Basketball programs adapting

Mike Miller

Mike Miller

My response to the letter to the editor that was published last week by a current USD student is this: It is a column, not a report. It is my opinion on anything sports-related. If you do not like it, don’t read it. But since you requested local, here’s local.

SDSU men’s basketball has been the chief topic of sports all around the area. The incident that allegedly took place recently even made it to Too bad the school made it to for a reason that was not good.

The men’s team is currently 7-17 on the season, with the latest victory over Texas-Pan America at Frost Arena. They are, what we could say, struggling in Division-I play thus far.

Head Coach Scott Nagy, who took over in 1995, had winning seasons in Division-II play every year, clearing the 20-win mark in all but one season. However, since the move to Division I, the team has had difficulty adjusting and has struggled. They have played some pretty big names, such as Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Minnesota, just to name a few. All the games ended with SDSU losses. But considering the experience SDSU gained, can those losses really be considered losses?

The men have not won many games this year due to their tough D-I schedule. For example, two different teams have played both SDSU and the University of South Dakota this year in basketball: Southwest Minnesota State University and Upper Iowa University. The USD basketball team is currently a solid 16-8 on the season. Upper Iowa played SDSU in an exhibition game at the beginning of the season. SDSU won, 84-56. USD also defeated Upper Iowa, 93-66. However, SDSU defeated Southwest Minnesota State, 70-66, in their meeting and USD lost, 69-75 to SMSU. Therefore, if SDSU were still in Division-II play, would the current team dominate the North Central Conference? I would be willing to bet so, even though I am sure a lot of people doubt me when I say that.

SDSU men’s basketball is a program that is learning, I hope.

The women’s basketball team has so far adjusted to the D-I move better than the men have. Being a solid team at 16-8 as of Feb. 12, they are in contention to be in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament this season. They are currently ranked somewhere in the top 100 teams, according to Head Coach Aaron Johnston. If the women win their remaining games against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, North Dakota State University, Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne, UC Riverside and Central State (Ohio), they have a chance at the WNIT, according to Johnston. The only home game is the last one, Central State (Ohio). The game is March 3 at 7 p.m. Make sure you try to make it to that game because it could decide the future of the women’s season.

The men play their final home game at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Frost Arena against NDSU.

Be sure to make it to a basketball game if you haven’t done so yet. And I hope you enjoy cowbells constantly making noise. I don’t.

#1.884540:51327780.jpg:mikegray_tc.jpg:Mike Miller, Ball Talk:Ty Carlson