College men's basketball preview: UMD learning on the job

Minnesota Duluth freshman guard Logan Rohrscheib came off a screen Saturday afternoon at Romano Gym, took a pass and immediately launched a shot from at least three feet beyond the 3-point line.The shot felt good and Rohrscheib thought he'd sink ...

Minnesota Duluth’s Trevor Entwhistle cuts past Michigan Tech’s Tommy Lucca during UMD’s home opener at Romano Gym Saturday. Bob King /

Minnesota Duluth freshman guard Logan Rohrscheib came off a screen Saturday afternoon at Romano Gym, took a pass and immediately launched a shot from at least three feet beyond the 3-point line.
The shot felt good and Rohrscheib thought he’d sink it, but instead it rimmed out as UMD fell 68-65 to Michigan Tech in the Bulldogs’ home opener before 389 fans.
That is the way the season has gone for UMD (0-4), competitive in every game, but winners of none.
“We’re young, we’re learning, but it’s tough,” Rohrscheib said. “We’re competing every day in practice and it’s not like we’re getting blown out. We just haven’t been able to finish games.”
For UMD, it’s the proverbial throwing things against the wall and seeing what sticks.
Bulldogs coach Matt Bowen used 12 players on Saturday and nine scored. Ten players are averaging at least three points per game and seven are averaging at least 6.5.
“It’s going to be that way all year,” Bowen said. “We have a nice group of really young players, and we’ve got a couple older guys who have earned the right to play. We’re trying to figure out rotations. I think they all understand that they’re going to get an opportunity. If you can be 

eally excited about an 0-and-4 team, well, then, I’m really excited about an 0-and-4 team, because they’re terrific kids. They work hard and are excited to be here. The guys deserve a reward for their effort, but they’re just not quite there yet. They just have to stick with it.”
Rohrscheib led the way with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Kyle Schalow - the Bulldogs’ only returning starter from last season - also had 16.
Rohrscheib has produced 35 points in his first two collegiate starts after scoring 19 in a 71-65 loss at Northern Michigan on Tuesday.
“I’m just getting more and more comfortable, getting into the flow of things and adjusting to college, just the physical aspect of it,” said Rohrscheib, of Eau Claire (Wis.) Regis.
UMD’s roster features seven freshmen and five sophomores.
Unlike football, where redshirting is the norm for freshmen, basketball players go right from high school to the rigors of the college game, with the longer season, more time demands and travel.
It was suggested to Rohrscheib that, “you’re not playing Altoona anymore.”
Just then, guard Max Bawden of Altoona poked his head out of the UMD locker room, taking umbrage at the disparagement of Altoona, but you get the idea. They’re not in high school anymore.
“It’s a huge transition,” Bowen said. “High school basketball in Wisconsin just started last week, and we’ve been going at this for months. It’s an adjustment for all of them, so we’ve been kind of piecing them in. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had a different starting lineup every night.”
Sophomore forward Kyle Monroe, the reigning freshman of the year in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, had 19 points and 12 rebounds to lead Michigan Tech (2-3). It was Monroe’s first game back since spraining an ankle in the first three minutes of the Huskies’ season opener against Lewis University two weeks ago.
“The teams were a combined 1-6 coming in, but you’re going to battle, if you’ve got any heart, and I thought both teams battled,” Michigan Tech coach Kevin Luke said. “Both teams are going through the process right now, and to be honest, neither one has gotten through it yet. They’re young and trying to find themselves. We’re older than Duluth, but our older players didn’t play like it this game.”
UMD never trailed through the first 10 minutes before the Huskies came back to tie it 29-29 at the half as the Bulldogs scored 72 percent of their points from 3-point range (21 points on 7-for-13 shooting).
Michigan Tech controlled most of the second half and led by as many as 10 points with 6:18 remaining before UMD rallied. The Bulldogs pulled within a point, but never could tie it, or win it, just like their season.
UMD opens NSIC play against Bemidji State at 8 p.m. Friday at Romano.
“We knew we were going to be young, and we knew there would be challenges, but we just have to stick with it,” Rohrscheib said. “You can’t beat your head over it, because next week we start conference play, and that’s when the games really count.”

Michigan Tech - Tommy Lucca 4-9 3-4 13, Bryan Heath 4-11 2-2 13, A.J. Grazulis 5-9 3-4 13, Jordan Chartier 3-7 0-0 8, Jeff Gregory 0-1 0-0 0, Kyle Monroe 8-19 1-2 19, Jason Hawke 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 24-56 11-14 68.
Minnesota Duluth - Kyle Schalow 5-8 2-3 16, Logan Rorhscheib 5-13 3-4 16, Trevor Entwisle 2-9 0-0 5, Charles Benson 1-3 0-0 2, Brandon Myer 1-4 0-0 2, Luke Harris 3-6 3-5 11, Sean Burns 5-9 0-1 10, Cody Tomlinson 1-3 0-1 2, Trenton Krueger 0-1 1-2 1, Josh Washburn 0-1 0-0 0, Jake Wilson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-59 9-16 65.
Halftime - Michigan Tech 29, UMD 29. 3-piont goals - Michigan Tech 9-25 ( Lucca 2-5, Heath 3-8, Chartier 2-6, Gregory 0-1, Monroe 2-5), UMD 10-21 (Schalow 4-6, Rohrscheib 3-6, Entwisle 1-2, Myer 0-1, Harris 2-4, Tomlinson 0-1, Wilson 0-1). Rebounds - Michigan Tech 40 (Monroe 12), UMD 35 (Rohrscheib 7). Assists - Michigan Tech 16 (Gregory 7), UMD 9 (Entwisle). Turnovers - 11 (Heath, Chartier 3), UMD 8 (Schalow, Tomlinson 2). Fouls - Michigan Tech 13, UMD 14. Fouled out - None. Attendance - 389.

St. Scholastica dropped its home opener 80-64 to Concordia-Moorhead on Saturday, but should be strong once conference play begins. The Saints (1-3) open against North Central at 7:30 p.m. Friday in St. Bonifacius, Minn.
St. Scholastica showed its potential by playing close with defending NCAA Division III national champion St. Thomas on Wednesday in St. Paul, trailing just 37-34 at the break.
The roster isn’t short on local names, with sophomore guard Brandon Newman of Barnum leading the team in scoring at 15.5 points per game, followed by Cloquet’s Nate Weets (12.5 ppg) and Esko’s Kory Deadrick (10.0).
The Saints are aggressive, shooting 38 more free throws than their opponents, but they will look to tighten up the defense as they go into conference play.
Wisconsin-Superior opens UMAC play against Northwestern at 7:30 p.m. Friday in St. Paul.
The Yellowjackets (1-3) lost nearly 40 points and 16 rebounds per game with the loss of Zach Schradle and Brian Lindblom. Schradle, the reigning UMAC player of the year, transferred to Wisconsin-La Crosse.
UWS returns five players from last year. The Yellowjackets are young but more athletic than they’ve been. Montroy Scott, Rafael Monteiro, Christian Sellers and a pair of Duluth products, Shaq Coleman and Marques Jones Jr., are among the top players. Monteiro is averaging team highs of 19.5 points and 6.5 rebounds.

Jon Nowacki joined the News Tribune in August 1998 as a sports reporter. He grew up in Stephen, Minnesota, in the northwest corner of the state, where he was actively involved in school and sports and was a proud member of the Tigers’ 1992 state championship nine-man football team.

After graduating in 1993, Nowacki majored in print journalism at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, serving as editor of the college paper, “The Aquin,” and graduating with honors in December 1997. He worked with the Associated Press during the “tobacco trial” of 1998, leading to the industry’s historic $206 billion settlement, before moving to Duluth.

Nowacki started as a prep reporter for the News Tribune before moving onto the college ranks, with an emphasis on Minnesota Duluth football, including coverage of the Bulldogs’ NCAA Division II championships in 2008 and 2010.

Nowacki continues to focus on college sports while filling in as a backup on preps, especially at tournament time. He covers the Duluth Huskies baseball team and auto racing in the summer. When time allows, he also writes an offbeat and lighthearted food column entitled “The Taco Stand,” a reference to the “Taco Jon” nickname given to him by his older brother when he was a teenager that stuck with him through college. He has a teenage daughter, Emma.

Nowacki can be reached at or (218) 380-7027. Follow him on Twitter @TacoJon1.
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