Gophers Open Season Versus Concordia

The Minnesota Gophers open their regular season against Division II Concordia St. Paul Friday night, their third straight Northern Sun opponent. They defeated St. Cloud State 88-80 in the exhibition opener and Northern State 92-62 last Thursday. Concordia was picked eighth out of 14 teams in the NSIC Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Golden Bears finished 16-12 last year and 10-8 in conference play.

Concordia St. Paul is not an overly big team, but does return some intriguing talent.

Junior forward Craig Heiman was named one of 25 Division II Top Players by the Basketball Times. Heiman was a All-NSIC First-Team selection and was named three-time NSIC Player of the Week last season. He led NSIC in scoring with 18.0 points per game in all games. Heiman scored career-high 36 points on 12 of 19 shooting, 6 of 11 three-point shooting and 6 of 6 free-throw shooting with seven rebounds in one game. He led team in scoring 15 times and rebounding six times. Heiman had 16 points in their exhibition opener.

Matt Cadwell, a 6-foot-3 guard from Cretin Derham Hall, averaged 12.9 points per game in his first year with the Golden Bears. He played in 21 games, starting 19 times last season. He transferred from South Dakota State, where he averaged 15.6 points per game as a redshirt freshman and 11.7 points as a sophomore. Cadwell scored 12 points in their exhibition opener.

Point guard Mike Cunningham played and started in 27 of 28 total games last season. The versatile playmaker who had 121 assists, second in the NSIC and was fifth in the conference in steals jumped center for the team. Cunningham scored in double figures in 12 games last year and scored a game-high 21 points in their exhibition opener.

Sam Ricks, a 5-foot-11 guard from St. Paul Johnson, averaged 15.0 points per game at North Dakota School of Science the past two years before transferring closer to home. He scored 15 points in their exhibition opener.

Six-foot-6 junior Thomas Bassett transferred from South Dakota State, where he played in 16 games, starting three for the Jackrabbits last season. He averaged 1.9 points and 2.0 rebounds per game and scored four points as a starter in the exhibition opener.

Matt Hackl played in 28 games, starting nine as a freshman. He averaged 4.1 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in his first college season. Hackl scored 10 points off the bench in the exhibition opener.

Chris Pfeifer, a 6-foot-6 sophomore who played at Minnetonka (MN) Hopkins, played in all 27 games as a freshman. He averaged 2.6 points and 1.4 rebounds per game.

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