As you probably know by now, new Bemidji State basketball coach Mike Boschee had his first formal press conference Tuesday.
What struck me about the presser was just how familiar Boschee seemed to be with the NSIC and area basketball in general. That’s no surprise; Boschee is from Valley City, N.D., played at North Dakota and coached at Gustavus Adolphus. He coached at Northern State before it was a Division II member.
So while he might not have direct experience in the NSIC, he knows the college game well and knows plenty of people in the Upper Midwest. (And he comes from a basketball pedigree. His brother Jeff was a four-year starter for Kansas under Roy Williams and is currently a coach at Missouri Southern State.)
On Tuesday Boschee addressed a lot of questions – specifically on recruiting – that didn’t make it into the story that appeared in Tuesday’s paper. Here are some of the highlights, both from his press conference and from when I chatted with him one-on-one after the conference. I may have more in upcoming stories for the paper.
On recruiting, and how it will be different from recruiting in Division III:
“To be honest with you, I think it’s going to be very similar. Now, we don’t have scholarships where I come from, which makes it even more difficult. But I think the philosophy is going to be the same. We’re going to recruit good kids with some talent. We’re going to try and recruit the Midwest. Maybe a five-state area. And then we’ll have to pluck some different areas different parts of the country.”
On where he plans to recruit:
“I hope to have a happy medium, to be honest with you. I hope to have a good group of players from Minnesota and Wisconsin. Hopefully we can get down to Iowa a little bit. Hopefully the Dakotas will have some players we can bring in now and then.
To help build your roster I feel like we need to get out of this area a little bit. It’s so heavily recruited in the Midwest, some of the places in other areas, there’s so many players with fewer universities and colleges to go to so they almost have to go out of state. Sometimes recruiting those athletes you can be successful in bringing them up to a school like Bemidji, where they can have a little more relaxed atmosphere, they can concentrate on schoolwork, get a degree and get out of here. We’re going to have to go outside the Midwest a little here.
In the past they may have targeted Arizona a little bit. We have background in Texas, in Colorado and we tried Arizona as well. So I see more similarities than differences at this point.”
On junior college recruiting:
At the schools I was at before we didn’t recruit a lot of junior college players. Now, we had some, but not a lot.
At a school like Bemidji State, in the past they’ve always have some. I see that being the case, but I think in order to build a tradition and have that sustained success, we need to build our players. We need to have them improve on a regular basis, get connectecd with community, get connected with Bemidji State, get them to come back and be great ambassadors for our university, and that’s very important. Sometimes when you only come for a couple years it’s hard to get that connection. Not to say that it’s bad. The right kid can get connected but but it’s a little more difficult.
But we want to have a different mix of people from different areas and obviously junior colleges are going to be one of the things we need to target as well.
On having to play catch-up starting in July:
Ideally we’d like to bring in two to four kids who potentially could help us for next season. If not, at the very least, bring in guys who can be practice players who we can use and build from in the future.
It’s always a challenge this late in the year. But we’ll give them our best offer and hopefully we can snag a few.
Most of the talented kids and the kids you want to have in your program have already been taken up by somebody. It’s a challenge to find someone who’s a good fit for you as a coach and a good fit for your community and and a good fit academically. Trying to find all three of those is a challenge but hopefully we can find a couple.
On his coaching staff:
It’s a process. (The application deadline) will be closed (Wednesday). Then we’ll have a chance to take a look at all the applicants and go from there.
Right now we’re undecided how many. For sure one person, but we may know more in a week or two.