It’s probably not the preferred method of recruiting in men’s basketball, but the Bison have scored big with signing guys late in the recruiting period over the years. Former stars Taylor Braun, Lawrence Alexander and Kory Brown all committed long after the early-signing period, with all having varying differences as to why they waited. In Braun’s case, he was hoping for a Division I offer from a major conference. Alexander was safely tucked away at a prep school near Milwaukee where he wasn’t even a point guard, and thus not very heavily recruited. Anyway, credit the Bison coaches for figuring these kids out.
The latest “late” signing is already showing signs of some big-time potential in freshman guard Tyson Ward. Head coach Dave Richman and assistant Jayden Olson went on a home visit in Tampa, Fla., after NDSU played at Denver in the final regular season game at Denver. They liked what they saw and it wasn’t long before Ward committed.
His stats won’t knock you out right now averaging 5.4 points and 2.7 rebounds, shooting 41 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range. He has 16 assists and 18 turnovers, not a very good assist-to-turnover ratio. But his upside is tremendous with his length at 6-foot-6 and general athletic ability. He had a rebound slam dunk against IUPUI last Thursday. And I just like the way the kid plays; he seems fearless for being a true freshman and I would argue he made one of the biggest shots in a come-from-behind win against UC Davis. If NDSU is going to make a run at another Summit title, it will need guys like Ward to continue to develop.
“Tyson is a very talented individual, he looks like a basketball player, long, smooth, lefty,” said head coach Dave Richman. “The percentages don’t show it but he’s shot it at a high level. We saw some explosiveness with the tipped dunk. He has a world of potential. The biggest thing for him is keeping his attitude. He’s his hardest critic and Tyson has made big strides with that after Christmas.”