It only seems fitting that on Christmas Day we should be mentioning the name Rudolph. But for the Minot State men’s basketball team, the Rudolph that’s guiding his team is home grown and is making his presence known in the NSIC. Mike Elm has more.
Matt Murken, MSU Men’s Basketball Coach:He loves to win whether it’s a drill in practice or whether it’s a game and he loves to get better.
Mike Elm:Using that winning combination, Minot State forward Tyler Rudolph has more than established himself in the Northern Sun Conference as one of the league’s elite players. The former Bismarck Century standout made history last year by becoming the first player to be named to the All-NSIC first team and the seniors lead by example attitude has Minot State off to its best start in 42 years.
Tyler Rudolph, Senior:I think everyone has a chance to lead but I look at myself as a leader as an example on the floor I always try to go out and work as hard as I can and I’m hoping by doing that that other guys follow along and everyone just knows that when they’re out on the floor they need to give it their all.
Matt Murken, Coach:When we were recruiting we just thought like he really liked to compete and looking for a guy that number one is used to winning and number two used to competing really hard it had us really excited about how good he could get.
Mike:Rudolph is in his 4th season since playing as a true freshman and is currently ranked in the top 5 in 3 categories in the Northern Sun including 3rd in scoring, 4th in rebounding and 2nd in field goal percentage all while being 24th in the conference in minutes played. The former Mr. Basketball finalist recently became the University’s all-time rebounder and is moving up on the all-time scoring list. Currently Rudolph is 4th on the list but could move up to 3rd by the time New Year comes around. With a total of 16 regular season games to play, Rudolph, who is averaging over 22 points a game only needs to average 12 and a half the rest of the season to become the schools all time scoring leader as well.
Murken:I think the best thing about it was he honestly doesn’t really care about that at all at some point in time he’ll look back probably and say o.k. that’s kind of cool but right now we got done with those games and we’re just happy that we won two games.
Rudolph:I mean there’s always things I gotta still work on, I don’t think I’m a complete player by that means I think I can work on some ball handling and some more perimeter oriented stuff because I mainly play down low so I think that could improve.
Mike:Meanwhile Rudolph has already racked up 3 NSIC North Division player of the week honors this year and as Rudolph has raised his level of play to an MVP level, his teammates have transitioned as well
which makes the success of the team even more special.
Luis Ricci Maia, Senior:It’s my 4th year with Tyler and every year he improves something a lot whether it’s his defense or a hook shot or jump shot, 3 point shot, he literally can do everything and I give him credit for just hard work.
Rudolph:We wouldn’t have our success this year if it wasn’t for our team, everybody fits their role perfectly, they know what they’re doing, they’re all great guys on and off the court and it’s just really fun to play with.
Mike:Spoken like a true leader-Mike Elm KX Sports.
The Beavers are off to an 11-1 start this year and host St. Cloud State on Saturday.