Jacks find solid footing despite injured starters
The SDSU men’s basketball team takes the floor at Frost Arena at 7 p.m. on Thursday as they try to extend their 23 game home winning streak against the Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne Mastodons.
The Jackrabbits, who are 13-4 overall and 2-1 in the Summit League, are off to their best start since becoming a Division-I program in 2004.
The Jacks are coming off their first conference loss of the season as they fell to Indiana University-Purdue Unversity-Indianapolis, 74-67. It was IUPUI’s first victory over SDSU after losing in their first seven tries.
SDSU will face a IPFW squad who is first in the Summit League with a conference record of 4-0 and an overall record of 14-4.
Unlike last year, where the Jacks were healthy all season, they have had a couple of injuries hinder them over the last month. George Marshall returned at the beginning of conference play after missing six games with a foot injury.
Head Coach Scott Nagy hinted last week that Jake Bittle could see the floor Thursday after missing the last seven games due to injury. Bittle was averaging 11.4 points per game before getting hurt.
“Since we only have one game in ten, 11 days, we’re hoping that for Fort Wayne he should be ready to go.” Nagy said.
The Jacks leading scorer is senior guard Deondre Parks, who is averaging 16.9 points a game. Parks was preseason First Team All-Summit League team. Parks is also averaging 5.3 rebounds a game which is something not many people expected from him this season.
The surprise of the year so far has been redshirt freshman center Mike Daum. Daum is averaging 12.6 points a game and 5.1 rebounds.
Even though the team is off to their best start in DI history, they are in no way happy with how they’ve started off conference play.
“No one in our locker room is celebrating, because we know we can play a lot better offensively,” Nagy said.
The Jacks will go on a three game road trip after the matchup against IPFW including games against rivals NDSU and USD. SDSU is looking to make it back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013.