South Dakota State's defense of its Summit League championship starts on the road in 2014.

The Jackrabbits open league play at IUPUI Thursday night, before moving on to Fort Wayne Saturday.

SDSU is 8-7 after non-conference play, with three of those losses coming on the road at Minnesota, Stanford, and Texas Tech.

The one thing head coach Scott Nagy told me he's looking for more of heading into conference play is consistency:

As a team, the Jacks are shooting 45% from the floor, 34% from behind the 3-point arc.

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Four seniors anchor this year's team (Jordan Dykstra, Marcus Heemstra, Brayden Carlson, and Chad White) as SDSU tries to find a way to win without Nate Wolters in the lineup after he moved on to the NBA after last season.

Dykstra is leading the team with 16 points and 8 rebounds a game, but even as the Jacks try to find a way to fill the void left by the departure of Wolters, the coaching staff isn't looking for anything more out of Dykstra than they're already getting from their pre-season first team all-conference forward:

(Photo by Dave Eggen/Inertia Sports Media)

One of the newest faces at SDSU is a very familiar one to South Dakota basketball fans.  Former Roosevelt standout Cody Larson has come to Brookings after transfering from the University of Florida.

At 6'9 he gives his new team some additional options inside:

Larson and Carlson have each scored in doubles figures in the last four games, the only Jacks to do so.

One area the Jacks are looking to improve in 2014 is depth from the bench.  So far SDSU reserves have contributed 10 points or less as a group in eight of the 15 games this season.

Coach Nagy says he sees the depth emerging, although they will be without forward Connor Devine, who did not make the trip this weekend:

In the Summit League opener at IUPUI Thursday, the Jacks will be looking to extend a seven game winning streak against the Jags, which included three wins last season.

IUPUI is a strong rebounding team with guard Marcellus Barksdale and center Mitch Patton both in the Top Ten in the Summit League on the boards.

Junior Ian Chiles is the #2 scorer in the league, averaging 17 points a game, after injuries limited him to just 4 games last year:

Tipoff is 6:00pm Central Thursday night in Indianapolis.