With Selland’s return from injury, SDSU Women aim for another NCAA bid

Sports

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota State Women’s basketball team earned an at-large bid into the last year’s NCAA Tournament after going 14-0 in Summit League regular season play and finishing 21-4 overall. With Preseason Conference Player of the Year Myah Selland coming back from injury, the Jacks return 97% of its production from last season and should be in line for another NCAA Tournament berth this year.

“Last year when you’re not only thinking about how to win but you’re thinking about safety, mental health, everything is so much under a microscope last year, it just was a great way to remind everybody the value of taking care of people. And when you take care of people, they perform really well,” SDSU Women’s Head Coach Aaron Johnston said.

And perform they did. The SDSU Jackrabbits women’s basketball team returns almost the entire roster from a team that would finish 14-0 in Summit League play thanks in large part to a defense that allowed just 61 point per game.

“Defensively I think we’re going to be excellent again, we always have been. We’ve rebounded and defended at a really high level for a lot of years,” Johnston said.

But maybe the most intriguing storyline coming into the new season will be the return of the preseason conference player of the year Myah Selland who’s nearing a return from a season ending knee injury last February.

“Obviously we want her back on the court, but we also more than anything want her to be healthy and we want her to have that confidence when she comes back with herself, and so I think that’s the most important thing. And then when she is ready to come back I think just finding a way to make the team be productive with her and working her back into that lineup,” SDSU senior forward Tylee Irwin said.

“She’s not someone who has to have the ball in her hands all the time. You don’t have to run sets for Myah all the time. She figures out how to kind of interject her talent without having to be the center piece and the rest of the team I think fits that mentality really well,” Johnston said. “Will there still be some adjustments, absolutely but it won’t be okay here’s how we play when Myah’s not on the floor, here’s how we play when Myah’s on the floor, it won’t be a big shift. She’ll be able to work herself in really well I think.”

Along with Selland, Seniors Paiton Burckhard and Tylee Irwin were also named to preseason all conference first team. The Jacks begin their season tomorrow night at home against Green Bay.

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