Somehow, it just wasn't going to be the same.
North Dakota State tried to recapture some of the magic of the 2008-09 campaign, when the Bison went 26-7 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, but after losing four starters from that team -- including the top three scorers -- the team wasn't able to duplicate its results.
NDSU had Michael Tveidt as the lone returning starter, and he did his best to keep the Bison afloat, upping his scoring average from 9.8 to 15.5 points per game and his rebounding average from 3.3 to 5.6 per game. The Bison also saw the emergence of Josh Vaughan as a scorer (13.8 points per game) and sophomore Eric Carlson (14.8 points, 6.9 rebounds per game).
But with so many new faces, the consistency was a piece of the puzzle the Bison had trouble finding, with the team's first winning streak of the season -- in fact, the only winning streak of the season -- coming in early February and ending after two games.
The Bison were able to score, averaging 70.8 points per game, but they weren't the defensive team they were the year before, allowing teams 72.2 points a contest.
NDSU says goodbye to four more seniors this year, although Tveidt and Carlson will be back for coach Saul Phillips.
There may never be as magical a season as the 2008-09 campaign was for the Bison, but NDSU had a losing record for the first time in eight years and should be back in contention mode soon, possibly as soon as next year.
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