South Dakota Preview: Coyotes Open Regular Season at Northeastern
After a historic season last year, South Dakota is looking for bigger and better memories in the 2019-20 campaign.
The Coyotes open the season Tuesday (November 5) morning in Boston, when the play Northeastern at 11:00 AM Central time.
USD, the number-two preseason pick in ESPNW's Mid-Major Top 10, is also tabbed to win the Summit League thanks to the return of most of the key players from a 28-win season last year which was capped by an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament.
They are led by Summit League preseason player of the year Ciara Duffy, who is entering her senior season. Junior center Hannah Sjerven is also on the all-conference preseason first team.
Duffy told me there is a mixture of emotions heading into her final year in Vermillion:
Alongside Duffy and Sjerven are seniors Madison McKeever and Taylor Frederick, who each averaged eight points or better last season. Junior Chloe Lamb scored ten a game.
That nucleus, along with talented contributors like Monica Arens and Liv Korngable, has helped create quite a buzz around this team.
Duffy says those expectations definitely bring with them added pressure: Duffy says those expectations definitely bring with them added pressure:
Another source of stress for this Coyote team will be their toughest non-conference in program history. Between now and the start of Summit League play in late December, USD will face nine teams that finished in the top-101 of the RPI last year.
Duffy says those matchups are tough for a reason: Duffy says those matchups are tough for a reason:
USD's home opener is November 13 with Drake, the team that tops the Mid-Major Preseason Poll.