Consistency. This seems to be the point of emphasis for the University of South Dakota’s men’s basketball program as the continue to battle through their Summit League conference schedule.
On Jan. 26, the Coyotes will travel to Tulsa, Okla. in a tough matchup to take on the top team in the Summit, the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles. The Coyotes, who are 7-12 on season and 2-8 in the Summit, will be huge underdogs, as Oral Roberts is a perfect 10-0 in conference play (18-4 overall).
Senior guard Louie Krogman said both his personal play needed to improve consistently but overall that the team needs to be more consistent.
“Personally I know that I need to be more consistent.” Krogman said. “But really it is something as a team that we can improve on.”
Senior guard Charlie Westbrook, who was recently named the Summit League Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for his career high 32 points against IUPUI last week and his 18 points against Western Illinois, said the team is looking to start a win streak during their next two road games.
“Right now we are playing okay. We’re playing hard and playing with a lot of effort, but there’s room for improvement.” Westbrook said. “If we go out and play tough and execute, we should be in good shape.”
Head Coach Dave Boots acknowledged this will be a tough task for his team but also sees it as an important game on the schedule.
“As of now, they are they best team in our league, so we’ll have to play a great game to beat them,” Boots said. “We are all trying to improve the program and get used to playing in the Summit, so this should be a good building block for us.”
The Golden Eagles are currently on an 11-game win streak and are led by senior forward and Summit League player of year hopeful, Dominique Morrison, who is averaging a team high of 20.3 points per game.
Krogman said in order to beat Oral Roberts it all goes back to being more consistent.
“As a team we need to be more consistent with our jump shots,” Krogman said. “If you look at the games we won it was because we were making our shots. All in all we just need to go in their with a lot of energy because we have nothing to lose.”
After Thursdays night’s game at Oral Roberts, South Dakota will travel to Utah to play the University of Southern Utah on Saturday.
The Coyotes are entering their final month of the season and will be looking build on their first full season in the Summit League.