Posted On: 10/10/18 12:30 PM
Bismarck St. Mary’s got off to a brutal start last winter, going 0-7 in December and starting the year with eight consecutive losses. The Saints recovered nicely though, winning 6 of their final 13 games before winning three in the WDA Tournament to secure a spot in the Class A State Tournament. With their three leading scorers gone to graduation, the Saints head into the 2018-19 season with some question marks.
Must Be Replaced: Cole Gendreau, John Nordberg, Luke Kambeitz, Hudson Bradley
Cole Gendreau averaged 19.7 points per game and led the team in assists. That bulk scoring will be difficult to replace even if he wasn’t efficient on that end of the floor. As one of the few guys who could consistently create shots for himself, Gendreau certainly had to take his share of difficult end-of-clock shots — someone else will have to fill that void now. Nordberg averaged 12.8 points and 6.5 rebounds and was one of the most efficient guys in the league. Luke Kambeitz averaged 11.2 points.
Returning Starters: Ben Schmidt, Jaxon Wiseman
Ben Schmidt is back after averaging 7.5 points and 2.5 rebounds. He will assume much more offensive responsibility as a senior and if he can take a step forward with his efficiency, he could put up big scoring numbers. Wiseman returns in the backcourt and should be able to provide some scoring juice from the perimeter.
Stepping Into New Roles: Drew Dosch, Holten Bradley, Andrew Nagel, Zach Haas
Dosch was one of the main rotation guys as a sophomore and he’s got the size and athleticism to be a difference-maker in the frontcourt. He averaged 4.2 points and 4.6 rebounds and with more minutes, those numbers should double. Bradley and Nagel played spot minutes last year and will step into the rotation looking to earn starter minutes or at least heavy playing time. Zach Haas is a guy who could earn playing time as a sophomore and should be capable of providing a boost in the frontcourt early in his career.
The Saints have an intriguing mix of returning talent and up-and-coming players. After going 10-18 and losing their three leading scorers, they won’t enter the year as a contender in the WDA but with a number of teams seemingly headed towards retooling seasons, if things break the right way, a winning season is plausible. That’ll be incumbent on those newcomers making big steps forward as varsity contributors.