Summit League Preview: South Dakota Men at South Dakota
If the South Dakota men's basketball team is going to repeat as Summit League regular season champions, they're going to need to be streak busters.
The Coyotes (24-6/11-2) have just one game remaining on the schedule - a road date at South Dakota State, Thursday (February 22) night. The Jackrabbits (23-6/11-1) currently own a half-game advantage in the conference standings and haven't dropped a game at Frost Arena in more than a year - 19 straight victories.
SDSU comes in with the top offense in the Summit, averaging 85 points per game in league play. The Jacks also take care of the ball better than anyone, commit the fewest fouls, and grab the most rebounds.
Junior Mike Daum is having another MVP caliber season - leading the Summit in scoring and rebounding. Freshman David Jenkins Jr. is in the top ten in scoring and three-point shooting. Jenkins is hitting 57 percent from the floor over his last three games.
In an 87-68 win in Vermillion last month, the Coyotes held both Daum and Jenkins in check. Daum scored just 18 points and shot just four free throws (half of his usual total), while Jenkins went just 3-of-12 from the floor.
Tipoff is 7:00 PM, Thursday in Brookings.
A USD win guarantees the Coyotes at least a share of conference title. A victory, plus a SDSU loss at Fort Wayne, Saturday, gives South Dakota the crown outright.
South Dakota has not won in Frost Arena since 2000.
Last Wednesday (February 14), the Coyotes won 85-67 win at Oral Roberts, despite starting the game 1-of-6 from the floor and falling behind by as many as 11 in the first half.
USD played one of its best halves of basketball in the second half in Tulsa, shooting 75 percent from the floor, quickly erasing that halftime deficit with a 19-4 run to start the second half.
Tyler Hagedorn led the way with 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting to go with ten rebounds.
Saturday (February 17), the Coyotes used a 15-0 run that extended from the end of the first half into the beginning of the second half to propel them to a 79-64 win over Omaha.
USD got seven first half points off the bench from Nick Fuller and 28 for the game from Matt Mooney.
The South Dakota defense held the Mavericks to a Summit League season low 35 percent shooting, limiting the conference's sixth-leading scorer Zach Jackson to just 1-of-7 shooting and a season-low three points.
I talked with Coyotes head coach Craig Smith about last week's sweep and the match-up with South Dakota State: