Men’s basketball gets first win

Adam Zobel

Adam Zobel

The SDSU men’s basketball team begins its first season in Division I with a lot of youth and a new defensive scheme both of which were evident during the Saturday, Nov. 13, exhibition game against Concordia-St. Paul as the Jacks prevailed 73-57.

SDSU struggled out of the gate as the Golden Bears had a 13-6 lead five minutes into the game, but the Jacks responded with a 22-4 run that eventually resulted in a 39-27 halftime lead that they would not give up.

Freshman forward Steve Holdren led the Jacks with 15 points and four steals in his debut and senior guard Luke Geiver added 12 points for the Yellow and Blue.

SDSU coach Scott Nagy said he was pleased that the team, which was implementing a zone defense for the first time because of its lack of height, forced Concordia to commit 28 turnovers. He said the zone defense had to improve, especially since the first half saw some miscommunication among the team members as they mixed man and zone defense.

The two aspects of the game that Nagy said concerned him most were the lack of rebounding and the abundance of turnovers. SDSU, a traditionally-strong rebounding squad, only out-rebounded Concordia 32-31 and allowed the Golden Bears to grab 13 offensive rebounds. The Jacks also had trouble handling the ball as they committed 22 turnovers.

“I expect every team to be a good rebounding team,” Nagy said as he noted that his smaller squads were some of his best rebounding teams.

Nevertheless, Nagy was pleased by the performance of the team — a squad returning only one starter and that has only three seniors and no juniors.

“It was better than what I expected,” Nagy said.

As the season begins this week, the coach said it is important that the team avoids nervousness and limits its turnovers to 12 or less per game.

“We need to be the aggressors,” Nagy said.

Sophomore guard Andy Kleinjan noted that the team was ready to start its season after a month of playing each other in practice. He also praised his teammates for picking each other up despite the inexperience of the team.

“Guys have to step up this season and be leaders,” Kleinjan said.

The Jackrabbits begin their regular season this Friday, Nov. 19, when the team travels to Indianapolis to face Butler, followed by a trip to the Big Apple to face Manhattan on Sunday, Nov. 21. The Indianapolis Bulldogs are a member of the Horizon Conference and are looking to improve upon its 16-14 record last season. The Manhattan Jaspers are the defending champions of the Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference after a 25-6 campaign and a NCAA-Tournament berth.

SDSU begins its home schedule on Nov. 24 when it hosts Mayville State. The Comets, members of the DAC-10 conference in the NAIA, finished their 2003-04 campaign with a 1-27 record. Mayville State, which started its 2004-05 season with an 81-38 loss to Northern State, is in its first season under head coach Craig Smith, who served as an assistant coach at Mayville State, Northern State, Minot State and North Dakota State prior to assuming control of the Comets.

#1.885648:3989450726.jpg:Boys BB.jpg:SDSU guard Luke Geiver passes the ball baseline.:Mike Carlson