10 things to watch for in 2012-2013
Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2012 16:05
Being that it is my last issue as Sports Editor, I’ve decided to go with some dual-column action, if I may, for my final print. I can’t leave without looking ahead, because that’s what’s great about sports, you can always look ahead to next year.
I have prepared my top-ten things to watch for the Bison athletic season next year. If it’s anything like 2011-2012, we’re in for another treat.
10. Baseball team losing seniors
It’s been a long, long time since the NDSU baseball team has been noted for being successful, but it’s turned around this season. Tod Brown has sent a talented class through these last four years, and it’s showed so far with success on the field.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Brown and his staff will handle the new-look Bison next year. Notable names like Zach Wentz, Luke Anderson, Nick Colwell and Max Casper will all be leaving. Those names are just a few of many.
9. Summit League shakeup
This one is the most intriguing to me. With Oral Roberts leaving for the Southland starting next season, newcomer Nebraska Omaha will be unveiled next season. The Missouri Valley is likely to see changes outside of football, which is where NDSU is at in the fall. If a spot opens in the Missouri Valley, I can guarantee you that NDSU will jump in.
Butler is going to leave the Horizon League and join the Atlantic 10 effective for the 2013-2014 season. My guess is that Oakland will leave the Summit League and join the Horizon, taking away another top-tier team away from the Summit League.
8. Indoor track and field facility
The renovation process on the north side of campus is coming to fruition. The indoor track and field facility is supposed to be completed by next fall, which should give a great view to the previously barren parking lot.
7. More NCAA Tournament appearances
Thinking realistically, there are eight teams that have a good shot at making their respective NCAA tournaments next year. I love to think of how the move Division I was a bad decision, and now literally over half of the programs could be making an appearance in one season. All of the fall sports will make the NCAA postseason tournaments, I’m calling it.
6. John Crockett
If John Crockett is eligible for next year, which signs are pointing towards him being just that, watch out. Crockett has the ability to become one of the top runningbacks all-time at NDSU. The tandem of Crockett and Ojuri will not be matched in any backfield in the FCS.
5. Taylor Braun
I’m interested to see the role Braun is going to take next season. If anyone remembers my column on him before the season, I expected him to be the main scorer and the go-to-guy. At times he took that role, but a lot of times he was passive. If Braun can find a killer mentality late in games, this team is going to be scary-good.
4. Amy Anderson
She’s the most successful individual athlete in NDSU history right now, and she still has one season left. I’ve said it more than once; she is going to go down as the most storied individual athlete in NDSU history. Watching the NCAA talk about how good she is seems to be a pretty good indicator.
3. Women’s basketball
In the past year or so, there has been a lot of speculation and shakeup within the program. Two assistants have resigned, a player has quit and the coach has been called out more than once. If things don’t go in the right direction after next season, I would be surprised if there aren’t some changes at the helm of the program.
2. Men’s basketball
Saul Phillips said it in Sioux Falls. He looked at TrayVonn Wright and Taylor Braun and said that in the next two years his team would be in the NCAA Tournament. The pieces are in place right now, and by adding a couple freshmen that will contribute, this team should be solid.
1. Can the Bison repeat as national champions?
Obviously this is atop my list. If the linebackers and defensive backs can produce anything remotely close to the defensive pressure the team had last year, I guarantee they’re going to make a pretty far run again. Fargo may have to start building snowbird houses in Frisco, T.X. I’m OK with that.