Men’s Basketball: NMU dominates in home opener, start season 3-0


Chris Anderson/NW

ON FIRE – NMU Guard Brian Parzych warms up at half time. Parzych scored 22 of his 30 points in the second half alongside teammate Max Bjorkland’s second 30-point or more outing of the season in just 3 games.

Chris Anderson

The men’s basketball team was able to continue the late season success after reaching the GLIAC championship game last season by starting off the season 3-0. The ‘Cats traveled to Houghton, MI to take part in the GLIAC/GLVC crossover to start off the season last weekend Nov. 12 and 13.

NMU’s star guard Max Bjorklund had 38 points and 7 rebounds to kick off the 22-23 campaign after being chosen the GLIAC preseason player of the year. With the team looking for him more often, the flow of the offense allowed a smooth transition between the pace of the game and his scoring abilities.

Three other Wildcats scored double digits points on the way to a 100-93 win against Mckendree University.

“We were better offensively the first night but actually both nights, I thought we were pretty good. It was just kind of different paces,” Majkrzak said.

The following day the ‘Cats battled for another win in a 73-60 win over Lewis University. Four Wildcats scored in double digits with freshman guard Max Weisbrod leading the way with 18 points, four assists and three rebounds. Bjorklund was less of a factor in the second game as far as scoring but still played a huge part in the win with nine points, two assists and six rebounds.

“Even the second night, [Bjorklund] had nine [points]. He had for me, the two biggest shots of the game are still his shots, but he didn’t feel stressed to go prove he can score,” Majkrzak said.

After being hurt the majority of the last season, NMU will be looking for redshirt freshman Dylan Kuehl to continue the growth he showed the team last season. Kuehl is off to a great start after averaging 13 points, one assist and six rebounds to start the season.

“[Kuehl]’s our most talented player and I say that knowing we probably have the best player in the league, and I think we would all be the first to say [Kuehl]’s our most talented, he’s a stud,” Majkrzak said.

Majkrzak is pleased with how well everyone played over the first two games, especially the newer guys on the team but understands the team as a whole, has a long way to go on the defensive side of the ball.

“Basketball is one of those sports, offenses will beat defense every time,” Majkrzak said. “All the old adages are wrong.”

NMU will be hosting Minnesota-Crookston and Concordia-St. Paul for the home opening games of the season as they hope to continue the strong start to the season. The ‘Cats took the opener against Crookston 97-81 behind 30 points from guards Bjorklund and Brian Parzych. Kuehl also had 15 in the match up.

“I think that home opening weekend is always exciting. To us a little nerve wracking. I think the biggest challenge for us is to fight expectations. The good news is that’s kind of been the theme,” Majkrzak said.