Dave Richman knew the post-game question was coming as sure as his daughters know Christmas isn’t that far away. What are your thoughts on the redshirt status of your true freshmen? The opening exhibition game for the NDSU men’s basketball team has turned into another sort of annual event: The True Frosh Tryout.
Since it’s an exhibition, freshmen can play and not risk losing their redshirt status. So if you’re Jordan Meidinger, the 7-foot center from Dickinson, you have better enjoyed the seven minutes you played because the rest of your season will be spent in the weight room, being best friends with the newly-hired staff nutritionist and work your tail off on the practice floor. That’s the life of an aspiring Division I basketball player who needs to gain strength. Same goes for Jake Mertens, the walkon guard from Devils Lake who hit his only shot attempt of the night: a 3-pointer. Enjoy that trey, young man.
The other two gave Richman something to think about, if he hasn’t made up his mind already. Tyree Eady is a 6-5, 205-pound guard who already looks phyiscally ready for the Summit League. Eady had 16 points, hitting a couple 3-pointers and showing a will to drive to the lane. Granted, it came against Concordia College but the basics look to be there for Eady to play right away. I got the feeling after the game that he wants to play, also. There may also be a need. Paul Miller and Jared Samuelson are the starting guards with Cameron Hunter showing some spark to be the backup at point. After that, it’s either JC transfers Chris Quayle or Nnamdi Van Dulm to come off the bench and neither of those two made an immediate impression (note to self, I have not seen one practice, that’s another matter). If Eady can play defense against the bigger guards in D1, than he may be the ticket. It’s also possible the Bison could redshirt either Quayle or Van Dulm. And one other point on the Miller-to-point-guard thing: I’m not an immediate fan. Paul is a scorer, not a disher/scorer, and the lineup just felt better with Hunter at the point and Miller at the 2.
The other enticing frosh is 6-9 forward Rocky Kreuser (pronounced Cruiser), who has a name that begs to play right away. He canned his first shot, a 3-pointer with the shot clock running down, and you’re going, the big guy can shoot. Kreuser is listed at 230 pounds, which like Eady should be big enough to play right away. You also look at Kreuser and think he looks like he’s 16 — and what will he be like after a year or two in the weight room? But this is this year, so you have to look at the immediate need. The Bison have Dylan Miller and Deng Geu at the forward spots with A.J. Jacobson a combo guard-forward. Kreuser appears to provide a different kind of matchup assuming he has some low-post moves, so he may also be the ticket.
We will not know who will play right away until the Bison take the floor next Saturday at UC Santa Barbara, but the best guess here is Eady and Kreuser will be part of the pre-game prep.