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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

MSU Women's Basketball National Championship Ranks 4th on FP List of Top Local Stories

The Minnesota State women's basketball team completed its unprecedented run to a NCAA Division II national championship last March, but it continues to make headlines.  In the last week the Mankato Free Press has been listing the top ten local stories for 2009.  The Mavericks, who went 32-2 in 2008-09 en route to capturing the first national title in the program's history, ranked fourth on the list put forth by the Free Press and the story detailing the season appears here.

Monday, December 28, 2009

In the Midst

Yes, here we are enjoying the wonder that is the football bowl season that includes 34 games and stretches from Dec. 19th with the New Mexico Bowl (Wyoming beat Fresno State, 35-28, in two overtimes) to Jan. 7 when Texas and Alabama square-off in the BSC Championship game in Pasadena.

On a "small college" level we'd be remiss if we didn't bring to your attention the 2010 Cactus Bowl slated for Jan. 8 in Kingsville. Tex.  The rosters of the two all-star teams (East vs. West) that square-off against each other in this event are comprised of seniors from NCAA Division II teams.   Formerly known as the Snow Bowl with the first game taking place in Fargo in 1994, Minnesota State defensive back Kelvin Rodgers will become the 23rd Maverick to play in the game when he participates in this year's event.  Rodgers enjoyed a stellar four-year career with the Mavericks which culminated with school records for career kick returns, kick return yards and punt return yards.

A quick check of the weather in Kingsville shows that the current temperature there is 50 degrees.  Enjoy your time in Texas, Kelvin, enjoy your time!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wither Thou?

Back in September the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Board of Directors voted to consider expanding to 16 teams by 2012-13. And with Minot State and the University of Sioux Falls applying for membership in NCAA Division II, speculation has been that the Beavers and the Cougars would be the schools most-likely to be next on the docket for admittance. Dickinson (N.D.) Press sports editor Dustin Monke recently blogged about the potential of another NCAA Division II league evolving in the Dakotas. Definitely an interesting look at how things might possibly look in just a few short years.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday Grab Bag

Brownlee Continues Quest
Former Maverick men's hockey defenseman Chad Brownlee had a go at the professional ranks following graduation from Minnesota State in 2007, and as has been documented recently, the Kelowna, B.C., native has embarked on a new career as a country music musician and has been doing quite well. His first single - The Best That I Can (Superhero) currently sits 25th on the Canadian country singles charts. Brownlee, who was back in Mankato for a visit a couple of weeks ago after spending several days in Nashville working on songs to fill out an album expected to be released in the spring, sang the national anthems at a Vancouver Canucks game and a video featuring depicting his appearance is located here.

Lenton Named Preseason All-American Honorable Mention
Signalling that we're not that far away from the official start of the spring sports season (even though it's so cold out side you've gotta open the fridge to heat the house), senior righthanded pitcher Patrick Lenton has been named Preseason All-America Honorable Mention by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The Maverick baseball team is scheduled to open the 2010 season Feb. 19th in Lakewood, Colo., vs. Colorado Christian. The MSU softball team, meanwhile, will also open its season Feb. 19 in Colorado with a doubleheader vs. Metro State (Colo.).

Former MSU Graduate Assistant Coach Gets Extension at Northern Arizona
Northern Arizona University recently announced that it was extending the contract of women's basketball coach Laurie (Trow) Kelly. Kelly, a Rochester, Minn., native, served as a graduate assistant with the MSU women's basketball program for two years back in 1996-98. Kelly's news brings to mind the success of several former MSU men's and women's basketball assistants and graduate assistants including Scott Trost (head men's coach at Lewis), Jim Whitesell (head men's coach at Loyola), Aaron Roussell (head women's coach at Chicago), Chris Johnson (head men's coach at the University of Sioux Falls), Kelly Boe (head men's coach at Concordia-St. Paul), Suzy Venet (head women's coach at Mount Union), Brady Larson (assistant coach at Concordia-Moorhead) and Austin Hansen (assistant men's coach at SDSU).

And they call Miami of Ohio "the Cradle of Coaches."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Grand Valley Football Connection

Just got done watching Northwest Missouri State claim the 2009 NCAA Division II football title with a 30-23 win over Grand Valley State. It's interesting to note that Chuck Martin, Grand Valley's head coach, was a graduate assistant on MSU's football staff under Dan Runkle back in 1992. Martin, who had assistant coaching stints at Wittenberg, Millikin and Eastern Michigan after leaving MSU and prior to joining the Lakers as an assistant coach, has led GVSU to two NCAA titles during the last six seasons as head coach.

Saturday Reads

Great night last night for the Maverick men's hockey team and men's and women's hoops teams as they all earned victories.

Shane Frederick of the Mankato Free Press writes about MSU's win over #4 Bemidji State last night in men's hockey here while you can read the Bemidji Pioneer's account of the game here. The Bemidji Pioneer also has a piece on Channing Boe here.

In men's basketball, MSU downed U-Mary, 86-71, behind Marcus Hill's 22 points (which tied a career-high). Chad Courrier of the Free Press wrote about the men's game here. CC also wrote about the Maverick women's victory over U-Mary, 68-64, here.

Another busy night for the Mavericks. All of yesterday's livestats and audio/video links from yesterday's post will work for today's.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday = Funday

Greetings everyone from a chilly Mankato. Another Friday, another busy weekend in Maverick Athletics. First a brief programming note. Apparently, Brian Zins forgot that he had a bachelor party last night (Thursday) and won't be able to make today's show on KMSU. Have no fear, Kyle Bradt is here and will join yours truly (Scottie), Nathan Owens and Jim Makovsky. You can listen to the show online here (from 10:00-10:30) or after 10:30 a.m. (CST) you can listen to it on the internet here.

The MSU men's hockey team has headed north to Bemidji and are preparing for a big nonconference tilt with soon-to-be WCHA members Bemidji State. Shane Frederick of the Mankato Free Press wrote about Maverick junior blueliner Channing Boe's return to Bemidji in today's paper and you can view the story here. Freddie also posted a few notes in his preview here. A note to the men's hockey team up in Bemidji (as well as former MSU Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant and current BSU Assistant Sports Information Director Dax Larson), beware of BigFoot.

Freddy usually posts what he calls the Friday Morning Skate, which takes an in-depth look at all the games from around the WCHA. It isn't up as of yet, but check out his blog here for more information.

The Minnesota State women's hockey team hosts Wisconsin tonight to open a WCHA series. Freddy had a few notes about this in the College Hockey Gameday found here.

The Maverick men's and women's basketball teams host the University of Mary and Northern State this weekend. The fun starts each night at 6 p.m. with the women's tip with the men's to follow. The Chad Courrier of the Mankato Free Press discussed the NSIC games in his College Basketball Notebook found here.

The University of Mary - MSU's opponent on Friday - is off to a 2-0 start in Men's hoops and the Bismarck Tribune had video of the Marauder's fast start, which can be found here and Cindy Peterson of the Tribune looked into the UMary's men's team here.

The Maverick wrestling team - ranked #9 in the nation - is also in action this weekend as they travel to St. Cloud State to wrestle in the Husky Invitational. Stay posted to www.msumavericks.com for results.

For those who can't make it to the games this weekend, here is a list of links where you can follow the action:

Men's Hockey:
Pay-Per-View Video

Women's Hockey:

Men's & Women's Basketball:
Women's Livestats
Men's Livestats

Finally, I leave you with this video. It put a smile on my face, and hopefully it does yours too. The kid can't sing too well, but he can sure play the ukulele.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

MSU's Andersson Selected for Vancouver Olympics

MSU defensman Emilia Andersson has been named to the 2010 Swedish Olympic women's hockey team. The Free Press also has details regarding Andersson's accomplishment. Andersson (along with, potentially Emmi Leionen and Nina Tikkanen, who are candidates for the Finnish women's hockey team and David Backes, who is in line to be named to the USA men's hockey national team) will become the first student-athlete from MSU to appear in the Olympics.

A couple of former MSU student-athletes who came extremely close to making past U.S. Olympic teams include trackster Lee Loewen and women's hockey netminder Shari Vogt. Loewen, a 1981 MSU Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, finished fourth in the 110m hurdles at the 1956 U.S. Olympic trials behind eventual gold medalist Lee Calhoun, silver medalist Rafer Johnson and bronze medalist Milt Campbell. Vogt, an All-America for the Mavericks who currently serves as an assistant coach for MSU's women's team, was a candidate for the U.S. Olympic team in 2006.

Maverick Magazine Tomorrow

Not trying to get ahead of ourselves here, but did want to let you know that joining Scott Nelsen and Brian Zins on tomorrow's Maverick Magazine on KMSU FM 89.7 will be a couple of MSU head coaches in Jim Makovsky (wrestling) and Nate Owens (swimming).

Again, Maverick Magazine podcasts are available here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hodges Granted Delay

On Nov. 15, Minnesota State junior guard Cameron Hodges received papers calling him to active duty in the United States Army in January of 2010. (For those who are not familiar with this story, please Chad Courrier's story in the Mankato Free Press, found here).

On Monday, Hodges received word that his call to active duty will be delayed until 2012, allowing him time to finish his degree at Minnesota State. Courrier caught up with Hodges today and that story runs in the print edition of today's Free Press. I have also heard word that KEYC's Perry Dyke will discuss this tonight on the sports.

Hey Mr. Scott, Whacha Gonna Do?

Arriving today in Mankato was this award - the Learfield Directors' Cup second-place trophy for the 2008-09 school year. The award points system for this national honor is based on how teams do in postseason competition (including a national championship by the women's basketball team, MSU had 14 teams score points in NCAA Division II postseason competition in 2008-09).

It's been a steady climb up the Directors' Cup standings the last five years for the Mavericks - 10th in 2004-05, 8th in 2005-06, 4th in 2006-07, 3rd in 2007-08 and 2nd last year.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

In Case You were Wondering

The Maverick men's hockey team had one penalty for two minutes in last night's 3-1 WCHA win at the University of Minnesota. Highly unusual for any team, let alone for a team that heads into tonight's game in Mankato vs. the Gophers ranking 12th in the nation in penalty minutes per game with a 16.6 mark. In any event, the last time something like this happened was Nov. 7, 2003 when MSU did not have a penalty in a 3-2 home win over Alaska-Anchorage. Ironically enough, the head coach at Alaska-Anchorage at the time was John Hill. Hill currently serves as an assistant coach with the University of Minnesota.

Busy day on campus for Maverick Athletics with men's and women's track & field going on in Myers Field House and then women's basketball vs. Southwest Minnesota State at 2:00 p.m. and men's basketeball vs. Southwest Minnesota State at 4:00 p.m.

Good times!

Friday, December 4, 2009

I Love Technology

To steal a line from the movie Napoleon Dynamite, "I love technology..."

A few years back, I (Scott) had set up a "Google Alert" which sends updates whenever your keyword is put online. My alert was set up for head men's basketball coach Matt Margenthaler.

Sometime this morning, I got an email from google, saying "Matt Margenthaler" had been mentioned in news item. When clicking on it, it sent me to an article on the website "American Chronicle." Basically, the American Chronicle had posted the college basketball notebook that Chad Courrier had written for today's print edition of the Freep, but didn't make it on the online edition.

So without further delay, here is the American Chronicle link which posts the Mankato Free Press story about the College Basketball Notebook.

Maverick Magazine

Be sure to catch this morning's edition of Maverick Magazine on KMSU FM 89.7 or online here.

Joining Scott Nelsen and Anna Schultz today, beginning at 10:00 a.m. or so, will be Maverick men's basketball sophomore forward Mike Bisenius and women's basketball senior forward Liz Trauger.

For future reference, we also make Maverick Magazine available via podcast here.

A Scan Of The Newspapers (Friday Edition)

Happy Friday everyone. Here's some Friday morning reading for you all, I know you'd rather read this stuff than work on a Friday anyway.

The Freep's Shane Frederick discusses this weekend's hockey series against the University of Minnesota. That article can be viewed here. You can also view the Gameday Notebook here.

Roman Augustoviz of the Star Tribune's preview of Mavericks/Gophers is located here.

In Thursday's MSU Reporter, Tyler Buckentine previews the Minnesota State vs. Minnesota Series. You can view that here. The Reporter's Lee Handle previews the women's series against St. Cloud State here.

Sticking with the Reporter, Kyle Ratke previews the Maverick's NSIC men's basketball opener against Southwest Minnesota State here. Derek Wehrwein's preview of the women's basketball tilt against Southwest Minnesota State can be found here.

In today's edition of the Freep, writer Chad Courrier takes a peak at the comings and goings of the area collegiate basketball scene. Unfortunately, the Freep does not post every story online, so you'll have to pick up a print copy to read the story.

One thing for you of note: Former Maverick blueliner Chad Brownlee is rising up the Canadian Country Music Charts. You can view the chart here. Don't forget you can also buy Brownlee's song "The Best That I Can" on itunes. Speaking of Chad, Freddy talked to the aspiring singer/songwriter last weekend when he was in town and performed the national anthem before Friday night's game with Michigan Tech. That story can be found here.

There you have it. Should be another busy and exciting weekend in Maverick Athletics. Don't forget to follow all the action all weekend long at www.msumavericks.com.

Also, if you are a member of the Twitter world, you can follow PA at twitter.com/mavsid and you can follow yours truley at twitter.com/nelses1 (although, the opinions sometimes expressed on my twitter account not concerning MSU Athletics in no-way represent those of Minnesota State athletics.)

BREAKING NEWS AS IT HAPPENS...The Maverick Bowling team ranked #13 in the latest poll!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


So, finally, straight from the horse's mouth, we begin the first official blog for Minnesota State Athletics.

We plan on updating as much as possible - during the week, previewing events, giving updates and notes on all of MSU's 23 sports and more than 600 student-athletes.

MSU has had varsity athletics since the 1921-22 school year when the men's basketball team, under the guidance of head coach C.P. Blakeslee, became the first squad to engage in intercollegiate competiton and we intend to spend some time discussing the history of MSU Athletics. When you get a chance, be sure to check out the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame page located here, to see what we're talking about. Lots of great stuff there, including a form to make nominations.

We've received a ton of positive feedback on our website (msumavericks.com) since relaunching back in October. In answering to some of the questions, we can tell you that the process, from the time we signed a contract with ICS/Sidearm, took about three months. They built the site based on feedback from us and we maintain the site. Needless to say, it was a bit of a challenge maintaining the old msumavericks.com site while building the new one at the same time and when the relaunch took place, there was much relief on our part. As I said earlier, we've been very pleased with the response we've received. Be sure to sign up for the Maverick Athletics twitter (@msumavericks).

Big week in MSU Athletics with lots of events happening, including the start of the indoor track season.