Preview: University of South Dakota Women’s Basketball
In a season that saw the University of South Dakota grab a number of big wins en route to their first ever Summit League women's basketball regular season championship, the Coyotes most significant win way have come in the off-season.
After the dust had settled on USD's second round run into the WNIT, the school got word that all-conference guard Nicole Seekamp had been granted an additional year of eligibility in Vermillion.
The Australian comes into 2015-16 as the Summit League Pre-Season Player of the Year, after averaging better than 15 points a game last year.
Seekamp will make up one-fifth of what has been the most successful senior class in Coyote history. She, along with Tia Hemiller, Kelly Stewart, Margaret McCloud, and Heidi Hoff have been part of a three-year run that has seen a trio of Summit League Tournament championship game appearances, a league tournament title, regular season championship, and appearances in the WBI, WNIT, and NCAA Tournanment.
Junior Bridget Arens and sophomore Kate Liveringhouse return after seeing considerable playing time last season.
Head coach Amy Williams also has a number of new faces to work into the mix, including Colorado State transfer Caitlin Duffy, American University transfer Abigail Fogg, and another Aussie - Iowa Western transfer Jasmine Trimboli.
The Coyotes are picked to finish second to South Dakota State in the Summit League pre-season poll.
Before conference play begins, USD will face a daunting non-conference schedule with the likes of Northern Iowa, Kansas State, Marquette, Washington, and Illinois.
The season starts Friday night at Utah of the Pac 12.
A number of rules changes will come into play this year, including a new 10-minute quarter format and new rules that allow more contact in the post.
I talked with Coach Williams about what to expect from her team: