By Jacob Pommerer
The North Star Athletic Association teams kick off their seasons this weekend with Waldorf, Dickinson State, Dakota State, Mayville State, and Bellevue all in action. With that being said it’s time to preview the conference. Bellevue University was picked by the coaches to win the conference. The complete conference poll can be found at the following link http://www.playnorthstar.com/article/6067 The Bruins were the only NSAA team to receive votes in the first NAIA poll. Going into the season the NSAA will see two teams at the top (Bellevue and Mayville State). While the remaining six teams will jockey for 3-8.
Pom’s Power rankings
1. Bellevue-Return the Conference Player of the Year in Jemeil King and fellow first team all-conference performer Lewis Hayes
2. Mayville State-Return three key players from last year’s Conference Tournament Championship team in Iker Cruz, Latrelle Franklin, and Thomas Gieske
3. Dakota State- Return Josh McGreal who if able to stay healthy could be one of the best players in the conference, and bring in a D1 transfer
4. Valley City State- Return some key players from last years squad including 2nd team All-Conference player Kevin Schram
5. Viterbo-Return All-Conference honorable mention Noah Fredrickson and La Crosse is a tough place to play
6. Waldorf- Graduated the leading scorer in the conference as well as the Defensive player of the year.
7. Presentation-Second year head coach will have the opportunity of on off season to put together his style of team look for them to improve from last year.8. Dickinson State-First year head coach and lost some key players to graduation.
Players to Watch
One player from each team I have my eye on this season
Jemeil King-Bellevue-The Conference Player of the Year last season. Not much more needs to be said. Averaged nearly 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists last season.
Latrelle Franklin-Mayville State-Quick guard that shot 43% from beyond the arc last season, averaged nearly 14 points a game, and led the conference in steals
Gairges Daow-Dakota State- A senior transfer from Northern Illinois appeared in at least 30 games all three seasons there. Averaged 3 points per game and 11 minutes per game last season. Could be a difference maker from the guard position to go along with McGreal down low.
Logan Nelson Valley City State- Nelson has led his team in scoring each of the last two seasons, but last year as a Jr. saw his numbers dip a little. I look for Nelson to have a bounce back year in his final season with the Vikings.
Noah Fredrickson Viterbo- Was the second leading scorer on the team. I look for him to be the team leader having only missed one game in his previous three seasons
Quincy Minor Jr Waldorf-Averaged 13 points a game last season. I look for him to score even more this season after the graduation of teammate and conference leading scorer DemitriusMartin.
Jackson Becker Presentation- Last season as a freshman Becker was a bright spot for the Saints averaging 11 points a game. I look for him to only improve his game this season.
Ajdin Toskic Dickinson State-Toskic averaged 6 points a game last season but with multiple kids graduating I look for him to have the ball in his hands more this season.
NSAA Games This Week
Friday Oct 23rd
Waldorf vs Indiana University Northwest
Montana Tech @ Dickinson State
Saturday Oct 24th
Dakota State @ Bethany College
Waldorf @ Governors State
Bellevue @Briar Cliff