Photo by J. Alan Paul Photography
Proving Everybody Wrong
People have doubted Lawrence Alexander since he was a kid. They told him he’d never play Division I college basketball, he’d never start for four years and he’d surely never lead his team to the NCAA Tournament his senior year.
Alexander never listened, and when he did pay attention his senior year, it lit a fire in him to leave college basketball the only way he wanted to.
“It’s the best way to go out your senior year, to bring your team back to the NCAA Tournament,” Alexander said. “And I did everything I could do to get back there.”
Alexander was named Summit League Player of the Year, the Summit League tournament MVP, and was flattered when his head coach that has been with him every step of his college journey acknowledged his hard work after losing to Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament.
“All of us have some shoes to fill with LA being gone,” said junior Kory Brown who quietly led his friend and teammate off the court for the last time in his Bison career.
Alexander will graduate this summer from NDSU and has signed an agent so he can continue his basketball career professionally either in the States or Europe.
With the way Dexter Werner played against Gonzaga, it’s no surprise he found 2,000 notifications on his phone once he turned it on after the game. His career-high 22 points against Gonzaga turned the Summit League Sixth Man of the Year into a Twitter sensation overnight when he was trending country-wide for several hours during and after the first-round loss.
“It was definitely a different look than I’ve gotten before because they were just hugging out to the wing and I had 10 feet on either side of me to drive on my guy,” explained Werner. “I definitely got us some wide-open looks because (of) how they game-planned for LA and AJ.”
Werner said he was happy to be out on the court this season after one redshirt this season and one year mostly spent on the bench. The Bismarck native was ready to make an impact when he got his opportunities earlier in the season.
“I just approach it with an edge for all of the games. It’s more of a team aspect,” Werner said. “Just people thinking it was going to be a down year for us and I just channeled that and go out there with the whole team and prove people wrong as a group.”
Werner said he will bring that same edge with him next year and explained how everybody will have to work even harder with Alexander gone.