South Dakota State (7-3) at No. 6 Wichita State (6-1)
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Koch Arena (tickets available)
TV: Cox HD 2022
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Streaming: Watch ESPN
Radio: 103.7-FM and GoShockers.com
Live stats: GoShockers.com
WSU ranking: No. 5
SDSU ranking: No. 120
Score prediction: Wichita State 84, South Dakota State 65
WSU’s winning odds: 96%
South Dakota St.
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Coach: T.J. Otzelberger, second season
Coach: Gregg Marshall, 11th season
▪ Three-point shooting: South Dakota State is taking nearly 27 three-pointers per game, which is about 48 percent of its shot selection (15th-most in the country). The Jackrabbits aren’t just taking them, but they’re making them too — their team is shooting 39 percent, which is 55th is the country. Daum (21 threes on 38 percent), David Jenkins (20 threes on 39 percent), and Tellinghuisen (19 threes on 44 percent) make up the three-headed monster.
▪ Experience: South Dakota State brough back 67 percent of its starting experience, including its top two scorers in Daum and Tellinghuisen from last season. KenPom ranks SDSU in the top-50 in the nation in experience and minutes continuity. The rotation is basically all juniors and seniors, except Jenkins, a freshman who played at Sunrise Academy last year and is averaging 14 points off the bench.
▪ Winning the free throw battle: For a team that shoots so many threes, it’s surprising the Jackrabbits also shoot so many free throws. So far this season SDSU is shooting 23 free throws per game and shooting nearly seven more free throws per game than its opponent, a sign of disciplined defense. Daum, Jenkins, and Brandon Key are all skilled at drawing fouls.
▪ Finishing inside: South Dakota State is shooting 45 percent on two-pointers this season and it’s taking nearly 84 percent of its two-point shots within five feet of the basket, per Synergy Sports. The Jackrabbits are shooting just 49 percent near the rim, a major reason why they rank 281st in the country on two-point percentage this season. In fact, SDSU is fourth from dead-last in college basketball on how much two-point field goals account for its offense.
▪ Forcing turnovers: South Dakota State switched from primarily zone to exclusively man this season with its defense. The results so far have been mixed, as SDSU is essentially forcing no turnovers from its opponents. The Jackrabbits are only forcing turnovers on 16.5 percent of opponent possessions, a mark that ranks 299th in college basketball, but still better than WSU’s bottom-20 mark of 15.9.
▪ Making defensive plays: SDSU ranks in the bottom 40 in college basketball on defense in turnover percentage, block percentage, and steal percentage. Basically, the Jackrabbits don’t make a lot happen on the defensive end. They keep teams off the offensive glass and off the foul line well, but that’s about it. Teams are shooting nearly 53 percent on eFG% and scoring at 1.04 PPP, both below average marks.
3 Players to Watch
6-9 forward Mike Daum (No. 24)
Strengths: Stretch forward who only takes shots near the rim or beyond the three-point line. His outside numbers are down this season, but he’s still fatal from three-point land on the left wing. Most dangerous this season in transition, mostly on trails plays, as he’s producing at a 1.39 PPP clip. Pulls down a lot of defensive rebounds and is drawing about five fouls per game on the defense. Read this for a more detailed breakdown on what to expect from Daum.
Weaknesses: Shooting numbers have decreased across the board this season. He’s still taking a lot of threes, but has not been hitting from right wing or straight on this season. Also only shooting 47 percent near the rim, which is way down this season. Is only shooting 25 percent on contested catch-and-shoot jump shots, which are what he is taking two-thirds of the time.
6-2 guard David Jenkins (No. 5)
Strengths: Energy-changer off the bench, averaging second-most points on team at 14 points in 24 minutes. Has found success as a three-point gunner, taking six per game and shooting 42 percent. If you throw out his 1-for-14 shooting from the top, Jenkins is shooting 52 percent from three on the wings and corners.
Weaknesses: Does not add much to the offense if he’s not making threes. Below average at running the pick and roll. Synergy rates him as a below-average defender with opponents scoring 1.02 PPP when he’s in front of them. Shooting just 41 percent on two-pointers and 40 percent at the rim.
6-7 forward Reed Tellinghuisen (No. 23)
Strengths: Doesn’t get as much offense run through him, but is one of team’s most efficient options. Another forward to stretch the floor; is taking five threes per game and making 41 percent of them (up to 47 percent if he’s on the wings). Rarely turns the ball over and is one of the team’s best defenders.
Weaknesses: Not a low-post scorer, evident by just six points in the 12 times he has tried to score on post-up opportunities. Doesn’t grab a high amount of rebounds for his size.
The Shockers shredded South Dakota State to the tune of a 1.34 PPP performance, which translated to a 22-point victory even without Shaquille Morris.
Really, there weren’t many defensive stops by either team in last year’s game in Wichita. WSU never really stopped Daum or the Jackrabbits, it just outscored them. This year SDSU brings back an improved team and one that isn’t so reliant on Daum.
But this isn’t a great matchup for the Jackrabbits. WSU has the athletes to cover Daum effectively and the depth to keep them coming at him. The Shockers also have been absolutely shredding man defense, which is all that SDSU plays.
Look for SDSU to pack the paint with help defense and force WSU to take (open) jump shots from the perimeter. Of course WSU has some nifty sets it can run to get Morris, Rauno Nurger, and Darral Willis in the post. Once the Shockers establish that, look for them to start finding some wide open looks for three. I’d expect another above-average shooting game from the outside.
Make no mistake, SDSU is a solid team and one we’ll hear about later in March. But the Shockers have too much in the arsenal and I expect them to run away with this one by the 30-minute mark. WSU’s defense will come through with a better effort in this year’s game, but the offense won’t miss a beat.
Wichita State 83, South Dakota State 61
Shocker Player of the Game
I’ll go ahead and take the safe bet here with Landry Shamet. He’s great just about every game, but he’s only averaged 9.0 points in the last three games. It’s not because he’s in a shooting slump, but because he’s been distributing more lately. I think this game will play right into Shamet taking on more of a scoring load. WSU is going to play inside-out and I’m guessing South Dakota State is going to pack it in tight in the lane to try to stop Morris, Rauno Nurger, and Darral Willis from shredding inside. That’s going to leave a lot of wide open shots from the perimeter available for the taking. In case you didn’t know, Shamet is shooting nearly 54 percent from beyond the arc this season. I think that percentage could go up after Tuesday, as I’m predicting Shamet will make at least three three-pointers and score close to 20 points to lead WSU to a convincing victory.
Conner Frankamp scores 17 points and hits five three-pointers, as the No. 8 Shockers down No. 16 Baylor 69-62 on Saturday at the Farrell Center.email@example.com