UMD Men’s, Women’s basketball gearing up for big seasons

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Both the UMD Men’s and Women’s basketball teams are coming off historic years.

On the men’s, side, they were picked to finish first in the NSIC after their first Elite Eight in program history last season. NSIC Preseason Player of the Year, Drew Blair, knows how dangerous the expectations can be for his team.

“We always know we got a target on our back, especially probably the last year or two. So we take it with a grain of salt. Obviously, we know we’re going to get each team’s best shot. At the same time, we’re going to look at ourselves and we know we want to go beat everybody just as bad as they want to beat us.

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For the women, they’re coming off a season in which they won the NSIC and made it all the way to the NCAA championship, where they ultimately lost.

For Head Coach Mandy Pearson, she knows her veteran leadership is something special.

“It’s so fun for me because I’ll get text messages from my fifth year seniors, my seniors, like, ‘Hey, what about this? We need to talk about this. You forgot about this.’ They’re helping me lead this team. And I think that’s really, really important. It honestly is my dream to continue to have leadership like that.”

For the men, tipoff on their season is set for November 1st, when they’ll take on UW-Eau Claire. For the women, they’ll play an exhibition game this Sunday against Lakehead University.