The South Dakota State men’s basketball team is at the top of the Summit League with a record of 5-0. One of the main reasons it’s having so much success is because Skyler Flatten is having his best season in a Jackrabbit uniform.
The redshirt senior from Clark, South Dakota is shooting 49.2 percent from three, which is the best in the Summit League. He’s also shooting 48 percent from the field and is averaging 6.5 points per game.
Coming into the season Flatten was a 35.2 percent three-point shooter and was averaging 4.1 points in his career. Flatten said he thinks staying healthy is the main reason his percentage has gone up, because he can get in the gym and practice more. He missed the 2015-16 season due to a knee injury.
“I have to give credit to my teammates,” Flatten said. “It makes it easier for me when I have teammates that are all great scorers and playmakers because then I get more open shots.”
Flatten was granted another year of eligibility in early January because he missed the 2015-16 season. He said it was an easy decision to accept the extra year of eligibility because SDSU has had so much success during his career.
“I figured I’m playing really well right now and it’s an opportunity to make myself better at basketball and hopefully it can help me set up whatever is next after my career,” Flatten said.
Head coach T.J. Otzelberger said that the Jacks are fortunate to have him back for another year because of how much he’s improved.
“Skyler knows how important he is to our team,” Otzelberger said. “He’s shooting the ball tremendously and scoring well, too. He’s become one of the better perimeter defenders in the league. So he’s invaluable to our program.”
Flatten isn’t content with being the best three-point shooter in the Summit League and knows that there are still areas where he wants to improve.
“I need to be more aggressive,” Flatten said. “I have to make sure I’m ready when my name is called and do anything I can to help the team.”
SDSU has won the Summit League Tournament and gone to the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons. Flatten said that if the Jacks want to make it three years in a row they have to take it one game at a time and it starts Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. in Vermillion against South Dakota.
“We have to not look ahead. Even though playing USD is a big rivalry, we have to treat it like any other game,” Flatten said.