men's bball

NDSU, Me and Carlin Dupree

men's bball

I imagine a scene where Carlin Dupree left his game day attire folded up in front of his locker, just standing looking at it with tears welling. But it was his decision to walk away from the North Dakota State men’s basketball team on Jan. 12.

The Bison played four games without the junior guard on its squad. In those four games, NDSU went 3-1 with wins over University of South Dakota, South Dakota State and University of Western Illinois.

And I’m not worried that with Dupree returning will throw a wrench in everything, but I do think Bison men’s basketball head coach Dave Richman is setting a bad example by taking him back into the program.

A player can’t decide to quit, and decide a week later or so he wants to jump back on the Bison train.

My dad always told me you can’t start something without finishing it. Quitting shows weakness.

And maybe there was something else going on off the court that Dupree had to deal with, but if there was the team was what he needed most, and he should’ve never left in the first place.

But if he was unhappy with his role because what makes him think he is going to play now after what just happened in the last few weeks?

Khy Kabellis who took over at the starting point guard position has been excelling especially as a true freshman, averaging just under 10 points a game in his last seven starts.

But Richman swears that Dupree “stressed to (him) that wasn’t important at the time it was being part of this group.”

Well, Dupree was part of the Internet as well.

This whole leaving, coming back situation, was trending on ESPN last week.

If you went to ESPN’s website, displayed on the top-right side of the page is about 10 links that are trending, and yes, one of them was the Dupree situation.


Because these types of situations don’t happen often … if at all ever.

“I don’t know if I’ve been through anything quite like this as a head coach in my career,” Richman said.

Usually when a student-athlete leaves, they leave.

But there’s always one exception for a rule.

“I think it was really a spontaneous decision, not a well informed decision on his part,” Richman said. “It was as quickly as Thursday night where he had had second thoughts, but I didn’t want it to become a distraction to our group.”

Dupree, who was averaging 7.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game in 17 games this season explained that when he took a few days off after leaving the team that he felt “lonely” and “missed my brothers.”

He knew he had to dial Richman’s number, and a 15-minute phone conversation that took less than two weeks ago was explained as, “Heart to heart, just man to man, a lot of the conversation was father like son like talks.”

Richman said Dupree talked for “12 or 13 minutes.”

That’s all Dupree had to do? Call his former head coach at the time and explain to him what a terrible decision he’s made, please take me back.

And last Monday, the team announced Dupree rejoined the basketball team.

Rejoined is such an odd word.

But it happened.

However, there will be consequences.

“(We) determined definite suspension or work in progress, however you want to phrase it that’s where we are at right now,” Richman said. “Is it two games, is it two weeks, is it the rest of the semester? I don’t have a great answer for you, but it’s going to be what’s best for this culture.”

What’s best for Dupree is being part of this Bison culture, but I’m not 100 percent sure that what’s best for the NDSU men’s basketball team is to take Dupree back.

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