NCAA March Madness Preview – South Dakota State Jackrabbits

South Dakota State Jackrabbits

Summit (18-16, 8-8)

 by Joel Welser

At one point South Dakota State was sitting at 8-13 overall and 1-5 in Summit League play. Since that time, the Jackrabbits have gone 10-3, including three wins in the conference tournament that clinched their spot in the NCAA Tournament. This is the Jackrabbits’ second straight NCAA Tournament appearance and sixth straight postseason appearance. Last year the Jackrabbits nearly upset Maryland, but fell 79-74.

Big Wins: 12/31 South Dakota (73-72), 3/6 vs South Dakota (74-71), 3/7 vs Omaha (79-77)

Bad Losses: 1/4 at Western Illinois (74-82), 1/12 at Oral Roberts (88-94), 1/18 at IUPUI (83-85)

Coach: T.J. Otzelberger

Why They Can Surprise:

This team is all about Mike Daum. The 6-9 sophomore had another huge year, averaging 25.3 points and 8.2 rebounds. He is extremely difficult to defend since he is just as comfortable shooting a three-pointer as he is battling in the paint. Daum connected on 41.6 percent of his 185 attempts from beyond the arc. He also led the nation in free-throw attempts and free-throws made, going to the line an amazing 287 times and hitting 87.1 percent of his attempts. Often fouling him is the opposition’s only way to stop him, but that usually does not work out. The other key component to Coach T.J. Otzelberger’s team is 6-7 wing Reed Tellinghuisen. The 6-7 junior averages 11.9 points and 4.7 rebounds and has turned into a solid secondary scorer behind Daum.

Why They Can Disappoint:

The Jackrabbits have tried out a lot of different players to compliment Daum and Tellinghuisen. Michael Orris is a capable point guard, A.J. Hess adds some more size on the wing and Chris Howell has helped keep South Dakota State in the positive in rebounding margin, but to win an NCAA Tournament game somebody has to step up and turn into an effective and dangerous third scoring threat. In the conference tournament it was Howell, a 6-5 sophomore, who stepped up and scored in double digits in all three games. In the upset over top seed South Dakota, Orris went 7-for-12 from the floor and scored 20 points. This team may be all about Daum, but if others can score, South Dakota State could make things very interesting.

Probable Starters:

Michael Orris, Senior, Guard, 8.3 ppg, 4.0 apg

Lane Severyn, Junior, Guard, 2.9 ppg

Chris Howell, Sophomore, Guard, 7.7 ppg, 1.5 apg, 4.2 rpg

Reed Tellinghuisen, Junior, Guard, 11.9 ppg, 1.8 apg, 4.7 rpg

Mike Daum, Sophomore, Forward, 25.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg

Key Role Players:

Tevin King, Sophomore, Guard, 4.4 ppg, 1.8 apg

Skyler Flatten, Junior, Guard, 5.4 ppg

A.J. Hess, Senior, Forward, 9.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg

Ian Theisen, Junior, Forward, 5.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 77.6 (79th in nation, 5th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 77.6 (294, 5)

Field-Goal Percentage: 45.9 (96, 3)

Field-Goal Defense: 45.2 (245, 6)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.4 (28, 2)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.9 (87, 6)

Free-Throw Percentage: 77.2 (11, 1)

Rebound Margin: 0.6 (173, 4)

Assists Per Game: 13.5 (168, 6)

Turnovers Per Game: 12.8 (133, 5)

Recent Postseason Appearances:

2016    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Maryland

2015    NIT     First Round win over Colorado State

2015    NIT     Second Round loss to Vanderbilt

2014    CBI     First Round loss to Old Dominion

2013    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Michigan

2012    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Baylor

*all team stats through 3/5

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