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St. Thomas Men’s B-Ball Again At The Top

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(credit: CBS) Eric Nelson
Eric was born in Southern California and grew up playing sports in the...
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By Eric Nelson, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Once again, the St. Thomas Tommies are unbeaten and sitting atop the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in men’s basketball.

Once again, the season is looking like a banner year. They have the look of a champion team.

“We play difficult teams, we play tough teams,” said guard Tyler Nicolai. “Every team we play, we expect to come out and win, and that’s what we try to do.”

The Tommies have been a Division III powerhouse for many years now. The one staple in all their winning has been coach Steve Fritz. He’s been at St. Thomas for 31 seasons and is a 14-time MIAC coach of the year.

“We’ve been blessed to have good kids that, some, could play above this level and certainly many that are very good players at this level,” said Fritz.

Last year the Tommies were basketball nomads. They played all their games on the road. This season, the Tommies have new digs. The sparkling new Tommie Taj Mahal is called the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex. It is a gem.

“We’re thrilled. It really has all the things that a coach and a player could want,” said Fritz. “We have a nice locker room, we have a great floor.  A really good place to watch basketball.”

The Tommies play an uptempo style and are a deep team, led by guards Nicolai and Alex Healey. Fritz does his best to coach his team up.

“He demands a lot from his players — always to play your hardest and to play your best. That’s something that we try to take on as a team, is to always try to go out and outwork the other team,” said Healey.

WCCO-TV’s Eric NelsonReports

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