MSUM Men’s Basketball Ready for Challenge of NCAA Regional

Play defending champs, Northwest Missouri State, in Sioux Falls Saturday

MOORHEAD, Minn — “We’re more together as a group right now, we’ve had a lot of adversity throughout the year so you know with that adversity we used it to help fuel 8 games to win a conference championship now we just gonna keep that momentum going and try to win the regional.”

The MSUM dragons came into the season as the NSIC preseason favorites.. Their season did not go as expected however as the team battled through cancellations, a three-game losing streak and finding an identity.

“Our strength right now was kind of our Achilles heel at the beginning of the year,” guard Bryce Irsfeld said. “We were having some trouble figuring out our rotations just because we have so many guys that can play and I think we’ve done that now, we’ve figured out our rotation.”

“We’ve got real killers on the bench we got Trev Kaiser, Jacob Beeninga, we got Dane Zimmer whos really an all conference all starter, all conference guy last year, we got big time guys like that coming off the bench they all starters for most teams in the country and they coming off the bench for us just playing like starters you know really,” guard Lorenzo McGhee said. “We’re one of the deeper teams in the country and we hit our stride at the right time.”

Over the Dragon’s eight-game win streak their bench has outscored opponents 314-86. Fueling their run for their first NSIC tournament championship despite coming in as underdogs.

“Even though the rankings and stuff don’t show that right now, we definitely know we’re one of the best teams in the conference and we showed that by winning the conference championship, we didn’t see any of those teams as better than us we didn’t think we were underdogs going into the tournament we went to the tournament to win just like we’re going into the regional to win,” McGhee said.

“We’re playing with a lot of confidence right now, like I said we have ten, 11 guys that are looking to do whatever they can to help the team and when everyone has that mindset you never know what’s going to happen, Irsfeld said.

What happens next is the NCAA regional tournament where the Dragons will face the 10th ranked defending national champions, Northwest Missouri State.

“We just have to play team defense how we been playing and execute a game plan,” McGhee said. “They got some real good players we have to stop but they only play like 6 or 7 guys we got a real good game plan we just play execute it,

“Keys is just defense and rebound, take care of the ball, make sure we can get the same amount of possessions or even more possessions and then win that free throw game,” Irsfeld said.

Tip is at noon Saturday from the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls.

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