Change has been the buzzword in Vermillion this basketball season as the South Dakota men adjust to a new head coach and welcome some new faces as the Coyotes get ready to tip off Summit League play this weekend.

USD is 6-8 after 14 non-conference games under new head coach Craig Smith, and as expected, it's been a work in progress for this team - losing their first five, before winning six of their last nine.

Coach Smith told me it's been a little bit of everything so far:

One thing USD is doing very well thru the first dozen games: rebounding.  The Coyotes are the Summit League's #1 rebounding team, averaging 37 a game.  They are also tops on the offensive glass, grabbing 13 a game:

(Photo by Dave Eggen/Inertia)

Familiar faces are leading the way for the Coyotes so far.

Guard Casey Kasperbauer is the Summit League Player of the Week.

Kasperbauer made seven three-pointers and scored 23 points during the USD's 84-60 win against Milwaukee Sunday. He also added three rebounds, two steals and one blocked shot.

Returning guards Brandon Bos and Tyler Larson are leading the Coyote scoring attack, averaging 16 points per game each.

Coach Smith says that trio has keyed the recent change of fortune for this team:

(Photo By Ty Carlson for Dakota Press)

South Dakota opens Summit League play at home Friday night when they host the highest scoring team in the conference, Omaha.

The Mavericks (6-6) are led by lightning quick guards C.J. Carter and Devin Patterson, who combine for 31 points per game for a UNO attack that is the best among Summit League teams so far, averaging 79 points a contest.

Coach Smith know his defense is in for a test: