I have a story addressing this issue going in Thursday’s newspaper, but one of the factors that has helped the Bison men to a 13-7 record despite not having a very deep roster is an adjustment in how head coach Dave Richman is handling the practice schedule. He’s not beating them up.
Guard Lawrence Alexander is fourth in the country in minutes played at 38.3 a game, which means it takes you longer to go get a soda at Scheels Arena than it does for Alexander to sit on the bench. What Richman has done to help that situation is get more out of his team in less time in the gym — there is no sense in making guys go up and down the floor for three hours. “We’ve tweaked some things in how we practice,” he said.
Asked if he’s concerned Alexander could wear out, Richman said, “Yeah, there’s always that concern but we’ve tried to alleviate some of that concern but what he does or doesn’t do in practice. Because on game nights, we’re going to ride or die a little bit with him.”
Alexander, by the way, passed Ben Woodside for the NDSU career record in minutes played. That seems crazy to me since Woodside was one of those guys that never came out of the game. You never wanted him out of the game. Still the career leader in points, Woodside is still the best point guard in Bison history. But question is this: at this rate, if Woodside is 1A, is Alexander 1B? He did lead the team, after all, to a rare NCAA tournament win for a Summit League team. Alexander wasn’t the scorer that Woodside was his first three seasons, although he’s showing what he can do this year when he’s leading a team that needs him to score. He leads the Summit in scoring average at 18.1 a night and 3-point field goals made per game (2.9).