Sunday, May 20, 2012

LIVE CHAT: Minnesota State baaseball vs. St. Cloud State

Saturday, May 19, 2012

LIVE CHAT: Minnesota State baseball vs. New Mexico Highlands

Thursday, May 17, 2012

LIVE CHAT: Minnesota State baseball vs. Regis

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

MSU men's basketball gets new look

I understood when Minnesota State men's basketball coach Matt Margenthaler signed Mike Busack of Redwood Valley in the fall.

Busack is an explosive offensive player, long and lean ... the type of player that the Mavericks' head coach usually likes.

Transfer Jayme Moten doesn't fit that bill, but the Mavericks needed a point guard so badly last season that adding Moten, a transfer from Texas-Pan American, makes sense.

The Egyptian center Assem Marei was a no-brainer that fell into Margenthaler's lap. Never turn down a talented big man, and Marei might be the best player on the team next season.

This spring, Margenthaler has added Zach Monaghan (a shooter), Gage Wooten (shooter) and Jarvis Williams (aggressive offensive player at the basket) to his roster. All make sense ... offense-first, filling specific needs for a team that struggled to score last season.

But then the ol' ball coach threw basketball's version of a curveball. This week, he added Waterville-Elysian-Morristown point guard Grant Pope, a defensive-minded player who could probably go the rest of his career without ever taking a shot.

In Margenthaler's 11 seasons as a head coach, he's never recruited a player who's primary strength was defense. Never.

There have been Mavericks who played good defense, and there were others that Margenthaler called good defenders, though that was more to deflect away from their offensive deficiencies.

Pope is the real deal, a non-stop, tough, physical guard whom you need to be aware of every time you have the basketball. He set a state record with more than 500 steals in his career, often coming off his player to double team or sneak up behind the opponent. He's also very good on the ball, as the St. Peter guard found out in the subsection championship game.

He said Monday that he's not an offensive player. Never have been. Never will.

Wow. Never heard that from one of the Mavericks, at least never when I believed it.

Does this signal a change in Margenthaler's recruiting philosophy? Certainly not.

The next player to come to Minnesota State will almost certainly be an athletic, high-flying kid who can either stroke the 3 or dunk with electricity.

But it's nice to see a player get rewarded for stopping an opponent as much as scoring.