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High energy, competition the focus for Carroll College men on North Dakota road trip

Carroll MBB
Posted at 11:50 AM, Nov 30, 2023

HELENA — The Carroll College men’s basketball team left Thursday morning for a 10-hour bus trip to Dickinson, N.D., to face Mayville State Friday evening prior to a tough road contest against Dickinson State Saturday night.

The Fighting Saints currently hold a six-game win streak against the Blue Hawks, but first-year head coach Ryan Lundgren said they're taking it one game at a time, and Kendall Moore, a senior transfer who has yet to face off against either Dakota squad, declared the team is ready.

"I feel like the mentality stays the same," said Moore, a 5-foot-11 point guard known as the 'Dayton Sensation'. "Obviously you got to come in with a ‘down 10’ mentality because we’re on the road. Each game is going to be different, but if you come in with the mentality that we’re coming in for two (wins), that’s really all you can (do).”

Moore also spoke about the Saints’ “next man up” mentality.

“Instilling confidence and just telling people to play hard," he said. "And even when you’re tired, like, keep giving energy, because somebody (will) come in right after you, and they're going to play hard for five minutes and play hard for five more minutes and it keeps following in line.”

“Honestly, I just want everybody to have enough confidence to shoot the ball and to play freely," Moore added. "I don’t want people to be out there thinking, so really just letting (the younger guys) know like, play your game, we're not trying to change nothing you do. Play what got you here, like play how you got here, so if you feel open, shoot the ball."

One of those younger guys on this year’s squad is 6-5 Fairfield, Calif., native Isaiah Moore, who was recruited by former Fighting Saints coach Kurtis Paulson.

"Just a new start, new area to be at, so that was one thing, and when I had my first visit here ... I just enjoyed the chemistry of the team," Isaiah Moore said. "It’s always been good, so those were the main things, and play my game, I felt like this was a good fit."

Lundgren and his current staff agree that both Moores will be a major piece to the puzzle this year if they want to be successful when it really counts.

“Win or lose, we're always together. We're always helping each other and, yeah, we’re just unselfish, feel good energy every day,” Isaiah Moore said. “Pretty much our expectation is to leave it all out on the floor.”

Dickinson State recently bested Frontier Conference preseason favorite Montana Tech in Butte on Nov. 16 by a final score of 87-78.

“I would say like for these preseason games, these are all just a preparation for the Frontier," said Carroll's Andrew Cook, who leads the Saints in scoring with 19.8 points per game. "And so, as long as we’re getting better each and every game, that’s all that matters right now. And as long as we get better each and every day, I feel like we’ll be good."

Knocking down free throws will be huge this weekend for the Fighting Saints, who average 22 shots from the line per game, the most in the Frontier. However, Cook and his teammates are shooting only 65.4% when they do get an opportunity.

"This is going to be a great season, I can feel the energy, and we're definitely going to have a good year, so I’m excited,” Isaiah Moore said.

The Fighting Saints return from North Dakota Sunday night for a long break. Their next game isn't scheduled until Dec. 14 when they'll host SAGU American Indian College inside the PE Center. Carroll will hit the road again for the holiday "Cactus Classic" tournament in Chandler, Ariz., Dec. 16-19.