Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at www.bisonmedia.areavoices.com. On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.
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FARGO—As senior days go, this one will be hard to top as long as the building exists. And the Scheels Center at Sanford Health Athletic Complex still has that shiny new car smell having been open for just one season. North Dakota State gave Dexter Werner and Carlin Dupree something to remember with a double-overtime barn burner against Western Illinois Saturday afternoon before 4,696 very loud fans. The 100-91 men's basketball win kept the Bison in a first place tie in the Summit League at 10-4 in the conference and 18-9 overall.
FARGO—North Dakota State finished its home women's basketball season Saturday by starting with an appropriate sendoff ceremony for its three seniors. Once the game started, however, Indiana Purdue-Indianapolis was all business. And that spelled trouble for a Bison team that has had trouble matching up with the top five teams in the Summit League.
FARGO—When it became apparent North Dakota State head football coach Chris Klieman was looking for an offensive coordinator, the job wasn't open for very long. Maybe a few seconds, at the most. There wasn't even a need to interview Courtney Messingham, most likely because there is nothing Klieman didn't know about him. They've been friends since they played on the same youth baseball team in fifth and sixth grade in Waterloo, Iowa and hardly a month went by since both got into coaching in the early 1990s that they didn't talk to each other.
Fargo Former North Dakota State head basketball coach Saul Phillips and his assistant at the time, Dave Richman, were sitting in the stands at an AAU tournament in Milwaukee when the kid with the Charles Barkley frame was dominating play. Their first thought: How is this possible? Dexter Werner wasn't exactly crushing the competition in North Dakota high school basketball after all. He had just been to the NDSU team camp that summer of 2012 and Phillips said the Bison coaches told Werner that he could walk on to the team.
FARGO—The college football career paths of Chris Klieman and Courtney Messingham have taken a similar route. This week, they're reuniting at North Dakota State. Messingham was named the Bison offensive coordinator, Klieman, NDSU's head coach, confirmed on Tuesday. Messingham will replace Tim Polasek, who was officially named on Tuesday as the University of Iowa's offensive line coach. It didn't take long for Klieman to reach out to Messingham, who spent last season as the offensive coordinator at Montana State.
FARGO—It was over 10 years ago when Tod Brown accepted the head baseball coaching position at North Dakota State. At the time, the Bison had Newman Outdoor Field to offer but that was about it. At the time, Brown said he told himself that was a great starting point.
FARGO—North Dakota State left the University of Iowa last September with one of the biggest wins in school history. At least one member of the Bison football program will be returning to Kinnick Stadium on a regular basis. Offensive coordinator Tim Polasek is expected to be named to an assistant coaching position with the Hawkeyes this week. Iowa has an opening posted for a running backs/wide receiver coach.
FARGO—Take a historical view of the North Dakota State men's basketball program in the Division I era and it started like most mid-major programs have lived for years. There were the highs and then there were the lows. It's a general roller-coaster of talent that most schools outside of the Power Five conferences like the Big Ten and SEC have to deal with. In NDSU's case, the fab freshmen led by program all-time leading scorer Ben Woodside grew into the NCAA basketball tournament team of 2009 over a four-year period. Then it was time to start over.
FARGO—The 1,000-point club at North Dakota State inducted two more members on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 11. Juniors A.J. Jacobson and Paul Miller both reached the milestone in career points, but the Bison effort was far from a two-man show. And it really wasn't about offense.
HUNTER, N.D.—It was Senior Night Friday, Feb. 10, at Northern Cass, which was treated with celebration and, in a departing sense, sadness. The group has done a lot for Jaguar athletics in the last couple of years—on and off the field. Reaching the North Dakota Class B football playoffs the last two seasons was not unusual; the Jaguars have done that periodically since 1998. But boys basketball? Times are good. Well, mostly good.