Not sure who Taylor Braun is? Nate Wolters may be the player everyone talks about from the Summit League, but Braun is the better player, his team sitting two games ahead of Wolters' South Dakota State team.
Braun, a 6-foot-7 swingman, was injured during the second half of last Saturday's win against Oakland.
"It's certainly unfortunate for Taylor, from the standpoint of what he's done for us as a team to this point. His leadership, the work he put in over the summer," said coach Saul Phillips in his weekly "Coaches Corner" segment.
The race for the Summit League regular season title had appeared to be looking in the Bison's favor until Braun's injury. He helped get the team to a 6-0 start in Summit play, where they are tied for first place with Western Illinois. Overall, the team is 15-3, and ranked 56 in the RPI.
Braun averaged 15.2 points and 5.0 rebounds, with 2.8 assists per game. He is also shooting an impressive 47.5% from the field and 50% from the 3-point range.
"I feel horrible for Taylor. But for the rest of us, you know what? We're still sitting in a good spot. There's no pout in us. And I think we've got a big ol' chip on our shoulder right now," said Phillips.
The loss of Braun can mean a change in the race for the Summit League title. North Dakota State has several away games against Western Illinois and South Dakota State and losses could mean chasing the title from behind the last month. With his size and ability to score, Braun was a good match-up against opponents in the Summit. Mike Felt or Chris Kading will get more minutes while Braun recovers.
Braun should be back for when NDSU hosts Western Illinois on Valentine's Day.
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