Hoops Preview - South Dakota State

SEATTLE - The Washington Huskies put their 32-game home non-conference winning streak on the line Sunday at noon when they host the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. The game will be broadcast by ROOT Sports. The Jackrabbits (9-4) are coming off an 89-70 loss to North Dakota. Three of their four losses have been at the hands of major schools on the road - Minnesota, Georgia, and Nebraska.

This will be the first meeting between the two schools.

The 19-point loss to the Fighting Sioux in Grand Forks, ND was a bit of a surprise, considering the Jackrabbits handled UND quite easily at home just five days earlier, 92-54.

SDSU play a smaller lineup, with their tallest expected starter - Jordan Dykstra - measuring in at 6-foot-8, so from a size perspective Washington shouldn't be at too much of a disadvantage missing starting center Aziz N'diaye for the second-straight game. But don't be fooled; even though the Jackrabbits play small in the front court, their back court starters are 6-foot-3, 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-4. For the season, they are beating opponents by an average of 77.8 to 69.1, so like Washington they've been most successful in out-scoring teams, as opposed to trying to shut the opposition down on defense.

The Jackrabbits are coached by Scott Nagy, who is in his 17th season at the Brookings, SD-based school. For Lorenzo Romar, who just won his 200th game at Washington Friday night, he could ask Nagy some questions about getting to 300, as Nagy is only 11 short of that mark (289-190 overall). Nagy's club was 19-12 last year in the Summit League, finishing fifth in the league that also hosts such teams as Oral Roberts, Oakland, IUPUI, South Dakota, North Dakota State, UMKC, Western Illinois, and Southern Utah.

South Dakota State is led by junior guard Nate Wolters (No. 3), who is currently averaging 20.3 point per game. He scored 24 in the most recent loss to North Dakota. Wolters was named a second-team pre-season Mid-Major All-Amercan by the blog Ballin' is a Habit. This same blog had recent UW opponent UCSB's Orlando Johnson a first-team All-American and Nevada's Dario Hunt a Mid-Major Honorable Mention All-American. Wolters is also clearly their top point guard, averaging nearly 3-1 in assists-to-turnovers (66-23).

Their second-leading scorer is G/F Griffan Callahan, a senior from Seneca, Ill. Callahan is averaging 11.2 points and leads the Jackrabbits at 6.2 rebounds per contest. Since both leading scorers are upperclassmen you'd think SDSU is an experienced group, but just the opposite is true; of the 15 listed players on their roster, only three are either juniors or seniors.

But they collectively rebound and score well: SDSU has seven players that average more than six points and three rebounds a game. By contrast, the Washington Huskies have six players averaging more than seven points a game and seven players averaging more than three rebounds a game. It's clear that both teams like to spread the wealth around. The only clear deficiency for the Jackrabbits is due to their lack of size; they have only 20 combined blocks for the season, compared to 45 for Washington.

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