High-Powered BSU Men’s Basketball Ready to Make the Jump
The Bemidji State men’s basketball team has started the season off hot – red hot. In their two non-conference games to open the season, they’ve averaged over 120 points per game, and have already set the school record for points in a game with 127. As conference play begins, the Beavers are out to prove that this strong start is no fluke.
When you start to look at how the Beavers offense has put up points at a record clip, you don’t have to look far – transfer junior Nick Wagner has torched teams for over 30 points per game, shooting 56 percent on 25 3-pointers this season.
“They’ve always had trust in me,” says Wagner. “They knew that I could shoot and they do a really good job finding me when I’m open and setting good screens.”
He’s formed a powerful shooting tandem with Jacob Hoffman, who says he’s never played with someone who can match him shot for shot, and Wagner has amazed his teammates with his scoring ability.
“I mean he’s just a great offensive talent. He can do it all pretty much,” says junior Derek Thompson. “I find myself like, ‘wow’, just looking at some of the stuff he does, makes a move or something.”
The Beavers fit well together, with players saying they each have a more defined role this year than in the past, and so far they’re excelling.
“I think we’ve got some pretty strong inside play. I think we’ve got some guards that are able to read defenses well and make plays for their teammates,” says head coach Mike Boschee. “You add all that together and it’s a pretty good offensive system.”
While offensive numbers are nice, defense is the big priority in practice and the way to earn playing time on this team.
“I think the standard is so much higher where if you don’t play defense you’re not going to play,” says Hoffman. “I think a lot of people on our team are realizing that whole aspect that defense is going to be the first thing that we’re going to focus on as a team.”
For the first time in a while, youth isn’t an excuse for the Beavers, and they’re excited to see where this squad can go.
“It’s early in the year, we’ve got a lot of growth to do, a lot of hills to climb, and hopefully we’re ready for that challenge,” says Boschee.