North Dakota State to play next two seasons at off-campus Scheels Arena


With the plans of building a new Scheels Center at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex leaving the North Dakota State basketball program without the use of its original home, the school announced Wednesday that it has agreed to a two-year deal with Scheels Arena to play its games there during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.

Scheels Arena is a 5,000-seat off-campus facility, and in addition to every men’s team home game the women’s team will play three games there during the 2014-15 season.

“We are extremely excited and very appreciative of the opportunity to partner with Scheels Arena,” head men’s basketball coach David Richman said in the release. “There is no doubt that it will provide a first-class atmosphere for our fans and our student-athletes.”

This sets up for an interesting period for the North Dakota State program, with Richman being in his first season as head coach and the Bison looking to build on a season that featured the school’s first NCAA tournament victory. Richman will have to account for the departure of three of the team’s top four scorers, as Taylor Braun, Marshall Bjorklund and TrayVonn Wright are all out of eligibility.

However Lawrence Alexander, who averaged 11.1 points and 4.3 assists per game last season, returns as does fellow guard (and starter) Kory Brown (7.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg).