Apr. 17—With the UND men's basketball program losing two of its top three scorers to the transfer portal this offseason, the Fighting Hawks were out to find capable shooters to fill the void.
UND hopes it has a good start to that process in landing the commitment late Thursday of Snow College 6-foot-5 guard Matt Norman, who averaged more than 16.0 points per game last season.
"What made me choose North Dakota was definitely the coaching staff," Norman said. "The coaching staff seems awesome. They're winners, and they really want to win, and that's ultimately what I want in choosing a college."
Norman, who was first-team all-conference this year, was one of two UND scholarship offers out at Snow College. UND also offered 6-7 power forward Travis Wagstaff, who has yet to announce his commitment.
"(UND) offered one of my teammates maybe a month ago and they reached back out to me and said they're still really interested and don't let that deter you," Norman said.
After Snow College's season ended, UND head coach Paul Sather set up a Zoom video chat with Norman.
"I felt like we really connected well," Norman said. "North Dakota checked all of the boxes I was looking for, and it felt like the right fit."
Norman played all three guard positions at Snow.
"I feel like I'm a shooter, but I'm also a playmaker," Norman said. "I feel like I've developed as a playmaker and passer."
Because of the pandemic, this winter's college basketball season doesn't count against Norman's eligibility. So, despite spending two years at Snow, Norman still has three years of eligibility remaining to play at UND.
The Badgers were 16-8 this past season and averaged about 90 points per game.
Norman shot about 40 percent from the field and 35 percent from the 3-point line.
Norman joins a recruiting class that features three high school athletes: 6-4 guard Paul Bruns of North Sioux City, S.D., 6-3 guard Reid Grant of Johnston, Iowa and 6-10 center Gavin McGrath of Onalaska, Wis.