The Bemidji State University men’s basketball program will take its first steps on the court in the 2020-21 season opener Saturday, Jan. 2 and Sunday, Jan. 3 with a road contest against Minnesota State University, Mankato. The Beavers enter their 99th season as a program and the ninth under Head Coach Mike Boschee.
Minnesota State leads the all-time series against Bemidji State, 72-36.
BSU’s January season-opener is the latest in the program’s 99-year history to begin a season. The latest the Beavers’ had begun a season prior to this season was Dec. 15, doing so twice, to open the 1921-22 and 1934-35 seasons.
The Beavers are 5-3 in season-openers under Boschee, 2-6 in road openers, and 4-4 when facing an NSIC team for the first time.
Bemidji State comes off the 2019-20 season in which it finished 14-13 overall and 11-11 in NSIC play, both of which mark the most wins for BSU since the 2013-14 season.
The team brought in five newcomers to the roster, including three transfers (guard Tyler Behrendt, guard/forward Edgars Kaufmanis, guard Mohamed Kone) and two true freshmen (guard Michael Casper, forward Wyatt Olson).
The Beavers return two All-NSIC student-athletes, including All-NSIC Second Team selection Derek Thompson and All-NSIC Honorable Mention member Nick Wagner. Wagner was selected as BSU’s 2020-21 Player to Watch.
Wagner set the program single-season record with 80 3-point field goals last season and scored at least 20 points six times, including two 30-point games. He was near the top of the NSIC in multiple 3-point shooting categories, ranking second in 3-point field goal percentage and third in 3-point field goals per game.
Thompson averaged 14.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting 51.2 percent from the field last season.