Minnesota State Moorhead men’s basketball coach Chad Walthall said he wants to ease senior forward Dennis Williamson back into the lineup.
Williamson is recovering from a foot injury and had his walking boot removed this week.
“He’s just starting to do some conditioning and light shooting,” Walthall said. “It’s going to take a week for him to get back into the flow with his foot.”
Walthall said it will likely take at least a couple weeks until Williamson is ready for game action.
“We’re just trying to be conservative because we are going to need him to be healthy,” Walthall said. “You’d expect him to be in a three-man rotation with (6-foot-10) Jake Lindfors and (6-9) Alex Novak.”
The 6-6 Williamson started 25 games last season and averaged 10.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
“Dennis is our best low-block post offensive player,” Walthall said. “He is very skilled down there and has a great jump hook.”
The Dragons (1-0) host Mayville State at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse. MSUM hosts in-town rival Concordia at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The Dragons start Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play on Dec. 2 when they host Bemidji State.
Minnesota State Moorhead head men’s basketball coach Chad Walthall plans to redshirt all three freshmen big men this season – 6-foot-8 Trevor Jorgenson, 6-8 Ben Figini and 6-10 Isaac Sevlie. None of the three saw playing time in the Dragons two exhibition games this week.
“At this point, I’m going to redshirt all three,” Walthall said. “I think we are better served saving their eligibility. I’m really pleased with all three of them. I think all three have a chance to be really good for us. … We’re in a situation where we have a number of ‘bigs’ who are juniors and seniors.”
Alex Novak, a 6-9 junior, Jake Lindfors, a 6-10 junior, started both exhibition games with 6-11 senior Jimmy Johnson coming off the bench. Dennis Williamson, a 6-6 senior, hasn’t played yet due to a foot injury. Walthall is hoping Williamson will be ready for game action by the end of November.
“He is certainly a post presence who can give us some scoring,” Walthall said of Williamson, who averaged 10.5 points per game last season.
MSUM split its two exhibition games. The Dragons earned a 90-84 overtime victory at North Dakota State on Tuesday. South Dakota State earned a 77-64 home victory against the Dragons on Thursday. Walthall liked the resilience his team showed playing against two NCAA Division I opponents.
“When things got a little bit hairy and we had to face some adversity, I think we responded well in those situations,” Walthall.
Dragons junior Jake Lindfors, left, tries to get around NDSU forward Eric Carlson
Minnesota State Moorhead earned a 90-84 overtime victory against North Dakota State in men’s basketball Tuesday night at the Bison Sports Arena. While it was an exhibition game, here are some things that we learned about the Dragons.
Nice newcomers: Junior transfers Jake Lindfors and Scott Kenny look like they are going to be key contributors this season. A 6-foot-10 forward, Lindfors showed he can score inside and out. Lindfors, a transfer from Division I Albany, has 3-point range and the Dragons went to him in the post in key situations. A 6-4 guard, Kenny was fearless in the overtime periods. Kenny drained some key 3-pointers and it seemed like he relished taking the big shot.
Dashing D.J.: If senior point guard D.J. Hamilton has his outside shot going, he’s hard to guard. Not only did he score a game-high 32 points, he also had 7 assists.
Shot in the arm: Even though MSUM head coach Chad Walthall didn’t want to overreact to the significance of the win after the game since it was an exhibition, the victory still has the give the Dragons a dose of confidence as they prepare for their Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference schedule. “I think it’s important to understand that this doesn’t dictate the type of season we’re going to have and it certainly doesn’t dictate the type of season NDSU is going to have,” Walthall said. “It’s a game to get us better and I think we did get better tonight. Now we have to move on.”
Odds and ends: The Dragons started Hamilton, senior guard Jake Driscoll, redshirt freshman guard Jordan Riewer, Lindfors and junior forward Alex Novak against the Bison. It will be interesting to see how Walthall tweaks his lineup as the season progresses. The Dragons were without senior forward Dennis Williamson, who was out with an injury and started for MSUM last season. … The Dragons had a 33-28 rebounding edge against NDSU with Lindfors (12 boards) and Novak (10 boards) leading the way.