DENEGA: Minot State star Tyler Rudolph was snubbed by NSIC

Minot State sophomore forward Tyler Rudolph just capped a breakout season for the Beavers.

And for his efforts he was named to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference’s second-team all conference, a distinction normally welcomed for a blossoming Division II star.

But in Rudolph’s case, it was a bit of a snub.

“Those things are awards voted on by coaches, and how someone votes, that’s out of your control,” MSU coach Matt Murken said. “I thought he had a great year. I thought he had one of the 10 best seasons in our league, but that’s not something we can control.”

Rudolph was second in the conference in rebounding 8.7 per game. He was also ninth in scoring – pouring in 17.5 points per contest – corralling a conference-best 3.1 offensive boards per game.

His 12 double-doubles? Best in the league.

Sounds like a first-teamer to me.

“If anything, it’s more fuel to the fire for him, and he’s a hard worker anyway,” Murken said. “I know he has high goals for himself. He’s the type of guy that will nitpick his own game probably more than anyone else. He can think of a long list of things he can do better before next year before he was named second team. He already had those things in mind.”

Of the 10 athletes selected to the Northern Sun’s firs team, four finished with scoring averages below Rudolph’s.

Augustana’s Alex Richter was the most glaring of those four, as he was named a first-teamer after ranking 20th in the conference with 13.6 points per game. In this case, Richter is getting rewarded simply for playing on the top team in the conference. Another example is Tanner Kretchman of Minnesota State-Moorhead – the conference’s second-best team. A Fargo Davies product, Kretchman ranked just ahead of Richter at 13.8 points per contest.

The Beavers finished sixth in the North Division. However, since the turn of the calendar year, only three teams logged better conference records than MSU.

“The more we win, the more recognition we will get,” Murken said. “We won a decent amount this year. We had a guy named second team all conference, and we will have more individual awards – and really they’re team awards – the more we win.

“The more you win, the more you’re recognized.”

A Century graduate, Rudolph averaged 8.2 points and five rebounds per game as a freshman.

And though he’s flattered by his second-team distinction, he’s focused on only one thing.

“There’s a lot of improvement we can make as a team, and we are going be a lot better next year,” he said.

This is the opinion of John Denega, a staff writer for The Minot Daily News. John covers Minot High athletics, Minot State basketball and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @JohnDenega_MDN.