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An in-depth look at a piece of Division III

March 17, 2008

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Tasha RodgersPat MaloneyAli JaquesJeff Gibbs
Liz BondiMichael RhoadesDixie JeffersJason Kalsow
Faces of a champion

What does it take to win a national title? We asked ...

Nick BennettNick Bennett and
Jason Kalsow,
UW-Stevens Point

Then: Forwards, UW-Stevens Point 2004, 2005 national championship teams. Bennett was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2004 NCAA Tournament. Kalsow won the award in 2005.

Now: Bennett is an assistant basketball coach at Florida Gulf Coast University; Kalsow is an assistant coach at UW-Stevens Point.

To win a national championship, you need ...

To play team basketball

Bennett: "Our Pointer teams were so good because everyone bought into the fact that 'The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts.' Which simply means, we truly played team basketball. So often
Jason Kalsowthese days guys don't buy into that. Everyone gets consumed by individual glory and honor that they forget why they set out to play basketball in the first place. Our coaches did a great job of making sure we knew why we were out there; to compete to the best of our ability no matter who we were playing. Make no mistake about it, it helped us greatly that our best player, Jason Kalsow, was also the most unselfish and competitive player I've ever seen at any level. His effort inspired everyone to be the best they could be."

Kalsow: "You need players who understand the meaning of team;   our team needed a tough loss to Gustavus Adolphus our sophomore year to really realize how hard we had to work to get to that next level.  Our team also needed a big victory at Gustavus the following year to know that we could get to that next level.   A team needs great leadership from players and not just the coaching staff.  Our conference (the WIAC) was so crucial in our quest for a national title.  The battles in our league were as tough as any NCAA Tournament game. Our team had a strong confidence, not cockiness, that we would get the job done, and that we could rely on any player 1-15."

Next: Audrey Minott, Millikin

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