Fresh off their first season in the Summit League, the University of South Dakota’s men’s basketball team learned on the fly how tough the competition really is.
With an 84-77 loss on Feb. 25 against Oakland, the Coyotes finished with a final record of 10-18 and 5-13 in conference play. With that record USD finished ninth place out of ten teams, proving there is work to be done within the Summit League.
Senior guard Louie
Krogman said he believes the team will only get better over time.
“It was a good learning experience for us this year,” Krogman said. “It’s going to take some time but I know USD will improve.”
The shining moment for the Coyotes of year one in the Summit League was their huge in-state win over South Dakota State University.
The team also saw great play from their two senior guards, Charlie Westbrook and
Krogman, who scored 18.7 and 16.8 points per game respectively.
Westbrook said he truly cherishes his time on the USD basketball team.
“It’s sad to think about the season being over,” Westbrook said. “I really enjoyed my time with these guys.”
The lows began early, with five losses within the first seven games. The team also had a disappointing preformance in its opening game against SDSU, where the team suffered thirty point loss.
The team will also have to deal will also have to cope with the graduations of three starters including their top two scorers (Westbrook and Krogman) as well as forward Ricardo Andreotti, who led the team with 6.8 rebounds per game.
“Some guys will have to step up next year,” Westbrook said. “I believe in them and know they’ll play well.”
One player that could break out next year will be sophomore and starting center Trevor Gruis, who was third on the team in scoring and second in rebounds. Gruis avereaged about 11.3 points per-game, and 6.7 rebounds per-game.
Another player to watch will be sophomore guard/forward Steve Tecker, who really came into his own the last month of the year to end up averaging 5.6 points per game and a team leading 42.6 percent from the three-point mark.
The Coyotes also have a solid incoming freshman class, which includes forward Tyler Flack from Lakeville, Minnesota and Casey Kasperbauer from Carroll, Iowa.
Kasperbauer was named ESPN high school player of the week for the midwest region during the week of Feb. 1, for his 47 point preformance.
Saying goodbye to three strong seniors will be tough, but USD will look to build off their first compete Summit League season.