The St. Cloud State Men’s basketball team came into the season with high expectations. What they got was a rollercoaster of a season. With many ups and downs, this team was one of the most exciting to watch. Senior guard Scottie Stone and sophomore Gage Davis led the Huskies to a winning record 19-14 and third place in the NSIC North on the season that came to a heartbreaking end with an 81-61 loss to Upper Iowa. There is no reason for this team to hang their heads.
SCSU started out disappointing with a 0-4 start, but as soon as they came back from the 2016 Sports Anaheim Division II Tip Off Classic, that’s when the team took off – especially when playing on home court. The Huskies put up a 13-4 record when defending their home floor at Halenbeck Hall. Coach Matt Reimer was satisfied with the season overall but believed:
“We still lost more close games than I liked. We were 5-5 in two possession games and the difference between a good year and a great year is that you go 8-2 or 9-1 in those games.”
When the last games of the season came around playing Moorhead State and Northern State, the top two teams in the conference, SCSU showed great poise and heart fighting until the very last second before the Huskies lost both games tragically.
Going into playoffs, SCSU took the first game at Halenbeck Hall beating Wayne State handily behind a great team effort from seniors Mark Hall and Scottie Stone along with Jon Averkamp and a great defensive effort from Andy Foley. The next round the Huskies played Upper Iowa who they beat earlier in the year in a high scoring thriller, so SCSU was expecting to duke it out to move on to the next round of the NSIC playoffs. It wasn’t the Huskies’ night as they shot a dismal 37 percent from the field compared to the Peacocks’ field goal percentage of 62 ending a very much improved season from the year prior. Coach Reimer and Scottie Stone mentioned how the defense was the most improved part of their game throughout the season, and how playing every single possession was vital for success.
Losing Scottie Stone and Mark Hall is huge for the team, but knowing that almost all of their role players are returning to the team next season is a huge relief for the team.
“The guys that we have coming back, I like them and currently we have three guys that are committed for next year,” Matt Reimer said.
Three starters will return for next year also including Gage Davis, Jon Averkamp, and Andy Foley. Look for Brindley Theisen and Adam Heede-Andersen to get more minutes next year along with the recruits coming in as well.
Losing Scottie Stone is going to be a huge hit for SCSU. Stone is the all-time leader for threes made in a season with 106 for the Huskies as well as the all-time leader in three-pointers made in a career with 286. He leaves SCSU fifth all-time on the Huskies’ scoring list.
“It’s been a good ride overall, this group was probably the closest group that I’ve been a part of in my four years,” said Stone. “I’m going to take it by year, and either stay in school or continue in basketball, I’m not sure yet,” Stone said when asked after he graduates.
The next year is expected to be a big year for SCSU even though they are losing two of their top playmakers. With all the players returning and the talent that is already on the on the roster it should make for an exciting 2017-18 season and hopefully a deep postseason run.
“If we break it down, we were three possessions away from a conference championship, and if we can understand that prove that in each game then we’ll have a chance,” Reimer said.