Through the ups and downs Dave Richman has stayed the course.
Committed to the vision he has always had for NDSU men’s basketball.
“I’m very, very confident in who I am, very, very confident in my plan and vision," Richman said. "And when you get the right guys on board that will buy in to it no matter. It’s really cool. There’s a lot of validation in the process.”
It’s easy to give all the credit for this year’s NCAA tournament berth to the guys on the current roster. But this bid has been years in the making. As Richman and his staff challenged his players to be the men they expect them to be, recruited character over flash. All to build to what they are today.
“We’ve been writing our story for a long time. And we knew. I don’t think there were many that believed but this group. No matter the circumstances, no matter the record, the injuries that we went through, they kept believing,” Richman said.
Those circumstances have been well documented. The late game losses and falling short of expectations, along with the ups and downs Richman has had with his stand out players -- Carlin Dupree, Paul Miller, and this year, Tyson Ward.
“Tyson and I. We go round and round a lot. This is a young man that wears his emotions on his sleeve,” Richman said.
“I’m a very emotional person and I just learned how to calm down a little bit," Ward said. "My teammates kept me calm, coach Richman kept me calm, my family back home kept me calm. It’s just a family thing.”
That’s what Dave Richman has been working towards. Sometimes painstakingly so – but working towards none the less.
“Any family has their ups and downs and that’s what makes it special,” Richman said.
This one is special for Richman and his staff.
"When they’re talking about the things that we’re talking about as a staff," Richman said. "And more importantly not that they’re talking about them, that they’re actually walking them. That their behavior reflects how they’re speaking. It’s really neat.”
North Dakota State plays North Carolina Central in the First Four games in Dayton, Ohio Wednesday at 5:40 p.m. on truTV.