VERMILLION, S.D. (USD) — South Dakota head men’s basketball coach Todd Lee is pleased to announce the addition of the 2018 South Dakota Gatorade Player of the Year and Mr. Basketball A.J. Plitzuweit, a transfer from Augustana.
Plitzuweit, the son of Coyote women’s basketball head coach Dawn Plitzuweit, was named the 2018-19 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Freshman of the Year after starting 24 games averaging 14.6 points, 4.1 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game. He also sank 88.9 percent of his free throws, marking the fourth-best percentage in the league.
The 6-2 guard scored in double digits in 19 contests for the Vikings and tallied a season-high 26 points against Upper Iowa (Jan. 11). He also had season highs of seven rebounds and nine assists.
Due to NCAA transfer rules, Plitzuweit will have to sit out the 2019-20 campaign and have three years of eligibility remaining when he steps on the hardwood of the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.
“We’re excited to have A.J. join our program,” Lee said. “He has a very high basketball IQ and already has had success at the collegiate level. He is a gym rat, always working on his game to get better.
“We feel it is a perfect situation for him here because he will come in and redshirt a year but will be learning from four senior guards. He will get to go against them in practice and learn our system so that he will be ready in 2020-21.”
A 2018 graduate of Vermillion High School, Plitzuweit tallied 33.9 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game as a senior. Following the season, he was named first-team all-State for the second time along with the player of the year accolades.
He set the Vermillion High School single-game scoring record when he scored 52 points in a game against Lennox.
“We want to recruit local players the best that we can and to get the South Dakota Player of the Year to come home is not only great for A.J. and his family but it is great for our program,” Lee added.
Plitzuweit joins a recruiting class of Ty Chisom, Hunter Goodrick, Kruz Perrott-Hunt, Kanon Koster and Rich Polanco Lantigua.