SOUTH DAKOTA STATE JACKRABBITS
Overall Record: 25-10
Summit League Record (Finish): 13-3 (t-1st)
Postseason: Summit League Champion, lost in NCAA 2nd round
2013-14 QUICK GLANCE
Interim Head Coach (Season): Scott Nagy (19th)
Men's Basketball Page | Schedule | Roster
Web Page: gojacks.com
"We are obviously starting a new era for us without Nate Wolters, [Tony] Fiegen and guys that were with us when we won a lot of basketball games with those two players. But, we still have four seniors that won a lot of basketball games and have a lot of experience winning games, so our expectations are very high. Being able to add Cody Larson to the mix was very important for us and he has done very well in practice. We do have to have some other players fill in some roles. We're going to look a lot different than we did last year. We're a much bigger and more physical team this year, so our offense will look different. Our defense I think should be better, which I am going to be very pleased with and is going to be the most important thing to me. The expectations for us are very high. With the new practice setting as it has been, we have gotten a lot of practices. The kids have liked that better. Instead of doing all the preseason condition they would rather to practice. And they have been spirited, they have been very good practices, so we're very excited." – Head coach Scott Nagy
F Jordan Dykstra (12.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.4 apg, All-Summit League second team; F Chad White (9.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.3 apg); G Brayden Carlson (9.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.5 apg)
SUMMIT LEAGUE PRESEASON POLL
All-League Selection: Jordan Dykstra (1st)
BLUE RIBBON COLLEGE BASKETBALL YEARBOOK
Analysis Excerpts: It's time to see exactly how much [Nate] Wolters meant to the Jackrabbits. Of course, his production was huge, but was he the sole reason for SDSU's success, or can the remaining pieces combine with the newcomers into a championship contender? That is the big question for [head coach Scott] Nagy.
It was easy to pick the Jackrabbits to rule the Summit last year, because Wolters was such a dominant player. Don't count South Dakota State out this year. There is experience on the team and plenty of young talent. If Nagy can pull it all together, SDSU could well find itself making a third straight NCAA appearance.
Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, the "bible" of preseason preview publications, is now in its 33rd printing. To see the complete version of this story, as well as 344 other profiles of Division I schools, order the 400-page 2013-14 edition at www.blueribbonyearbookonline.com or by calling 877-807-4857.
OTHER PRESEASON PROJECTIONS
Athlon Sports: 3rd
Lindy's Sports: 3rd
NBC Sports Talk: 3rd
Sporting News: 3rd
USA Today: 3rd
The South Dakota State men's basketball team enters the 2013-14 season as the defending Summit League regular season champions and the two-time defending tournament champions after representing the league in the past two NCAA Tournaments.
The Jackrabbits also enter the season without the services of Nate Wolters; an All-American point guard, the two-time Summit League Championships MVP, 2013 Summit League Player of the Year, SDSU's all-time leader in points and assists and a second round pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Add all that up, and the Jackrabbits enter the season picked to finish third in The Summit League preseason poll behind 2013 tournament runner-up North Dakota State and league newcomer Denver, which not only earned an NIT bid last year, but also won a game in the event.
"We got picked where I figured we would be picked," head coach Scott Nagy said. "With the loss of Nate, I think people assume we'll be a little bit down, but with four seniors that know how to win, our expectations are certainly higher than where we were picked."
In addition to Wolters, the Jacks lost forward Tony Fiegen, a 2013 All-Summit League Honorable Mention and Summit League Championships All-Tournament Team selection, but like Nagy said, the Jacks return a quartet of seniors that won 71 games over the last three seasons compared to 30 losses.
"These four seniors know how to win basketball games, and so do the rest of the guys on this team," Nagy said. "Preseason rankings don't dictate how we play, and we fully expect to have a say in how those rankings play out at the end of the season."
Jordan Dykstra brings the most accolades with him into his senior season, with a pair of All-Summit League Second Team selections in each of the past two seasons and an All-Summit League Newcomer Team nod following his freshman season. The 6-8 forward led the Jacks in 2012-13 with nine double-doubles and with 7.9 rebounds per game, and enters the season ranked 23rd all-time at SDSU with 1,149 points. He can play inside or outside, as evidenced by his SDSU-record .463 career 3-point field goal percentage.
A fifth-year senior and 6-6 guard, Chad White ranks third all-time at SDSU with a .437 career 3-point field goal percentage, fifth all-time with 169 career 3-point field goals and needs just 57 points to become the 44th member of the SDSU 1,000-Point Club.
Both Dykstra and White started the majority of games the last two seasons, as did Brayden Carlson, who enters his senior season riding a streak of 61 consecutive starts. Known for his relentless defense, the 6-4 guard can also score from either the point or off guard positions, as he showed in the NCAA Tournament game against Michigan last year, when he led the Jackrabbits with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting.
Marcus Heemstra rounds out the Jackrabbit senior class for 2013-14. A 6-9 forward, he averaged 11.8 minutes per game as a junior appearing in 34 games. A solid shooter and leader, Heemstra is also one of the best passers on the team and his length makes him disruptive to opposing offenses.
Along with the four seniors, the Jackrabbits also return a trio of players that saw action last season, including; 6-6 junior guard/forward Zach Horstman, 6-1 sophomore guard Cory Jacobsen and 6-4 guard Jake Bittle, who looks to fill the role at point guard.
Along with a solid group of returning players, the Jackrabbits also add a large group of newcomers; with two junior transfers, four redshirt freshmen and four true freshmen.
Sioux Falls natives Cody Larson and Keaton Moffitt join the Jacks this season as juniors, Larson from Florida and Moffitt from the University of Sioux Falls.
An O'Gorman High School product, Moffitt played in 27 games with USF last season as a sophomore with 14 starts, but is sitting out this season due to transfer rules.
A Roosevelt High School graduate, Larson did not play last season at Florida, and the NCAA granted a waiver for a one-time transfer exception, which means the 6-9 forward can play immediately for the Jackrabbits, and Nagy expects him to make an immediate impact.
"Cody's athleticism and size make him a threat on both ends of the court," Nagy said. "He fits in well with our team on and off the court, and he's already making a big impact on the team in the preseason."
Redshirt freshmen Connor Devine, Matt Donlan, Ruben Silva and Joshua White all know the system, and could all earn time on the floor this season, as could the group true freshmen Anders Broman, Logan Doyle, Skyler Flatten and Lane Severyn, although some of them may redshirt.