Ben Woodside Knows Free ThrowsPosted by rtmsf on December 13th, 2008
John Stevens is a featured columnist for RTC.
Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Ben Woodside.
Most likely you’ve never heard of this gentleman (or maybe even the Bison of North Dakota State University) unless you live in North Dakota or follow Summit Conference basketball. And I’ll be honest with you — until about an hour ago, neither had I. But when the overnight interns here at the RTC Eastern Seaboard Complex noticed and alerted me that on Friday night our boy dropped 60 points on Stephen F. Austin in a game in Drake University’s Hy-Vee Classic – yeah, that’s right, I went Hy-Vee on you! — well, I simply had to investigate this.
Sticking with honesty, I’ll tell you that I obviously didn’t see this game, and while I was getting down to the bottom of this, I was thinking of possible headlines for an article, like “Woodside Takes SFA Behind the Woodshed,” or “Lumberjacks Can’t Chop Down Woodside,” or something like that. But those prospects were ruined by the fact that SFA actually defeated Woodside’s NDSU team 112-111 in three overtimes. The game was tied 78-78 at the half, and in one of the more interesting-looking linescores you’ll see, NDSU scored 11 points in each of the three overtimes. SFA also scored 11 in the first two…but 12 in the 3rd OT.
Whenever I hear that a player has put up a huge individual number like that, I always wonder who got embarrassed in their attempts to play defense on this guy. In this case, the answer is…half of the time, nobody. Literally. Woodside, a 5’11’’ 185-pound senior, took a page from the Tyler Hansbrough success manual and got half of his points by converting numerous opportunities at the free throw line, shooting an impressive 30 for 35. You’d also think that a 5’11’’ guy would need some serious 3’s to hang 60 big ones on somebody. Wrong again. Woodside was 14 for 32 from the field, only shooting 2 of 6 from three-point range, so he’s obviously got some creativity in his game. More evidence to this fact is that Woodside has evidently been a consistently prolific scorer for NDSU in all four of his on-court seasons there (he redshirted his first year), averaging 17.5 as a freshman, 16.4 as a sophomore, and 20.7 as a junior. Before this year began he had a streak of 85 consecutive starts, which certainly looks like it’s still intact. It’s also worth noting that he’s averaged over 5 assists each year, and tacked on 8 assists (and 8 rebounds, nearly a trip-dub) in the game earlier tonight against SFA, making him responsible for at least 76 of the Bison’s 111 points.
I’m sure he probably would have rather had the victory for his team, but any time a guy elevates his PPG from 20.7 to 26.2 in a near mid-season game, props are warranted. So kudos to you, Ben. We’ll be checking in on you periodically for the rest of the year.