New changes on and off the field for SDSU athletics

Travis Kriens

Travis Kriens

Walking around on the campus you may notice similarities and differences. This is also true of the Jackrabbits Athletic sconce, also. Sports Writer Travis Kriens explores new events and new faces to welcome the new 2007-2008 sports calendar.

SDSU will host the Summit League basketball tournaments.

A press conference on June 27 announced that SDSU will host the Summit League men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in the Sioux Falls Arena in 2009 and 2010. The two-year affair will take place on March 7-10 in 2009 and March 6-9 in 2010. Both the men’s and the women’s champions will receive an automatic bid for the NCAA Division I tournament. The men’s championship game has appeared on ESPN/ESPN2 each of the past 14 years, while the women’s title game has appeared on ESPNU each of the last two seasons. SDSU beat out Oral Roberts, which has hosted the tournament since 2005 in Tulsa, Okla.

Both Women’s & Men’s Basketball teams got new Asst. Coaches

The SDSU men’s basketball team added two assistant coaches, while the women’s team has added one new assistant. On May 9, Deryl Cunningham was added to Scott Nagy’s coaching staff. Cunningham was a McDonald’s All-American in his interscholastic career in Illinois. He graduated from Kansas State University in 1994, basketball for the Wildcats. Cunningham also played for the Sioux Falls Storm and in Europe.

Rob Klinkefus was the second assistant added to the men’s team on June 6 due to a recently created position as part of the move to full-fledged Division I status. Klinkefus graduated from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, in 2000 and was a graduate assistant last year for SDSU, while attending graduate school.

While an assistant coach at his alma mater (Div. III) Buena Vista University, Klinkefus helped the Beavers to a 15-0 record in conference play, along with five trips to the national tournament in a five-year span. He will help the Jacks with recruiting and scouting.

Travis Brewster, a former University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and University of North Dakota assistant, was named to the open assistant position on the women’s basketball team on May 16. Brewster played professionally in Europe before starting his coaching career. He spent four years as an assistant at UND before moving on to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee last season.

SDSU Football on Television

The Great West Football Conference and the newly formed America Channel announced on May 2 that it has signed a deal to broadcast select football games throughout the 2007 season. The deal gives Cal Poly, North Dakota State University, University of California Davis and SDSU at least one game shown on the America Channel. The cable network also has an agreement to broadcast games with the Gateway Football Conference, which is the Jackrabbits gridiron home, starting in the 2008 season.

Kai Williams showed off skills during International play.

Forward Kai Williams was one of 12 players named to Team Canada for the Under-19 World Championships that were held in Novi Sad, Serbia from July 12 to the 22. Williams led Canada to their first win in the championships by scoring 27 points, 12 rebounds, and being chosen as the MVP of the game by the fans in a 99-83 win over Korea. Canada ended up placing 10th in the 16-team field while Williams averaged 14 ppg and 5.8 rpg. In his freshman year at SDSU, Williams led the team with 12.1 points and 6.5 rebounds.

Jake Rogers was drafted by the Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals selected South Dakota State University shortstop Jake Rogers in the 22nd round of the Major League Baseball Draft on June 8 with the 670th overall pick. Rogers lead the 2007 Jacks by starting all 53 games for the Jackrabbits while batting .312, with ten home runs and 48 RBI. Rogers will be on assignment trying to improve his skills at Class-A Vermont Lake Monsters in Burlington, VT.