SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Two weeks ago, SDSU standout sophomore Noah Freidel decided to sit out the remainder of the season to focus on his mental health. The Jacks have found a way to fill the void that Freidel left behind.
Noah Freidel was one of SDSU’s go to players before he ended his season early to focus on his mental health. The sophomore was averaging 16 points per game, while playing 31 minutes a contest.
“Obviously, when Noah made his decision, he was playing quite a few minutes, so that was going to give a couple other guys like Charlie, like Mims and boy, I’ve really liked what they’ve been doing,” SDSU Head Coach Eric Henderson said.
Charlie Easley and Matt Mims started seeing more minutes with Freidel’s absence, and have provided a spark for the Jacks on both ends of the court.
“They’ve defended their tails off. They’ve made open shots and they just haven’t tried to do too much, which is really, really important,” Henderson said.
Easley replaced Freidel in the starting lineup.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve adjusted too much. I’m just kind of doing the same things that I’ve kind of been doing. Just making good effort plays and making sure I always give the energy that I need and the team needs, and do whatever it takes to win,” SDSU Sophomore Charlie Easley said.
“He just stayed locked in you know, during the whole year, he was always prepared and came to practice ready, always made sure to take his chances when he got in the game. Now, with how the situations are, he’s took that role, in the starting spot and really showed up big time,” SDSU Senior Douglas Wilson said.
Easley and Mims are scoring more than 11 points per contest combined in the last five games, but it’s been their defensive prowess that’s made the biggest difference.
“They give us the ability to guard maybe those smaller, quick guys that we’ve struggled with at times. They’ve really done a nice job on those types of players. I’m very, very proud of both of those guys,” Henderson said.
As the Jacks gets set for Omaha in their opening game, they’ve had 5 games with this current lineup to figure things out.
“We’ve been able to understand how it feels a little bit, and maybe make some adjustments and tweak things that can help us along the way,” Henderson said.
SDSU opens the Summit League Tournament against Omaha Saturday night. Tipoff is set for 5:45.