The week that was could be summed up by saying that it was a week of future gains. The Basketball team announced a couple big time game for the upcoming season, against New Mexico State and Gonzaga. The games will come within a couple weeks of each other in November. If the team can get over on either of those two or Missouri State it would represent the best outcome for them between now and March, with Gonzaga being the top dog of them all.
In another part of the announcement wire the Football team got a couple handfuls of recruits to verbal for the 2019 class. It's quickly becoming the trend that youngsters will commit to NDSU after the summer camp takes place. At this point you'd have to be operating purely on prejudice to think that at least some of them will end up being pro level players but we're a half decade away from that so while it's fun hearing about them making the choice for the future, it's foolish to go much further then that.
And then there was the quarterback. Easton Stick was a part of the prestigious Manning passing camp. As in Payton & Eli Manning. When I heard the news I was curious to see or hear how the bobo's would react to the news, what with some so eager to anoint him as a future NFL star. But to my surprise there wasn't much of that talk, at least as far as I can tell. I'm sure it was a great experience for him and goes to show just how far NDSU has come on the national stage. I have no doubt that Carson is still a key reason for developments such this latest one but the program and the player have done pretty well since he moved East so give credit to all the due parties...just don't try to make it more than it is. Plenty of college quarterbacks have participated in the camp and gone on to be complete non-factors on the pro level.
So three happenings on the week with future implications and quite possibly very significant future implications at that!
The three amigo's of the contract holding pattern are down to two. The team made another shrewd signing of Danielle Hunter this week, leaving fans to debate who between Anthony Barr & Stefon Diggs should get the next money. There are pros and cons to each. Barr has elite athleticism and when aptly motivated can be a defensive player of the year type guy...but that has not happened in his four years. Maybe number five will be the one to see it happen, and the team would be all the better if it were to play out that way but I'm not holding my breathe on that.
And Diggs is good. I'd go so far as to say that he's the best receiver the team has drafted since Randy Moss. Now granted, there are A LOT of busts in between but the fact remains. The stick in the mud is whether the team thinks he's better than Adam Thielen. I don't. As great of a memory as the Hail Millie was, it was one play. Thielen's produced for years now and has yet to miss a game. Sure some of that time was as a special teamer and then as a part timer but now he's an all pro. Diggs can't claim any of that and has yet to play in every game of a season. Again, maybe this year could be different but I put more stock in trends then hopes on a breeze.
So maybe neither of those two will be signed before the season starts. That would surprise me but it could happen. Or they could both put the pen to paper, but I doubt that too. It's all unknown but makes for good blog, radio and tv fodder. What is known is that our 23 year old defensive end that is a favorite of the head coach will be here into the start of his prime. How good he turns out to be is anyone's guess but he's shown that he'll sacrifice sacks for the good of the overall operation. That's enough of a reason to keep him around, but he's more then just a team first guy, he's productive and young. A great set of characteristics from the former third round selection!
The offense can still pop off enough to keep fans going through the turnstyle's but with the trade deadline looming, the team should move toward selling off every asset that teams come calling for. As tired as I am of prospects, this is quickly becoming a lost season so getting what they could would be a way of salvaging it toward the future. The fat lady hasn't started singing yet but is definitely warming up, time to embrace it.
Home field advantage is one of those sports cliche's that get's tossed around a lot but is hard to quantify into reality sometimes. NDSU has it for Football. Duke has it for Basketball. Every country outside of America has it for Soccer. But more often than not it's just a saying that inadvertently takes the credit away from the players. So I don't really want to use it but it sure seems like the Invaders enjoy their home field! They've only lost once at home and gave up all the points that they have given up at home in that loss - 28. In all the others it's been goose eggs. They have a couple weeks off now thanks to a free weekend followed by another forfeit and then they conclude the regular season on the 21st. With one game remaining their odds to getting into the top two in NEFL are pretty much zero but they've all but secured a spot for themselves in the playoffs and would get a home game as things stand.
So if things stay as they are or close to as they are then the home field would come in handy again. Maybe they wouldn't need it but why risk it prematurely?? Whatever the future holds, they're doing a good job of providing some Football diversion.
Chicago was not friendly to Baseball teams from the heartland this week. The Twins are what they are but in some ways, the way it went down for the Redhawks is worse. Because even as bad as the White Sox are, they aren't Chicago Dogs bad, relatively speaking because of the obvious difference in talent levels. More than 25% of the Dogs' wins came in the one series against Fargo. From 11 to 14. Off a sweep of the equally bottom feeding Texas Airhogs it's even more of a head scratching no show by the team.
Maybe they enjoyed the big city a little too much. Maybe the heat was too overbearing. Maybe they underestimated their hosts. Whatever the reasons behind the sweep, it's pathetic. Now they get St. Paul and Winnipeg...great. No, it's not actually but maybe they can find a way to correct whatever their issue's were in Chi town before tomorrow's game! But to continue and conclude one of the theme's today, I won't hold my breathe about it.
Happy Fourth of July
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