The Minot State Men’s Basketball team started the 2021 season off 5-1. Head Coach Matt Murken said even with the nice start there are things that need to be improved on.

“Offensively we’ve shared the ball great and we’ve had great balance I just think there are some little things we can clean up but for early in the year I’m really happy with that,” Murken said. “And then the defensive side we’ve just got to sustain our intensity on that side a little better we’ve had some ups and downs there and we’ve got some habits that we’ve got to break to beat some of the better teams in our league.”

After the pandemic cut last season short, seniors like Melvin Newbern and Max Cody said they are using this extra year to lead the team and help continue to grow the program.

“It’s crucial, whether we like to believe it or not they look up to us and it’s just fun to kind of see their growth and transition into things we’ve done at practice and now it’s starting to show on the court, from just basketball to weight room to how they just act in the community it’s just a good group of guys and they are starting to really lock-in,” Newbern said.

“I think it’s good we have a mixture of some old guys some young guys which has kind of been a cool dynamic,” Cody said. “Passing some wisdom down to the younger guys but our young guys have been awesome picking up on things quickly helping us get better, pushing us every day. It’s been kind of a cool mixture of some of us really old guys and some Jalen Cook a Freshman who is a lot younger than some of us.”

Murken said along with having seniors return he is also excited to see the young local talent get to improve this year as well.

“But some of our younger guys, we’ve got some local guys in Ben Bohl and Mason Hedberg, and Jaxon Gunville who are Freshman again and that have been getting out there more and having some success,” Murken said. “So it’s great to see them continue to get out there and just learn as they go cause there are a lot of ups and downs in college basketball or any college athletics you got to learn how to be successful and you go to learn how to fail and keep doing what you’re supposed to do, so it’s great to see those guys do that.”

This season the Beavers have won a few games by a large amount which allows for the younger players to get some game time, which Melvin and Cody said is crucial early on.

“It’s awesome giving them confidence and sort of give them what the college atmosphere is like and all that stuff, it’s great,” Cody said. “The main thing is just everyone needs to do their job whether we’re up by 60 or down by 20, everyone just goes to do their role and plays their role, and hopefully we’ll continue to have some pretty big wins.”

“I know some of them are sick of going against the starters every now and then. It’s good for them to see somebody else and not be in our basic principles, it’s nice for them to just get out there and have fun and compete just like we like to do,” Newbern said.

Cody said he is grateful to get another season and is looking forward to what his last year has in store for him.

“Extremely I was worried last year we weren’t going to have anything so knowing that we’ve got a full 30 plus games season it’s awesome and I can’t wait to get into it,” Cody said.