The Media’s Perspective

The Media’s Perspective

Postby PointGuard » Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:16 pm

Bison Blog

BISON CONTINUE SEARCH FOR HEAD COACH

The on-going effort by North Dakota State to hire a new men’s basketball head coach is continuing painfully. Although AD Steve Monroe has interviewed at least 6 coaches, the university has yet to have any show enough interest to take on the job.

The Bison used to have strong basketball teams and Scheels Arena used to fill for basketball games. But the emergence of FOOTBALL as KING at North Dakota State has resulted in a stead downward slide of the basketball program. The Arena now is like a morgue for most games. Their recent dismal records forced Monroe to fire head coach Sandy Roderick in early April. Now with summer fast approaching the Bison remain coach-less.

While Monroe would not admit it, the ascendancy of FOOTBALL accompanied by the plunge of basketball at the university probably explains the reluctance of basketball coaches to take over the reins at North Dakota State. There have been no improvements to the basketball facilities in years, money has been siphoned off the basketball budget to further accommodate the avaricious appetite of FOOTBALL, and its been virtually impossible to recruit high school basketball players from outside of North Dakota. Why would any decent coach want to take on such a challenge?
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Re: The Media’s Perspective

Postby Wayne23 » Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:39 pm

WAIT! You're a major character in MY dynasty. Don't leave me!!!
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Re: The Media’s Perspective

Postby PointGuard » Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:50 pm

Wayne23 wrote:WAIT! You're a major character in MY dynasty. Don't leave me!!!


I may not have a friend, but I CAN wear two hats. :p
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Fargo Forum

Postby PointGuard » Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:11 pm

[Front page of Sports Section]

SPRING FOOTBALL PRACTICE AT ND STATE:

The Bison football team’s spring practices have shown that the team again will be a powerhouse this upcoming season. Predictions are that the Bison will rack up yet another Division 1 (FCS) national title. This would add to their 5 consecutive national championships the past 5 seasons. During that time the team has run off 33 consecutive wins (2012-2014), been atop the FCS Coaches Poll as #1 for 30 straight weeks (2012-2014), captured 22 consecutive road wins (2012-2014) and 26 consecutive home wins (2012-2015), and totally dominated the Missouri Valley Conference. They sport an impressive 81-6 record the past six years. Prior to this recent supremacy, the Bison won 8 Division II national championships (between 1965 and 1990). During the past 51 years, they’ve had 48 winning season. Since they began play in the FargoDome, where sellouts for every game, they’ve never lost a playoff game (16-0).

[The entire rest of the front page and most of pages 2 and 3 cover the upcoming year’s squad.]

[In the lower left corner of Page 3 in the Sports Section]:

NORTH DAKOTA STATE HIRES BASKETBALL COACH

Yesterday, North Dakota State announced the hiring of Tad Bolton as head coach of the Bison men’s basketball team. The 41-year old Bolton grew up in Cincinnati and played college basketball at Ohio Valley College in Vienna, West Virginia. His coaching career began at a series of junior colleges. Most recently he was head coach at Cumberlands (KY) College where he took his team to the quarterfinals of the NAIA Division I national basketball tournament this year.
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“Unofficial NorDakStater”—a blog by Ron Slocum

Postby PointGuard » Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:19 pm

Well, it seems that North Dakota State finally found a coach willing to take over its lowly basketball program. And the coach they hired comes with no fanfare and little history.

But the Unofficial NDS’er did his own research.

It turns out that Tad Bolton has been coaching for a while. He was successful as a JC coach at a couple different junior colleges where his teams kicked butt and then created a good team at Cumberlands College in Kentucky. That NAIA Division I team became a solid team under his stewardship.

How’d he do it? Well this guy is no X’s & O’s guru. But he does know how to recruit. He went after players other teams passed by. Players with poor academic records (some of whom could barely spell “cat”}, players with attitude problems, players with checkered pasts. Those players may not have been Joe College types but they could play ball. Sources close to the Cumberlands program say that Bolton’s laid back style with low discipline, low academic standards (hey, a C will do), and why-me-worry approach to integrity fit in well with the players he brought in to play basketball. Then he just let ‘em play and play they did. He also gave them a free rein while at school, believing that what they do on their own time is their business...as long as they produce on the court. Bolton believes college is a time for players to grow up and become independent, so he doesn’t babysit them. While a few players didn’t make it academically and a few players were lost due to a variety of infractions, he could always come up with enough strong recruits to put a good team onto the court.
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KFGO Radio Sports: Tyler Baines Bison Sports Talk

Postby PointGuard » Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:05 pm

Hey, we’ve been talking about Bison Football this entire show, but maybe there’s someone out there is KFGO sports land that wants to hear something about North Dakota State’s basketball program. Well, finally there is some news. The university hired a new head basketball coach yesterday. His names, uhhh, let’s see....Thad Bolton. Oh check that...it’s Tad Bolton. This guy has never coached a Division I team. But I guess he felt taking on the Bison challenge as a step to bigger and better things. Really the only thing known about this guy so far is that he’s had some success on the junior college and NAIA front and that he played college ball for some small Division II college. There may be a big learning curve for this guy when it comes to Division I competition.

But, now let’s get back to talking Bison football. I’ve got some juicy news about the quarterback controversy that is brewing.....
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Marty Styles, sports reporter for the Fargo Forum

Postby PointGuard » Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:43 pm

They call this a press conference? I’m the only legit member of the press here. The student newspaper sent a kid over, but he’s busy texting or playing a game on his phone.

Anyway, Steve Monroe gets up and introduces the new coach, Tad Bolton. Steve says how he expects Tad to breathe new life into the basketball program. Yada-yada-yada.

Then Bolton gets up and says how pleased he is to be in Fargo. Sure, if you like -35 degrees. He’s not much of a public speaker. Gives a bit of mumbo jumbo about how he s excited to get to work with the players and staff here and something about how he’s gonna be beating the bushes for untapped talent. I actually roll my eyes at that one.

I ask him what his primary offensive and defensive strategies will be. He just talks around that one, finally saying that he needs to evaluate the team first to see what will work best. Well, duhhhhh!

Ya gotta wonder about a guy who would take the meager salary that this college is willing to pay to a coach of what has become almost a minor sport here.

I give him 2 years and he’ll be outta here. And probably not because of the fantastic success he brought about that would allow him to move up to a better program.

This whole thing takes about 5 minutes, 10 minutes top. Damn, how am I going to write a story for the paper about this? The college newspaper kid never stopped looking at his phone the entire time. Some story he’ll write! But sometimes fiction beats the hell out of reality.
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KFGO Radio Interview with Rory Rockwell

Postby PointGuard » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:04 pm

RR: Today we have Tad Bolton, the new basketball coach at North Dakota State joining us. Hey, Coach, nice to have you with us today. I’m sure Bison fans would like to get to know you better. Tell us a little about yourself, please.

TB: I was born in Cincinnati 41 years ago. My father had a city job, running a machine painting lines on the streets of the city. My mother worked on and off, mostly in secretarial roles. I attended public schools in the city and played basketball on our high school team. I also had to work while in high school to help the family. While I wasn’t the star of our high school team, I was able to get a partial scholarship to play basketball at Ohio Valley College in Vienna, West Virginia. After graduating I married my high school sweetheart. Kaylie and I have now been married 18 years and have 2 great kids. Bobby is 15 and Lizzie is 12. A couple years after graduating I was able to get a coaching job at a Cincinnati junior college and jumped around to 3 other JC’s in the next 10 years. We kicked some butt in the JC world. I then went on to Cumberlands College in Kentucky where I coached until coming here. After a rough first year, the team gelled and we made some noise in the NAIA Division I playoffs or a few years.

RR: Thanks Coach. So how did you mold your teams into winners?

TB: Well, I’m not going to profess to being an X and O wizard. I’m more of a coach who works the guys hard in practice and then let ‘em play and put into action what they’ve worked on in practice. But to be a successful coach, you ultimately need good players. So recruiting is key. And you’d be surprised by how many good players are out there who just haven’t had the opportunity to show it at the college level. It could be they have academic deficiencies, or that they got a bad rep due past inability to get along with teammates, or got into scrapes with the law. So that means that most colleges don’t even give them a second look. But I believe that everyone deserves a second chance. So what if they made a mistake or two in the past. So by spreading a wide net and then focusing on recruits (or transfer players) who can fill key roles on the team, you can make some quick strides at improving a team.

RR: But doesn’t that also create situations where there can be poor team chemistry or players who fail on their second chance?

TB: No doubt it does. But winning is a big factor in improving team chemistry. And yes, sometimes a player may have continuing problems. I don’t care if a player becomes a Rhodes scholar but they need to study enough to at least get C’s.

RR: Don’t you have to maintain a taut ship so to speak with a bunch of players who have had past problems?

TB: Not really. I believe in giving players pretty much a free rein while in college. What they do on their own time, as long as it’s legal, is their business. But they better produce on the court. College is a time for players (and students in general) to grow up and become independent, not have to be baby sat.

RR: Are you going to focus mainly on bringing in high school players?

TB: It’s nice to get high school recruits because you then get to work with them for 4 years. But JC players and transfers are a good way to bring in a few players with experience and quite frankly, players who are typically overlooked by many Division I programs.

RR: That’s probably a good idea since there aren’t all that many high school players in North Dakota as most other states. Are there any limitations when it comes to recruiting?

TB: Our budget is a definite limitation meaning we will not be able to spend a lot of money on national or regional reports or travel to summer camps. That just puts a bigger emphasis on aggressive use of the phone and looking at game film. Also one thing I can’t do here is run a crooked recruiting program, not that I would ever want to do that of course. The powers that be are dead set against that since NCAA penalties might also in some way impact their football program. And I definitely hear them loud and clear...no cheating in recruiting. But that’s no problem really. There are enough good recruits and transfer players out there anyway...plus even if we were so inclined, we don’t have a big enough budget to offer bribes that would truly induce strong recruits.

RR: What about your assistant coaches?

TB: That’s something I’m looking over now. I’m in the process of talking with the assistants that were here last year to see what they bring to the table and how things will mesh out. The budget means that assistants aren’t going to be making a ton of money, but I think we can get some good ones who will come to North Dakota State to learn how to win.

RR: How does the team look for the upcoming season?

TB: Obviously it is far too early to be able to answer that question. But I’ve been watching a lot of game film and while we may not be exceptionally deep, I think there are some players who will surprise people. There’s a few who didn’t get a lot of playing time last season, but when they were on the court, they exhibited some good qualities and talent that can be developed further. But now isn’t the time to talk about specific players. I’ve already told the entire team that all starting positions are up for grabs. So they all need to work on their skills this summer and may the best man win.

RR: OK Coach! Thanks for visiting with us today and good luck with the Bison!

TB: Just one final word to your listeners...come out to Scheels Arena and watch how this team develops. We need your support.
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Bison Blog

Postby PointGuard » Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:52 pm

It didn’t take long for Coach Tad Bolton to put his initial stamp on the Bison men’s basketball program. Earlier this week all three assistant coaches were released. Then yesterday, the athletic department announced the hiring of Jason Jones as 1st Assistant, Steven Bland as 2nd Assistant, and Michael Lampley as 3rd assistant.

Jones’ forte is player development and obviously he will be Bolton’s primary bench coach. He is 49 years old and most recently was the 2nd assistant at Wyoming. His family is mostly in North Dakota, so that likely was a factor that weighed in for him to come to Fargo.

Bland, age 60, has been an assistant coach at the college level throughout the upper Midwest for many years where he developed overall skills in all facets of the game. Indications are that he will be the team's scout.

Lampley is 53 years of age. After coaching high school sports for many years in North Dakota, he handled recruiting and scouting chores at Bismarck State College the past 3 years. It appears he will be handling recruiting duties under Coach Bolton.
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Dynasty Background

Postby PointGuard » Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:52 pm

Coach Tad Bolton: 41 yr old, Ambition high, Low integrity, low discipline, low academics, Temper low, Ratings-30 across the board (want to see how head coach ratings improve yearly in CB2016 so starting with equal ratings makes that easier).

North Dakota State Bison: Team Prestige: 10, Conference Prestige: 17, Facilities: D, Academics: C+, Minimum SAT Score: 900, Starting Budget: $129,000.

Assistant Coaches:

Fired: Nashon Porter, Stephen Hill and Jermaine Sullivan

Hired:

1st asst; Jason Jones, Age 49, Primary strength: Player Development (Reputation: low, Ambition: avg, Academics: very high, Discipline: very high, Temper: high)

2nd asst: Steven Bland, Age 60, Primary strength: Recruiting (Reputation: low, Ambition: low, Academics: low, Discipline: very high, Temper: avg)

3rd asst: Michael Lampley, Age 51, Primary strength: Scouting (Reputation: low, Ambition: avg, Academics: very low, Discipline: avg, Temper: avg)
Strategies:

Offense: Scrapping the high post that had been employed by the previous regime. Primary offensive sets will be the Princeton and Flex with occasional use of the Shuffle. This will mean a steep learning curve since while the Princeton is known by the players, the Flex is not.

Defense: Man-to-man will continue to be the primary defense. While I’d planned to use the 1-3-1 zone as our secondary defense, since the players have been schooled in the 1-2-2 and since we are bringing in the Flex offense as a completely new offensive strategy, we will stick with the 1-2-2 to not have two completely new strategies that the players must learn.

Pressure Defense: Will continue to use full court man-to-man.
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