Bison Roundup

Men’s basketball

North Dakota State will play one neutral site game against Drake in Minneapolis Dec. 1. U.S. Bank Stadium hosts the NCAA Men’s Final Four next April and will run test games this year. The U.S. Bank Stadium Classic will feature the first four basketball games in the stadium’s history. The Bison face the Bulldogs on the second day of the event and will be followed by Summit League rivals South Dakota State playing Northern Iowa right after.

Junior Deng Geu made three appearances for the Ugandan national team during FIBA World Cup qualifiers in Africa in late June and July. Geu averaged a double-double in his three contests against Nigeria, Mali and Rwanda. His average of 11.3 rebounds per game was the highest in the 16-team opening round. Uganda won just one of six games played and were eliminated in the opening round.

Preseason polls

The Bison football team was the unanimous selection to win the Missouri Valley title. The last time NDSU was selected as the unanimous pick was in 2013. The preseason favorite has claimed the Valley crown in 20 of the past 32 seasons. NDSU was picked No. 1 in the STATS FCS poll, as well as the AFAC Coaches Poll.

Both NDSU cross-country teams were selected to be up near the top of the conference standings. The Bison men were picked second behind South Dakota State. NDSU return five of their top seven runners led by senior Elliot Stone. The Bison women were picked third, behind the South Dakota schools. Another five runners return, including Kelby Anderson, who looks to follow up on a sophomore season that ended with a third-place finish at the Summit League Championships.

NDSU finished the women’s soccer regular season in fourth and were picked to finish in the same spot this year. The biggest change for the Bison will be a change of coach as Mike Regan takes over. The Bison seemed to have taken to the transition quickly, as NDSU beat Green Bay 4-1 in the season opener.

Despite an impressive 19-9 mark last season, NDSU was selected sixth in the Summit League Volleyball poll. The Bison finished fourth last season and got knocked down partly due to the addition of North Dakota to the Summit League. The Flying Hawks finished second in the Big Sky regular season last year. Second-year head coach Jennifer Lopez will have to deal with the loss of Mikaela Purnell, who graduated, but will have seven returning players.

Former Bison in the pros

Former closer Kevin Folman became the ninth Bison to get picked up by a major league ball club after getting signed by the Chicago White Sox. Folman sits second on the NDSU saves chart after finishing his career last year with 15. He is currently assigned to the AZL White Sox at the Rookie level.

A pair of former men’s basketball standouts have signed to continue their professional careers. Taylor Braun, the 2014 Summit League Player of the Year, signed to play for Hapoel Be’er Sheva in Israel. Braun spent last year in the NBA G League before making a stop in Italy.

Dexter Werner will leave Lokomotive Bernau in Germany to join the Luxembourg club BBC Arantia Larochette this season. The two-time Summit League Sixth Man of the Year was the German Pro B division’s Newcomer of the Year last season.

As the NFL preseason winds down, undrafted rookies have little time to make a roster. Former Bison linebacker Nick DeLuca was picked up by the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. DeLuca was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Tennessee Titans, but was later cut.

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