Minnesota-Minnesota-Duluth BB Preview

The Minnesota Gophers conclude their basketball exhibition season against Minnesota-Duluth Thursday. Gopher fans will see a familiar face and Minnesota high school fans will recognize several names on the Duluth roster. The Bulldogs began their season with a 76-65 exhibition loss to Athletes In Action last Wednesday at home. The Bulldogs will return all five starters and 10 letterwinners from a team that finished 12-16 overall and 4-8 in their first season in the North Central Conference.

Duluth is led by three-time All-Conference player and Duluth native Sean Seaman, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound guard/forward who finished the 2004-05 season as the NCC's assist leader with 5.12 assists per game. He was fifth overall in scoring among NCC players (16.5) and is entering his senior season as UMD's No. 20 scorer of all time with 1,270 points. Seaman led the Bulldogs in almost every statistical category last season, including points per game (16.5), field goals (165), three-point percentage (.482), free-throw percentage (.868), assists (133) and steals (27).
John Emerson, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound forward from New Richmond, WI, was the Bulldogs' second leading scorer. He averaged 14.6 points per game and was named All-NCC honorable mention. He led UMD with 75 three-pointers and was a perfect 6-for-6 effort against Augustana.
NCC Freshman of the Year John Vaudreuil, a 6-foot-7, 235-pound forward center from Bloomington (MN) Jefferson, led the North Central Conference freshmen in scoring (10.3 points per game), field goal percentage (.533) and blocks per game (.40). Vaudreuil was also named to the Division II Bulletin 10-member national All-Freshmen Team
Bryan Foss, a 6-foot-7, 210-pound junior guard/forward from Osseo (MN) High, is a two-year starter for the Bulldogs. Foss averaged 10.8 points and  7.4 rebounds per game. He was the team's leading rebounder the past two seasons and shot 80.5% from the free throw line. Foss was an Associated Press Class AAAA All-State Second Team selection as a senior  and led Osseo to a state championship in 2001 and a fourth-place finish in 2002. Foss finished his career as the all-time leading scorer in Orioles history.
Matt Rawley, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound junior center, averaged 7.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. He was the Bulldog's leader in blocks last season with 20.
Jordan Nuness, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound sophomore, transferred from Minnesota where he appeared in nine games, averaging 1.3 points last season. He was a three-time Lake All-Conference performer at Eden Prairie. His older brother Jared played basketball at Valparaiso University and his father Al was a standout at Minnesota.

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