Posted On: 10/4/18 9:00 AM

Bismarck was one of the top teams in the regular season, going 16-5 and earning a top seed in the WDA before dropping both tournament games and missing a chance to play in the state tournament. The Demons have one of the best individual players in the state but will need to replace five key rotation players.

Must be Replaced: Ian Schafer, Tanner Davis, Kaide Gimbel, Trajan Jangula, Jalen Ziegler

Schafer was one of the best guards in the state, averaging 12 points and five assists on solid efficiency. Davis was a solid third scorer and terrific outside shooter. Ziegler, Gimbel and Jangula were all solid rotation guys who contributed a few buckets a game while providing solid two-way play. Schafer and Davis will be very difficult to replace as they were not only productive scorers but the two best shooters and shot-creators on the team.

Returning Starters: Joe Jahner, Canyon Stonecipher, Matt Trolliey

Jahner is one of the top guards in the state and had a strong summer playing with ECI. He averaged 12.3 points per game and could push that number up towards 20 with an increased workload and improved efficiency. Stonecipher is one of the best leapers in the state and a high-motor big who excels at finishing around the rim and cleaning up the trash. He’ll be a valuable piece to not only anchor the defense but to produce without needing a lot of touches.Trolliey was in the rotation last year and knocked down better than 40 percent of his 3-pointers.

Stepping Into New Roles: Will Madler, Chance Ripley, Jake Kerzman and Dyllon Sicble

There will be a lot of guys stepping into new roles this winter for the Demons. Will Madler missed all of his junior year with an injury but his presence in the backcourt should help alleviate the growing pains from Schafer’s departure. Ripley, Kerzman and Sicble all saw fringe minutes last year. Kerzman should join Stonecipher in the frontcourt and should be able to bring some offensive capability. Ripley and Sicble should give the Demons two more capable athletes on the wings and even if they aren’t required to put up big offensive numbers, if they can provide solid defense and shooting, the Demons will be in good shape.

Season Outlook

Bismarck looked like a state tournament for most of the season but got clipped late in the year with a couple tough losses. The Demons will have to replace a lot of talent, but there’s a good foundation in place with Jahner, Stonecipher and Trolliey. If Madler can return to the lineup and provide some stability in the backcourt and some of the first-year guys can make positive contributions, this team can push for 15-plus wins again and potentially vie for a state tournament bid.