The Iowa Towers have arrived

Drue Aman

Drue AmanSports Editor

Maybe it’s not a bad thing to be tall and be able to dribble, shoot and rebound.

That’s the perception of incoming freshmen Jordan Dykstra and Marcus Heemstra, who in reality, are both 6-8. Those perceptions and hype are something the two ignore, only emphasizing the traits of their game they need to improve in their first year at SDSU after standout careers at Rock Valley High School.

“I’ve tried ignoring it,” said Dykstra, a 222-pound forward and all-time leading scorer and rebounder in Rock Valley High School history. “I try to stay humble with myself and always keep working, it’s a new level. Marcus and I are teammates, but we have a lot of other players that we have to get involved with too.”

Other players have noticed the advancement of their play, and in late August, an international trip to Canada to play four exhibition games gave Heemstra and Dykstra an earlier experience than usual with new teammates.

“They’re both really good shooters,” said sophomore and returning starter Nate Wolters. “And they can pass, not just for big post guys, they’re going to help us.”

Heemstra and Dykstra are two players of a youth-oriented roster that includes four freshmen and two sophomores, all with the expectation of seeing playing time, and all between 6-foot-3 and 6-9. That fact elicited a superlative from head coach Scott Nagy, that his roster, all have assets they present to the team.

“They’re all long, all pretty athletic kids, all good passers and ball-handlers,” said Nagy of his six underclassmen. “What they give us is more versatility than we’ve ever had.”

Versatility is something SDSU has seemingly lacked in previous years. That’s something stats can vouch for: three players logged over 30 minutes a game three seasons ago, and four did so in 2008-09. Last season, no players surpassed that mark, and 10 players on the roster cracked the starting lineup, with five of those players not returning this season. Dykstra and Heemstra – along with incoming junior college transfer Aireus Stephenson – enter the program with expectations of playing right away, and productively. All while figuring what their weaknesses are.

“I didn’t know how bad I was defensively,” said Dysktra of the adjustment to the college game. “I need to work on that obviously, just the physicality of the game and the speed of the game are obviously a lot different than what I was used to in Iowa.”

“I was kind of a shock at first,” Heemstra said.

With a plentitude of youth, a surge of height, and a bench that Nagy can walk down and “grab good players”, Dykstra and Heemstra may only need modest contributions to accomplish SDSU’s first season above .500 since transitioning to Division I six years ago.

“Excitement would probably be the best word to describe it, and anticipation,” Heemstra said of starting SDSU’s season and his career. “We’ve been here since the beginning of June working out as a team, it’ll be good to get a game in.”

#1.1766753:869257933.jpg:Men’s Basketball Aaron Stoneberger 7.jpg:Marcus Heemstra battles Dakota State?s Bryce Snyder for a rebound on Nov. 1. Heemstra is also on the Jackrabbit baseball team.:Collegian Photo by Aaron Stoneberger#1.1766751:1225753005.jpg:Men’s Basketball Aaron Stoneberger 5.jpg:Jordan Dykstra brings the ball ahead for the Jacks against Dakota State on Nov. 1.:Collegian Photo