Jackrabbits face new challenges

Skyler Jackson, Co-Sports Editor (He/Him)

Despite losing the season opener to Akron Monday, the South Dakota State men’s basketball team looks like a contender for the Summit League title this season.

Gone from the team that started last year are Doug Wilson, Baylor Scheierman and Noah Freidel.

But as they often do, the Jackrabbits have a crop of good players on top of their key returners to give them hope.

“The thing about this year’s team, it feels like we’re even more connected,” coach Eric Henderson said. “And that’s what truly excites me about this group.”

The Jackrabbits are in action Wednesday against Boise State as their preseason continues.

Here’s a closer look at the team.

  • Key Returners 

Senior Alex Arians. Played and started in all 35 games.Averaged 8.1 points, 4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

Junior Charlie Easley. Averaged 7.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Shot 52.1% from the field and 50% from 3-point range.

Sophomore Zeke Mayo. Named to the 2022 Summit League All-Newcomer squad. Averaged 9.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists. Scored in double digits in 20 games.

Senior Luke Appel. Selected as the Summit League sixth man of the year last season. Averaged 9 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. 

  • Key Newcomers

Redshirt freshman Matthew Mors. Mors transferred from the University of Wisconsin where he redshirted. He is from Yankton and was a five-time all-state selection and was the Argus Leader Player of the Year three times.

Freshman Kalen Garry. Named Argus Leader Player of the Year in 2022 from De Smet high school.

Freshman Tanner Te Slaa. Te Slaa is from Hull, Iowa and was the Siouxland SportsZone Boys Basketball Player of the Year in 2022 at Boyden-Hull high school.

Freshman William Kyle III. Kyle was the member of consecutive state championship teams at Bellevue West high school in Bellevue, Nebraska.

  • Notable Schedule Dates


Nov. 16 at Arkansas

Dec. 3 at Alabama

Summit League

USD. In Vermillion Jan. 14, at home Feb. 11.

NDSU. In Fargo Jan. 5, at home Feb. 4.

Oral Roberts. In Tulsa Dec. 19, at home Feb. 25.