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Beavers welcome new women’s head coach Brandt to Minot

Robert Brewer/MSU New MSU women's basketball head coach Mike Brandt has an introductory press conference at the Minot State Dome on Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday morning, the Minot State athletic program held a press conference to introduce Mike Brandt as its new head women’s basketball coach.

While the Beavers women’s team looks to turn things around following a 4-10 mark in 2020-21, Brandt brings more than 30 years of coaching experience and over 500 wins to the Beavers program. Prior to joining MSU, Brandt served as associate head coach at the Division I level for Southern Methodist University from 2016-19. During that time, he helped lead the SMU Mustangs to a Women’s NIT appearance in 2017, and the program itself produced three ACC All-Conference players and two ACC-All Freshman performers.

Before his tenure at SMU, Brandt spent 14 seasons as head coach at Division-II USC Aiken. There, he posted a 254-166 record and led the Pacers to the NCAA Tournament five times, including three straight appearances from 2011-2013. At the press conference, the Colorado native stressed the importance of building the program from the ground up.

“I want to develop a basketball program that everybody can be proud of,” Brandt stated. “I’m not going to be one that’s going to come in here and bring in a quick team of transfers and have a good product for one year. I’m not in for the quick fix, I’m in for the long haul of really developing a program with quality people and basketball players and have a lot of fun doing it. I look forward to coaching these young women.”

Brandt, who has been out of the coaching profession for the past two years, expressed his desire to get back into the competitive atmosphere of collegiate athletics. The former Mustangs basketball mentor also believes he is best suited to be a head coach at the Division II level.

“The first year away from coaching was kind of rough, but the second year I was just going crazy watching games and asking ‘why aren’t they doing this’ and ‘why aren’t they doing that.’ I also think that my comfort level is probably better at the Division II level, so when I looked at this opportunity, it was appealing as a competitor to come up here with the great facilities that we have to build a successful program.”

The new Minot State coach revealed that he has already had the first practice with his new club. During that session, Brandt states he discussed the importance of discipline and attention to detail.

“I want people to have a hard working good attitude and have the discipline to be a smart basketball player, both offensively and defensively. The more details they learn and the more individual things they can help with, the better they become and the better the team will become,” he added.

Moving forward, Brandt says he wants his athletes to play with an “aggressive patience.” In doing so, he hopes Minot State becomes more opportunistic on offense. Defensively, the new head coach states he wants to implement a mixture of different looks such as man-to-man, a 1-3-1 zone, a half court zone, and a 2-3 zone all in an attempt to keep opposing teams off balance.

“On a made basket or a missed basket, we’re going to push the ball up the floor and attack. The hardest thing to score against is a set defense, so if you can push the ball up and be aggressively looking and get a great shot, then that’s what you want to take,” Brandt continued. “It’s much more advantageous to attack with a fastbreak and get right into an offense rather than have a set. Then on defense, I like to throw a mixture of a lot of things because then other teams have to prepare for those looks, and it may take time away from what they probably should be working on.”

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