannot be ignored. 110 wins to just 44 loses. Three conference championships. The University's first Big Sky championship. The buzz around Grand Forks with the volleyball team this past fall was great. It is too bad, no matter the details yet to come, that it had to end this way.

*The UND men's basketball team is trying to get back on track as the green and white head out to the historic Hinkle Fieldhouse.
*If you're a true basketball player, this is where you want to play. Names like Wooden, Robertson, and Bird all laced up the sneakers and put it on the line in the barn. The movie "Hoosiers" was filmed there. The state of Indiana bleeds hoops and this place is the heart of that. With all the tradition, Butler has had some recent success of it's own, you know. Two straight runner-ups. A fantastic coach in Brad Stevens. Players such as Gordon Hayward, Matt Howard, and Shelvin Mack. UND might be a little starstruck when they play tomorrow. 
Coach Brian Jones needs to do this

*I think this is the game where UND puts it together. The win over NDSU was great but it was the perfect trap for UND. The team was getting pats on the back all week leading up to the tournament out in Oregon and it showed. Some North Dakota fans were drinking the green kool-aid a little too much saying that UND WAS GOING TO SWEEP in Eugene. They did not win a game. The squad looked much better against Oregon and in the first half of Pacific than they did in the Cal Poly game. Pacific might have found the weak spot of UND and that is the zone defense. UND has a lot of players that can take you one on one but now they need to learn how to play as a unit because you can bet zone is going to be thrown at them. UND can take another note from "Hoosiers"
How many passes?! Four! 

*I think regardless of the struggles against the zone, coach Jones is happy where his offense is. He is NOT happy with his defense. The squad is giving up almost 84 points a game and it they do want to make the tournament, they have to learn to get stops and turnovers. Preview of the game coming sometime soon. Game is at five on Fox Sports 1.

*Hopping on the ice-The UND men's hockey team is in desperate need of a sweep. They get that chance tonight and tomorrow at Western Michigan. North Dakota has yet to get the brooms out this year and I think they do it this weekend. Two wins gets them back to .500 and I think coach Hakstol and the players would take that going into the break at this point. UND has to get these conference wins for later in the season and after the "all-players" meeting they had this past weekend, the light switch might have flipped on. Let's hope so. 

*One thing that we are pretty sure about-The East Grand Forks boys hockey team is the real deal. Tyler Palmiscno's Green Wave are 4-0 and have only allowed one goal. They are also in the driver's seat to win the Gambucci Cup after beating Central and Red River by a combined score of 8-1. They look like the favorite's to win Section 8A and get back to "The X" and with St. Thomas now in AA, who knows what can happen.

*To get ready to cover high school wrestling, I think I'm going to watch the top ten wrestling movies out there. Here they are, one thru ten. 

*This is just ridiculous.
*Have a good weekend everyone and bundle up!!