Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Spartans face South Dakota State on Friday

When Bob Dylan sang "you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows..." he didn't have atmospherics in South Dakota specifically in mind but he could have. Of course, there are times in the Mount Rushmore state that wind direction simply doesn't matter because there are more pressing concerns

Like last week:

SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota (AP) -- A wintry storm dropped close to four feet of snow in places on the Northern Plains Thursday, stranding unknown numbers of motorists for a day or more and knocking out power to thousands. State officials said some people could be without power for days, but they had a simple message for anyone thinking of trying to drive in western South Dakota's blizzard: Don't. "This is a dangerous storm," Gov. Mike Rounds told reporters in a telephone conference call Thursday evening. "Western South Dakota is basically under a no-travel advisory."

Well, it's currently 25 degrees this morning in Brookings, South Dakota, home of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.

A big 'so what?' may just now be forming in your mind so here's why we're delivering a weather report on the Upper Midwest. San Jose State plays South Dakota State this coming Friday and we are hoping he recent weather there doesn't repeat itself anytime soon.

Luckily, the forecast for Friday, November 14 in Brookings is mostly cloudy with just a 20 percent chance of light snow.

As strange as this sounds, San Jose State men's basketball will take it. Let's just hope such temperatures don't lead to cold shooting for the Spartans.


South Dakota State is coached by Scott Nagy, now entering his 13th season as head coach there. In his 12 years, Nagy has compiled a 235-121 record at the Division I and Division II levels and led his squad to North Central Conference championships in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2002. He has been honored as the North Central Conference Coach of the Year five times -- 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2003.


These two teams met on December 30 last season at Walt McPherson Court with the Spartans finally coming away with a 77-71 victory. A Tim Pierce three truly at the buzzer knotted the score and San Jose State then pulled away in overtime. South Dakota State had led 57-40 with 9:03 remaining in the second half before San Jose State mounted its comeback.

The Jackrabbits committed 22 turnovers but maintained parity on the glass as each squad grabbed 38 rebounds.

Each member of SJSU's starting five scored in double figures led by DaShawn Wright's 17 points. Justin Graham followed with 16. Forward Kai Williams led South Dakota State in both scoring and rebounding with 18 points and seven boards.


Here are the Jackrabbit players:

Michael Palarca G 5-10 179 So. Santa Clarita, Calif.
Mackenzie Casey G 6-0 176 Sr. Wounded Knee, S.D.
Troy Wipf G 6-0 180 Sr. Yale, S.D.
Dale Moss G 6-4 197 So. Brandon, S.D.
Clint Sargent G 6-4 212 So. S. Sioux City, Neb.
Garrett Callahan G 6-1 180 Jr. Seneca, Ill.
Payton Tivis G 6-2 185 So. Bowman, N.D.
Kai Williams F 6-6 207 Jr. Regina, Sask.
Josh Cassaday F 6-6 225 RFr. Aurora, Colo.
Griffan CallahanG 6-4 200 Fr. Seneca, Ill.
Brandon DeBoer F 6-6 215 Jr. Huron, S.D.
Anthony Cordova F 6-7 245 So. Sioux Falls, S.D.
Dwight Pederson F 6-8 205 So. Volga, S.D.
Mark Engen C 6-10 217 Jr. Lamberton, Minn.
James Rader G/F 6-7 220 Fr. Littleton, Colo.
Anthony Davis F 6-10 240 Jr. Clarinda, Iowa

Team leader Kai Williams is back along with much more size inside than last season:

Williams played for the Canadian National team this summer after averaging 14 points per game and 7.8 rebounds on the season for the Jackrabbits. He's quite the athlete with his jumping ability and quickness. Newcomer Anthony Davis, a 6-10 240 transfer from the tough Iowa junior college ranks a la DeShawn Wright, scored 14.1 points a game and hauled in 6.1 rebounds so look for him to be in the middle. Junior Garrett Callaghan runs the offense and scored 15 points last season against San Jose State. Guard Clint Sargent provided 10 points and forward Anthony Cordova contributed 7 rebounds against the Spartans. Luckily, center Ben Beran has graduated and is now playing basketball in Germany. He was able to play but 13 minutes against San Jose State last season due to injuries but he compiled seven points, three boards and three assists in that short time.

As even more incentive for the Jackrabbits this year, South Dakota State is now a full-fledged member of the Summit Conference and thus eligible for D-1 post-season play. The Summit Conference consists of Centenary, IPFW, IMPUI, North Dakota State, Oakland, Oral Roberts, Southern Utah, UMKC and Western Illinois.


The Jackrabbits fell to Southwest Minnesota State 70-65 in an exhibition game on November 3. Garrett Callahan led all players with 20 points in the loss and Kai Williams added 11 points and pitched in with a team-high eight rebounds. In what could prove to be an interesting stat for Friday's contest, South Dakota State was out-boarded 45-38. However, just eight players suited up for the Jackrabbits due to injuries so that needs to be factored into anyone's thinking. Big man Anthony Davis was among those sitting out as South Dakota State went with a two forward/three guard lineup.

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