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NDSU roundup: NDSU running back to have knee surgery

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King Frazier’s first three practices in a North Dakota State uniform were impressive. Unfortunately, that’s all the evaluation he’ll get from the Bison coaches.

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The sophomore running back will undergo scope surgery today to repair meniscus in his knee and will miss the rest of spring football. If it’s a partial tear, he may be out just two weeks, said NDSU head coach Chris Klieman.

That would still sideline him for the April 26 Spring Game, but it appears it would be the best-case scenario. If more repair is needed, he’ll be out “an extended period of time,” Klieman said.

“He needs reps, but the three practices we did see we saw some good things,” Klieman said.

The Bison were not only impressed by his physical stature – 6-foot, 222 pounds with quickness to go with it – but Klieman said Frazier showed an aptitude to pick up the Bison offense quickly.

“I think he’ll help us in the fall,” Klieman said.

Frazier transferred from the University of Nebraska this semester and was expected to compete with sophomore Chase Morlock for the backup job to starting running back John Crockett.

Klieman also said fullback Jedre Cyr will miss the rest of spring ball because of hernia surgery. The former walk-on from Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton has progressed to the point where he was slated to take over the role vacated by senior Andrew Grothmann.

Penn State assistant interviews at NDSU

The smell of fumes from construction equipment and the sounds of heavy machinery were common at the Bison Sports Arena Tuesday afternoon. Finally, the long-awaited renovation has begun.

Ironically, one of the programs that will play in the new facility — women’s basketball — took a major step in a renovation of its own. Penn State assistant coach Maren Walseth arrived on campus late in the afternoon as the first candidate to make an official visit for the head coaching vacancy.

“This is an opportunity for me to see what’s out there and see if this is a good fit for me,” she said.

Walseth, 36, is no stranger to the area or NDSU.

She was an outstanding high school player at Bloomington Jefferson in the Twin Cities and her younger sister, Annika Walseth, played one year for the Bison in 2007-08 after transferring from Colorado State.

“I talked with her for a little bit,” Maren Walseth said. “She had a good experience here and had a very positive experience of Fargo and NDSU.”

Annika Walseth spent two years at NDSU, but was ineligible for one year because of NCAA transfer rules. She was on Amy Ruley’s last team before the highly successful head coach retired from coaching to move into administration.

“I know there’s a rich history,” Maren Walseth said. “I’ve learned a lot about it the last few years, and I really think there’s a bright future here. Being a Midwestern girl, being a Minnesota kid, this is something that is intriguing.”

The first order of business when she arrived at the BSA was meeting with the returning players, who were gathered in a classroom. The Bison return 10 players from this year’s team, and all were present to talk with Walseth.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the team and some of the people involved in this, and we’ll see what happens,” Walseth said.

She’s been an assistant at Penn State for the last seven years. Before that, she was an assistant at Navy for three years. She was a standout player at Penn State, helping the Lady Lions to the Women’s Final Four in 2000. A 6-foot-2 forward, she played four years in the WNBA for Sacramento and Washington and played one year professionally in France.

“I’ve been an assistant for quite some time, and it’s always been a dream of mine to be a head coach,” she said. “I’ve never pinpointed exactly what that looks like or where that is, as I have a fantastic opportunity and situation in State College.”

Asked what she brings to the table as a candidate, she said, “I think I can bring a lot of energy … in some respects, they’re here to tell me what it’s all about. I’m here to sell myself a little bit, so we’ll see what happens.”

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Jeff Kolpack
Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at www.bisonmedia.areavoices.com. On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.
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