Minnesota-Southwest Minnesota State Preview

The Minnesota Gophers open their 2005-06 season against Southwest Minnesota State Saturday at 3 p.m. The Mustangs began their season with a 75-52 exhibition game victory over NAIA foe Jamestown College (ND). Southwest Minnesota State finished 11-19 last season and are coached by Greg Stemen. They lost their top two scorers from last year.

Southwest Minnesota State led by 12 points at halftime and built a lead by as many as 28 in the contest in their exhibition win.

They were led by junior center Jeremy VanKlompenburg (Canby, Minn.), who scored 15 points and was one of four SMSU players to score in double figures.

Sophomore guard Travis Krenske (Fairbault, Minn.) added 14 points, while redshirt freshman guard Andy Bielke (Mankato, Minn.) poured in 11 points. Junior forward Chad Orum (LeRoy, Minn.) chipped in with 10 points.

All nine players who played for SMSU scored in the game. Junior ftransfer forward Darren Solbrack (Blomkest, Minn.) had eight points while senior guard Undre Ellis (St. Paul, Minn.) finished the game with seven points.

Nic Hogan is the team's top returning scorer with 12.3 points per game. He was the lone Mustang to start every game last year.

VanKlompenburg, a 6-foot-9 center, averaged 8.9 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.

Matt Fletcher, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, averaged 7.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per contest last season. Orum added 6.7 points and 4.7 (top returning rebounder) caroms per game.

Andy Wiersma, a 6-foot-3 senior guard from Bethany Academy (MN), added 4.5 points and 2.1 rebounds per contest.

Ellis transferred from Waldorf College and sat out last season. He finished third in the Midwest Classic Conference in scoring averaging 18.4 points per game and was second in the conference in assists per game with 4.5. Ellis attended St. Paul (MN) Highland Park, where he played with Minnesota guard Mo Hargrow.

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories