After a historic season last year, South Dakota is looking for bigger and better memories in the 2019-20 campaign.

The Coyotes open the season Tuesday (November 5) morning in Boston, when the play Northeastern at 11:00 AM Central time.

USD, the number-two preseason pick in ESPNW's Mid-Major Top 10, is also tabbed to win the Summit League thanks to the return of most of the key players from a 28-win season last year which was capped by an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Aaron C Packard/USD

They are led by Summit League preseason player of the year Ciara Duffy, who is entering her senior season. Junior center Hannah Sjerven is also on the all-conference preseason first team.

Duffy told me there is a mixture of emotions heading into her final year in Vermillion:

Alongside Duffy and Sjerven are seniors Madison McKeever and Taylor Frederick, who each averaged eight points or better last season. Junior Chloe Lamb scored ten a game.

That nucleus, along with talented contributors like Monica Arens and Liv Korngable, has helped create quite a buzz around this team.

Duffy says those expectations definitely bring with them added pressure: Duffy says those expectations definitely bring with them added pressure:

Another source of stress for this Coyote team will be their toughest non-conference in program history. Between now and the start of Summit League play in late December, USD will face nine teams that finished in the top-101 of the RPI last year.

Duffy says those matchups are tough for a reason: Duffy says those matchups are tough for a reason:

USD's home opener is November 13 with Drake, the team that tops the Mid-Major Preseason Poll.


 

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