South Dakota State Preview: Jackrabbits Open Season Hosting Texas-Rio Grande Valley
Transition is the keyword surrounding South Dakota State basketball as the 2019-20 season tips off Tuesday (November 5) against Texas-Rio Grande Valley. Tipoff is 7:00 PM in Brookings.
Not only are the Jackrabbits under the direction of a new head coach, but they are also looking for a way to make up for more than 80 percent of their offense which is no longer with the program.
Former assistant Eric Henderson takes over for TJ Otzelberger who left after last season to head up the program at UNLV. The Jacks' second-leading scorer David Jenkins will also be part of the Runnin' Rebels going forward.
The biggest gap to fill in Brookings will be the one left by the school's all-time leading scorer, Mike Daum. Daum graduated in May after averaging 25 points and 12 rebounds his senior season.
Fellow seniors Skyler Flatten and Tevin King added another 26 points per game in 2018-19.
The pressure to produce this season falls on the shoulders of sophomores Alex Arians and Owen King, who each played in all 33 games last season, averaging a combined ten points per game.
Arians told me he's had to change his approach both on and off the court heading into this season:
State will be looking for increased contributions this season from sophomores Alou Dillon and Matt Dentlinger and immediate impacts from junior college transfers Tray Buchanan and Douglas Wilson.
Arians says this team will also look to make its mark on the defensive end of the floor:
Offensively, Arians says balance is the key for this season's Jackrabbits: