Summit League Preview: South Dakota Men at Denver, Host South Dakota State
The Coyotes (6-8/0-1 Summit League), already without injured starting center Tyler Hagedorn for the season, have now lost senior forward Logan Power for the remainder of the year with a broken foot.
USD will try to overcome that adversity in Denver tonight (January 2).
The Pioneers (5-11/0-2 Summit League) are back home after dropping the first two games of the conference schedule on the road last week.
Offensive production has been a big problem for DU so far this season. The Pioneers are last in the conference in scoring and field goal percentage despite having one of the top guards in the Summit, senior Joe Rosga. He's averaging 12 points per game, as is junior guard Ade Murkey.
Creighton transfer Ronnie Harrell Jr., a Denver native, is leading Denver with 14 points per game.
The Pioneers have struggled on the defensive end of the floor as well, allowing 85 points or more seven times this season.
South Dakota has been inconsistent offensively, shooting under 40 percent five times this season. The Coyotes defense has been better, holding opponents to just 43 percent from the floor and forcing 14 turnovers a game.
Tipoff is 8:00 PM (Central), tonight in Denver.
USD returns to Vermilion Sunday (January 6) for the Summit League home opener against South Dakota State.
The Jackrabbits (11-5/1-0 Summit League), the pre-season favorite to win the conference, boast the top two scorers in the Summit, Mike Daum (25 points per game) and David Jenkins Jr. (20 points per game).
SDSU is the top scoring and top shooting team in the conference. Defensively they hold opponents to a league-low 39 percent shooting and grab the most rebounds.
Tipoff is 3:30 PM, Sunday in Vermillion.
Last week, South Dakota opened conference play with a strong start at North Dakota State, shooting 61 percent in the first half, leading by as many as 13 points.
But the Coyotes lack of depth caught up with them in the second half, as they shot just 39 percent and were outscored 48-23 in the second half in a 71-65 loss to the Bison.
USD sophomore guard Stanley Umude finished with his first career double-double (17 points and 11 rebounds).
The South Dakota bench was outscored 47-4 in Fargo.
I talked with Coyotes head coach Todd Lee the North Dakota State loss and the match-ups with Denver and South Dakota State: