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Texas Hoops vs North Dakota State Preview

The Bison return two starters from last season's strong team.

Lawrence Alexander leads the Bison attack.
Lawrence Alexander leads the Bison attack.
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Spor

The Longhorns and Bison tip off at 7:30 pm CT on the Longhorn Network.

North Dakota State had an outstanding season last year. The Bison went 26-7, notching a road victory against Notre Dame, before claiming both the regular season and tournament championships in the Summit League. Then NDSU put an exclamation mark on the year by defeating the Oklahoma Sooners in the round of 64 of the NCAA tournament.

This season, NDSU breaks in a new head coach after Saul Phillips moved on during the off-season. But don't expect a change in style, as first year head coach David Richman has been a part of the staff in Fargo since 2003, first serving under current Nebraska coach Tim Miles before Phillips was promoted in 2007.

This means that we can likely expect more of the same from the Bison. They will aim to limit dribble penetration with their gap-protecting defense, while striving to control the defensive glass. They will run their offense methodically, taking care of the basketball while they work to find good shots.

Last season's senior-heavy team is gone. But Richman does bring back two starters. The most important one is 6-3 senior guard Lawrence Alexander, who dropped 28 points in the win over the Sooners, and is a real threat from the three point line. He will also carry some of the playmaking duties, although the ball moves around a lot in the Bison offense.

6-4 junior Kory Brown is the other returning starter for the Bison. Brown is a wing who last season did much of his damage working off the ball on cuts, as well as crashing the glass for second chance points. He is not much of a shooter.

If Richman runs out the same starting lineup as he did during last week's exhibition against Minot State, we can expect to see 6-6 redshirt freshman  A.J. Jacobson, 6-3 sophomore Carlin Dupree, and 6-8 junior Chris Kading rounding out the starting five. Jacobson was the biggest factor in the offense among these three during the exhibition game, scoring 14 points in the game.

Several other players to watch out for include 6-4 freshman guard Paul Miller, who came off the bench last week to score 19 points, and 6-6 240 lb sophomore  Dexter Werner, who scored 12 points in 19 minutes.

If it is not already obvious, the Bison are not the team that they were last season. This is likely a rebuilding year in Fargo. NDSU will probably go about seven deep, and only two of those seven have significant D-I experience. But they are a team that are likely to play the same disciplined offense and defense that has served them so well over the last few seasons, meaning that they cannot be taken for granted.