Unhappy with his role, NDSU guard Carlin Dupree leaves team
FARGO - A dispute over his playing status on the North Dakota State men's basketball team prompted junior guard Carlin Dupree to leave the team this week, said head coach Dave Richman.
FARGO – A dispute over his playing status on the North Dakota State men’s basketball team prompted junior guard Carlin Dupree to leave the team this week, said head coach Dave Richman.
The timing and the nature of the news was a bombshell of sorts, considering Dupree was third on the team in minutes played this season.
“He was unhappy in his role and I do not support the decision,” Richman said, “but I support Carlin.”
Dupree began the year as the starting point guard, but recently lost that position to freshman Khy Kabellis. He started 14 of 17 games, averaging 7.1 points.
His absence will most likely be absorbed in minutes by center Chris Kading, Richman said, with other players rotating down to Dupree’s spot. Sophomore Paul Miller, the team’s shooting guard and leading scorer, may see some backup time at the point with sophomore guard Malik Clements also in line to play more.
“It’s a golden opportunity for him, but I’m not going to hand him the minutes,” Richman said. “He’ll have to earn it in practice. He’s a guy I feel confident about offensively, but he has to get better on both ends of the court.”
NDSU hosts the University of South Dakota on Wednesday night at Scheels Arena. It’s perhaps the first real shot of adversity Richman has had to deal with since taking the position last year. The Bison won the Summit League tournament title for the second straight season and advanced to the NCAA tournament in Richman’s rookie year as the head coach.
Moreover, the Bison are coming off two straight losses, including getting their 31-game home-court winning streak snapped last week.
“When I got the job, the way we do it with high school kids, you knew it would be a process,” Richman said. “What we lost coming off a tournament team, you wonder when it’s going to happen. You know it will happen, but how soon? Obviously last year was a special year and things went very smooth. This year with a little adversity to be honest is not fun, but in the long run, it will shape us and make us better.”
Dupree’s departure came just days after he vowed his allegiance to the Bison coaching staff on coming off the bench, something he did very effectively in a win over the University of Denver at Scheels Arena.
“For me, it’s just being a teammate, you can’t complain about anything,” Dupree said last week. “You have to have trust in a coach.”
He played 25 minutes in the home loss to Omaha and 22 in the one-point loss at Oral Roberts.
“This maybe will delay things a little bit for a short time, maybe,” Richman said of his team’s progress. “But we’re not going to compromise a culture, and we have 13 other kids who look me in the eye and are excited to compete and try to get through this week.”
Dupree played sparingly as a freshman, but came off the bench in the second half in the NCAA second-round victory over Oklahoma with a critical four points in the last 1 minute, 14 seconds of the game. He started all 33 games last season.
An attempt to reach Dupree through his campus email account was unsuccessful.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s Bison Media Blog can be found at bisonmedia.areavoices.com and Twitter @FGOSPORTSWRITER