SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s State-U this weekend as rivals SDSU and USD meet in both men’s and women’s basketball. On the men’s side, SDSU is looking to keep its perfect start to Summit League play going, while USD will look to knock off their rivals for the 3rd time in the last four meetings.
USD and SDSU have started conference play in opposite directions. The Jacks come into Saturday 3-0 in the Summit League and fresh off a road win over NDSU.
“Started the second half really, really well, and then went on a little bit of dry spell, but never panicked. We were able to finish it off, obviously Dougie was terrific but it’s time to move on,” SDSU Head Coach Eric Henderson said.
USD is 0-2 in league play, and then their next two games were canceled due to COVID-19 protocols. Monday’s practice was the first time the Coyotes were able to be together in 10 days.
“They were happy to be back in the gym and it was great to see everybody and have the team feel some normalcy. But from a standpoint of being in game shape, we are a ways away from there,” USD Head Coach Todd Lee said.
The Coyotes will have to quickly prepare for a potent Jackrabbit offense that leads the country in 3 point field goal percentage.
“We’re going to have to defend really well, but we’re going to have to score the basketball because they can get on runs because of how explosive they are. They have everyone back from the team last year, they didn’t lose anybody,” Lee said.
SDSU will have to adjust to a new looking Coyote team compared to last season.
“Instead of being maybe a little more perimeter oriented with A.J. and Stan, they really try to own the paint and make it very, very hard for you to score in the paint, and try to win at the free throw line,” Henderson said.
You can throw records out the window come Saturday as both teams expect a battle inside Frost Arena.
“They’re not going to come in here scared. They’re going to come in confident, they’re going to be hungry and they’ll be connected. We know it’s going to be a big challenge, but we’re also very excited for it,” Henderson said.
Saturday’s game is set for a 6:00 tipoff up in Brookings.