Men’s BB: SDSU, USD Preview
What does South Dakota State's Nate Wolters do for an encore after hitting for a school record 53 points at Fort Wayne Thursday night? This afternoon, the senior guard and his Jackrabbit teammates will try to pull off something they've never done before - win at Oakland.
SDSU is 0-5 lifetime at Rochester, Michigan's O'Rena, where stopping the Golden Grizzlies offense has been troublesome for head coach Scott Nagy's team. In the last four games against the Jacks in Rochester, Oakland has scored 86 points or more, 90 or more each of the last two seasons.
Not only is Wolters coming in red hot, leading the Summit League in scoring with 22 points per game. The Golden Grizzlies have their own scoring machine in guard Travis Bader, who's second in scoring in the conference, just four-tenths of a point off Wolters' pace.
When Wolters went for 53 Thursday at IPFW, it was the highest point total in Dvision I play this season. The previous high? Bader, who poured in 47 points 15 days ago against IUPUI. The Jacks know all about Bader's ability to score in bunches, he hit 10 three-pointers and scored 37 points in an Oakland victory at home against them last January.
Typically, the Golden Grizzlies score a lot of points and give up a lot of points, and this season is no different. Oakland leads the Summit in scoring at 78 points a game, while giving up the fourth most points per game at 74. The Jacks place more emphasis on defense, giving up 11 points fewer a game than Oakland, while scoring 75. Both are in the top three in the league in three-point shooting, rebounding, and assists.
When these teams met in Brookings last month, it wasn't Wolters and Bader leading the way for their respective teams, rather forwards Tony Fiegen and Jordan Dykstra combining for 46 points and 18 rebounds for the Jacks, while center Corey Petros paced Oakland with 22 points and 15 rebounds, in an 81-74 SDSU win. Wolters and Bader each had off shooting nights. Wolters going five-of-13 from the field, Bader just four-of-17.
Tipoff is 4:00pm in Rochester, MI.
The University of South Dakota men are seeing their first action of the week when they play at Kansas City tonight.
The Coyotes finished the first half of the Summit League schedule by splitting eight games and holding down of third place heading into the second half, but three straight losses later, and USD is now sixth with a month to play. UMKC has also dropped its last three conference games, and sits just 3-8 in Summit League play.
One of those three first half wins came against the Coyotes last month in Vermillion, as the 'Roos got 57 points off their bench to outscore the USD reserves by 48 in a 90-86 win. Kansas City shot a school record 83 percent in the second half to erase a four-point Coyote advantage. Estan Tyler led the bench attack with 25 points. Juevol Myles had 24 in a losing effort for USD.
Offensively, it looks like a mismatch with South Dakota averaging 75 points per game, while Kansas City scores a league-low 62, but USD has struggled mightily on the road this season, scoring an average of 19 fewer points per game than they do in the DakotaDome. Both teams struggle with turnovers, averaging 27 per game between them.
USD center Trevor Gruis is in the top 16 in the conference in scoring, field goal shooting, rebounding, and blocked shots.
Tipoff is 5:15pm in Kansas City.