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Jeff Kolpack, Published November 02 2010

NDSU notebook: Bison in the hunt for a playoff spot

North Dakota State head coach Craig Bohl is a voting member of the Division I Football Championship Subdivision coaches poll and there’s been a lot to think about this year.

About the only given has been Appalachian State near the top. The top-ranked Mountaineers and 13th-ranked Bethune-Cookman (Fla.) are the only remaining unbeaten teams in FCS.

“You start looking at the top 25 and which teams will get seven qualifying wins,” he said. “There are a lot of people scratching their heads.”

NDSU was ranked 20th in the latest poll released Monday. With 20 teams that reach the FCS playoffs, that doesn’t necessarily mean the Bison would make the field.

But what is clear is they’re in the hunt.

“Who knows what will happen,” Bohl said.

What NDSU does know it will host Southern Illinois Saturday afternoon at 3:07. At 5-3, the Bison most likely need to win all three of their remaining games to have a post-season shot, and that most likely would have to be an at-large bid.

But it’s a shot nonetheless.

Bohl said the Bison accomplished what they need to in the off week. Key players got healthier and the staff and players got recharged.

“Game week is here,” Bohl said. “We dusted off some rust and we’re getting ready to play a good football team.”

Northern Cass’ Lako makes team as walkon

The Bison women’s basketball team opens its season tonight with an exhibition against Minnesota-Crookston.

Head coach Carolyn DeHoff said two freshmen have emerged from pre-season practice as possible contributors: 5-foot-11 forward Ali Browning from Iowa City, Iowa, and 6-2 center Miki Stephenson from Moorhead.

One starting spot that was up for grabs, the power forward spot, has been taken for now by sophomore Danielle DeGagne. At 5-10, DeHoff said she presents matchup problems for other teams.

“She’s aggressive,” DeHoff said.

She also said 5-5 freshman guard Sam Lako from nearby Northern Cass High School has been added to the roster as a walkon.

“She’s been a great player for us in practice,” DeHoff said. “She’s fast and does the right things on the floor. We’ll she see minutes? We’ll see.”

Concussion sidelines Aaberg for exhibition

The Bison men open Wednesday with an exhibition also against Minnesota-Crookston.

“Still a lot more questions than answers,” said head coach Saul Phillips. “We have an intriguing mix of old guys and new guys.”

Phillips said sophomore center Jordan Aaberg is out indefinitely with a concussion. He said he doesn’t expect the absence to be an extended period of time.

Guard Freddy Coleman, who had surgery to the meniscus in his knee last week, is recovering nicely and will be out another two to three weeks.

“We’re ready to go,” Phillips said. “You always get to that point where the players are dying to play somebody else.”

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show, 9-11 a.m. on WDAY-AM (970).

He can be reached at

(701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog

can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia