Few freshmen fall into the category of “immediate contributor” in the Northern Sun conference. It’s one of the top Division II basketball leagues in the country. Trever Kaiser, a 2018 grad of Dassel-Cokato, is one of the few.
Kaiser appeared in every game for the University of Mary as a freshman and sophomore, posting a career average 5.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in 54 games. Now a veteran upperclassman, he’ll be tasked with helping lead the Marauders in a very shortened conference schedule that begins after the New Year.
In 2019, Mary played their season opener Nov. 8. They open with Sioux Falls on the road Jan. 2 this season — it’s been a grueling wait in an extended preseason.
“It’s been a grind,” Kaiser said. “My teammates and I took it as a challenge. I feel it benefitted us a lot but we are ready to go compete against someone else.”
The Marauders went 12-17 a year ago, falling in the opening round of the NSIC postseason tournament. Time is of the essence now; only 16 regular season games are on the 2021 slate, making the conference picture more similar to an NFL season than a basketball one. Kaiser believes his squad is ready to face that pressure and he’s made strides himself after two strong seasons.
“This offseason I feel I took a big step in my game and I’m ready to make some noise with my team,” he said. “With every game being a conference game we know how important it is to go out and be at our best every night. We are hoping to make it to the Pentagon [in Sioux Falls] and we know once we’re there anything can happen.”
Kaiser was a three-time all-conference player at Dassel-Cokato and holds the school record for career points.