BEMIDJI -- With his bubbling energy as proof, Tyler Behrendt isn’t about to give up.
“Even just from being with the guys for a month going live, the big thing that I see is that we don’t quit,” the Bemidji State men’s basketball senior said. “Even if things aren’t going well. … We haven’t gotten down, we haven’t given up on each other. We’re looking forward to this weekend.”
The Beavers (1-5, 0-4 NSIC North) have had a tough draw out of the gates, facing the top two teams of the North Division in Northern State and Minnesota State Moorhead. But BSU is working to weather the storm and overcome its rocky start.
“It’s definitely a challenge to maintain your composure and not find reasons of what goes into failure and try to change things up a ton,” head coach Mike Boschee said. “… Hopefully we can get back on track here. We’re a good shooting team. We haven’t shown it at all this year too much, but hopefully we can start knocking down some perimeter shots.”
Bemidji State is trusting the process with a new weekend in front of them. The focus has been on perimeter play, which has struggled to complement strong inside play from forwards Derek Thompson and Cody Landwehr.
“I definitely think on the perimeter, we will step up,” Behrendt said. “Even including myself. I’ve put it on myself where I feel like I need to do my part and shoot more and be more aggressive. But at the same time, it’s a team effort. Derek and Cody, they’re doing a lot for us on the scoring end. We’ve just got to keep the ball hot, keep it moving and stay with it.”
The Beavers have been swept twice in the past two weekends and are stuck alongside Minnesota Crookston at the bottom of the division standings. But a little balance will go a long way moving forward, Boschee said.
“We’re not being as consistent as I’d like,” he said, “but that’s part of the process we’ve got to continue to work and fight through and try to find ways to be successful.”
The next test is U-Mary, who sits at 2-4 overall and 2-2 in conference play so far. Although there are still five weekends left in the regular season, only the top four teams in each division will make the postseason. That makes each game all the more pivotal for BSU from now on.
“It’s pride on the line,” Behrendt said. “We’re playing for the playoffs now, every game. For me, I’m going all out. This might be my last year, and I know for a lot of the guys, this is senior year. We’re going to go all out. We might be 1-5, but we’re not quitting. We’re ready for this weekend.”
Tipoff on Friday, Jan. 22, is scheduled for 6 p.m., while the rematch will kick off at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23. Both games will be at the BSU Gymnasium, although fans will not be permitted to attend.
While the season hasn’t gotten off on the right foot, the Beavers aren’t about to fold. The approach is to make the most of everything still in front of them.
“This is a short season, but it’s a long game, it’s a long season,” Behrendt said. “Anything can happen at any point. We’ve played three pretty solid teams, and we’ve only been together for so long. … We’re just not ready to quit. I’m ready to go this weekend. I’m going to give it my all.”