Game Day Preview – South Dakota State

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South Dakota State (Public)
Mascot: Jack Rabbit
Location: Brookings, South Dakota
Enrollment: 12,500+

Current Record: 9-4 (2-0 in The Summit Conference)
RPI: 114        SOS: 258
Coach: Scott Nagy (18th Season)

First Thought: This is a team that by no means is terrible but also is a team that UW should handle with ease. This team is one of those teams that will not help UW’s RPI and SOS. But should boost their W-L record.

Best Win: 67-66 win over Western Illinois (RPI 74)
Worst Loss: 70-89 at North Dakota (RPI 289)
Last Game: 70-89 loss at North Dakota

Synopsis: The Jack Rabbits aren’t to be foolish/careless with but at the same time this is a game UW should win by a double digit margin. There is just not enough talent on the roster or enough depth on the South Dakota bench for theme to win this game. However, if UW is looking past them the Jack Rabbits could hang around and keep it closer than many UW fans would like to see.

The Jack Rabbit’s leading scorer is

6’4” junior guard Nate Wolters, who is averaging 20.5 ppg. He is a above-average shooter that can make it inside or out. But he prefers to take it to the rim and get fouled on his way up. He is averaging over 7 free-throw attempts per game with a 13-14 game in a loss to Nebraska. He knows how to take over games for his team.

However, there is a drastic drop-off between him and their next leading scorer. Their second leading scorer is 6’4” senior guard Griffan Callahan at 11.2 ppg. He is shooting at 38% from behind the arc and he brings down a little over 6 rebounds a game. He sometimes can be the glue on their team.

The Jack Rabbits then have 3 other players that are averaging just under 10 ppg; Chad White, Taevaunn Prince, and Jordan Dykstra.

My analysis: The Jack Rabbits are averaging around 77 points a game but only posted 55 against a loss to Minnesota, 61 in a loss to Georgia, and 64 in a loss to Nebraska. This team can score a lot against low-majors and might even have a shot to win their conference but when playing some of the bigger universities were shut down and unable to execute their game-plan over 40 minutes.

The main thing to look for is how close they stay with Washington through the first half. In all 3 of the above listed losses the Jack Rabbits were around at half time. But in all 3 games the better opponent pulled away in the second half. If they continue this trend- I predict a bunch of panicked UW fans followed by relief when the Huskies pull away after the half.

My Prediction: UW 86 South Dakota State 70