Poydras comes up big off the bench

St. Cloud State freshman point guard Jordan Poydras appears to be settling into his role off the bench for the No. 22-ranked St. Cloud State men’s basketball team.

Poydras, out of DePere, Wis., had 17 points on 6 of 7 shooting from the field for the Huskies in their 97-68 demolition of an undermanned Minnesota-Duluth team Saturday night at Halenbeck Hall in the NSIC opener for both teams.

“This felt really good. I kind of expected to have a good game. I have some friends over at UMD. I wanted to play well against them,” Poydras said. “Playing my first home game, this was great.”

Poydras went 5 of 6 from downtown in his 19 minutes of action. Poydras was second on the team in scoring behind senior Theo Rothstein, who scored 22 points and had eight rebounds.

Poydras is backing up starting point guard Shaun Jensen, who had 11 points and 10 assists. Coming off the bench is still an adjustment for the freshman.

“It’s hard, but it’s something I have to adapt to,” Poydras said. “Shaun is an All-American and Damarius Cruz is good. I’m learning from two of the best players in our conference. I’d rather be here and learning from Shaun than someplace else. I love it here and I love my role.”

Poydras said once his first three-pointer went in during the first half that he felt like it was going to be a good day.

“Once you see the ball go in the hole, it makes it easier,” he said. “I’m just trying to play well and help this team.”

Poydras was a little taken aback by how big the St. Cloud State crowd was Saturday. The crowd swelled to more than 2,400. It might have been even more than that.

“Hopefully when we start playing some bigger teams, we’ll get even more of a fan base. It’s good to get off to a good start. We want the fans to keep coming back,” Poydras said. “I love it.”

SCSU head coach Kevin Schlagel credited Poydras for a big game.

“He’s a very good player,” Schlagel said. “What we need to do is get him more organized into our system. The kid is talented. We saw a taste of that tonight.”

Said Cruz: “Jordan came out and played very well tonight. He gave us a big spark. That’s what we need from him.”

NOTES

* SCSU junior forward Kenquane Brown didn’t play Saturday due to an injured knee. Brown hurt the knee at practice Thursday. Schlagel isn’t sure how long he will be out.

* James Fort played despite a strained MCL in one of his knees. He finished with 15 points and seven rebounds.

* Cruz is happy with how he’s playing after four knee surgeries in two years.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” he said. “I’m pretty impressed with myself and how the knee is doing. I’m feeling like myself again. Every day is another day to get back to where I want to be.”

 

 

 

Andy Rennecke

About Andy Rennecke

A sports writer for the St. Cloud (Minnesota) Times newspaper who covers St. Cloud State athletics with a focus on football, women's basketball and men's basketball. I also cover the St. Cloud Rox of the Northwoods League. Follow Andy Rennecke at https://twitter.com/AndyRennecke
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