Who: South Dakota University (The Coyotes)
This season: 4-3
Last season record: 17-16 (9-7)
Where: The Barn
When: 2 pm. CT
How: BTN Plus or listening live on Gophersports.com
What?!: They only have 3 players from MN, but they all play respectable minutes.
Vegas odds: Gophers by 12.5
Players to watch: Casey Kasperbauer, Tre Burnette, Dan Jech
This Summit league is really fun. I'm ecstatic that there is a league that scoops up the Minnesota talent that can't quite make it to Minnesota or even Northern Iowa. SDSU (South Dakota St.) recently had a player (Nate Wolters) go to the NBA and he played for a charter school in St. Cloud, his coach would later coach at my alma mater Stillwater Area High School. The storyline of NDSU winning a game in the field of 64 and then Charles Barkley later saying that they are celebrating that they are celebrating because they don't have to go back to North Dakota is priceless stuff. Is there a chance that because of this league that Minnesota eventually has more than one Division-1a basketball team? I'm not sure, but it would seem more reasonable with the Summit League's emergence to relevance.
Okay, back to business. Tre Burnette is South Dakota's leading rebounder at 6-foot 5. 6. 5. And he is grabbing 8.1 rebounds per game. Only the Summit League would be cool enough to have a player like that. Senior guard, Casey Kasperbauer, is shooting 46.7% from 3-point land and averaging over 14 ppg. Freshman forward, Dan Jech, a Rochester, MN is averaging almost 11 ppg and 4 boards pg, while shooting over 50% on his 3-point attempts. I give, most of these statistics are coming on a pretty small sample.
This team has experience and on paper they look like they can compete for a Summit League title. The Summit teams seem to play with a lot of passion and energy in the matches I have seen. The Gophers have seemed to match the other team's energy to this point, but you worry about if and when that will end. It would seem plausible that could be this game after coming off a win on ESPN and the confidence is beginning to rise around the team.