Men’s basketball: Bulldogs picked to finish fourth in NSIC North Division

Sophomore guard Blair cited as Bulldogs’ “Player to Watch.”

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Minnesota Duluth's Drew Blair (22) shoots a layup against Stonehill Saturday at Romano Gym. (Tyler Schank /

The Minnesota Duluth men’s basketball team was picked to finish tied for fourth with St. Cloud State in the NSIC North Division, according to the preseason coaches’ poll released Thursday.

Northern State was the unanimous choice to win the North, garnering 49 points and seven first-place votes, followed by Minnesota State-Moorhead (43 points) and Bemidji State (35). UMD and St. Cloud State were next with 28 points apiece, followed by Mary (16), Minot State (14) and Minnesota-Crookston (11).

Augustana was the top choice in the South Division with four first-place votes and 46 points, followed by Sioux Falls (41), Winona State (36), Minnesota State-Mankato (31), Upper Iowa (30), Concordia-St. Paul (15), Southwest Minnesota State (14) and Wayne State (11).

UMD is coming off a 22-9 season and 15-7 mark in the NSIC but graduated 67 percent of the scoring from that team, including all-time leading scorer Brandon Myer of Superior and Alex Illikainen of Grand Rapids.

Sophomore guard Drew Blair (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) was listed as the Bulldogs’ “Player to Watch” after a freshman season in which he was second on the team in scoring at 15.9 points per game while connecting on 58 of 146 shots from 3-point range, good for 39.7 percent.


UMD opens the season Jan. 2-3 at home against Winona State.

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