Maverick Maniac's Musings

February 28, 2013

2012-13 Omaha Men’s Basketball – Game #30 Preview–South Dakota State

Filed under: Men's Basketball,Omaha Mavericks,Previews — Jon Green @ 11:30 am

Omaha Men's Basketball Preview - South Dakota State - 2-28-13
Live Stats

Live Video ($8? and No Audio?)
Live Audio (Gary Sharp – 1620 AM)

Omaha is on their 2nd three game winning streak of the year and just like the last one they’ll look to get to four against one of the top teams in the Summit League. Last time it was Oakland that shut down the Mavericks and this time they’ll deal with Summit League leader South Dakota State

South Dakota State
Omaha heads into this game knowing that South Dakota State will be celebrating a Summit League championship if they win the game. That’s nothing to be ashamed of though, it’s not like Omaha’s been responsible for letting them get to that position and only three teams have topped the Jackrabbits this year. Anyways to prevent the Jackrabbits from winning the title on Omaha’s court the Mavericks will have to give them their fourth loss in the final six games of the season.

South Dakota State had gone on an eight game run after losing at South Dakota but that streak was ended when they lost at Oakland on February 9th. They came home to beat IUPUI and Western Illinois but ventured back on to the road last week for non-conference games at Cal State Bakersfield and Murray State. They lost both of those games and in the process had Nate Wolters injured in the loss to Murray State. He’s expected to play but has been limited in practice this week.

The Jackrabbits are one of those teams that does it all. They are a good FG shooting team, 15th in the country at 3FG% and FT%. They don’t turn it over much (10.2 per game, 7th in the country). They score 1.088 points per possession, 18th in the country, and that’s up to 1.159 in conference play. Defensively they are not quite as adapt but still rank 3rd in conference in FG%. They also are 4th in rebound percentage. There’s not a lot to pick on in this resume.

Omaha only lost the first matchup 78-63, but the game was over at the half when South Dakota State led 56-28. John Karhoff had 16 points while CJ Carter and Justin Simmons had 10 each. Nate Wolters did play 29 minutes and was just 5-16 from the field. If Omaha sees him have a similar performance that could give the Mavericks a shot.

The Jackrabbits shot 48% from the field and weren’t dominant on the glass thanks to Matt Hagerbaumer’s 11 rebounds. If South Dakota has a similar shooting day and isn’t dominant on the glass it will at least give the Mavericks a puncher’s chance.

And that punch might be Justin Simmons. Remember that the first meeting between these two teams came on December 1st. While Simmons did start with some good games he had only averaged 12.4 points up to that point. Starting with the Kansas City came on December 30th Simmons has averaged 20.4 points and become the go to scorer on the team. He’s been slowed a few times but most of the time teams can’t quite find a way to totally shut him down. It’s been very helpful that he’s hit 18 of his last 34 3FGs during Omaha’s six of eight winning stretch. He’s been even better at home as he’s hit 11 of 18 at home in his last four games (61%). If he heats up tomorrow night I hope he gets a lot of looks to try to propel the Mavericks to an upset.

Top Five Wins, ranked by RPI –
3 – @ New Mexico (70-65)
86 – North Dakota State (69-53)
100 – Tennessee State (78-71)
106 – @ Montana (68-67)
115 – Oakland (81-74)

Worst Five Losses, ranked by RPI –
322 – @ Hofstra (63-66)
260 – @ Cal State Bakersfield (78-79)
255 – @ South Dakota (71-74)
115 – @ Oakland (83-88)
94 – @ Murray State (62-73)

South Dakota State is undefeated at home but does have nine road losses. Of course five of those are to top 100 RPI teams and they have won at RPI #3 New Mexico and two other teams with RPIs above Omaha (Montana and Western Illinois).

Omaha vs. South Dakota State – Conference Only Stats

Team FG% 3FG% FT% O-PPP D-PPP TO Rt A/TO A/B% Def FG% Def 3FG% Opp TO Rt Reb% Off Reb% Def Reb% BPG
Omaha 49.0% 37.3% 68.9% 1.019 1.136 19.3 0.965 47.2% 49.5% 40.1% 17.0 46.3% 26.4% 65.3% 3.3
SDSU 47.0% 41.9% 77.9% 1.159 0.980 13.4 1.615 53.4% 44.0% 35.9% 17.0 51.9% 30.1% 74.0% 1.6

Green = 1,2, or 3 in the Summit League. Red = 7,8, or 9 in the Summit League. Bold indicates the better team in each category.

Omaha doesn’t top South Dakota State at much, just FG% and blocks. The two teams are tied in opposing turnover rates at 17.

Expected Starters
South Dakota State
Guard – Nate Wolters – 6-4 – Senior – Averaging 22.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.8 steals.
Guard – Brayden Carlson – 6-4 – Junior – Averaging 8.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists.
Guard – Chad White – 6-6 – Junior – Averaging 9.7 points and 3.8 rebounds.
Forward – Tony Fiegen – 6-7 – Senior – Averaging 9.6 points and 5.4 rebounds.
Forward – Jordan Dykstra – 6-8 – Junior – Averaging 12.3 points and 7.6 rebounds.

Point Guard – CJ Carter – 6-0 – Sophomore – Averaging 9.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists.
Guard – Alex Phillips – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 8.4 points and 2.6 rebounds.
Guard – Justin Simmons – 6-3 – Junior – Averaging 16.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists.
Forward – Alex Welhouse – 6-7 – Senior – Averaging 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds.
Center – John Karhoff – 6-8 – Junior –  Averaging 12.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

Three Things to Watch
1) Nate Wolters’ Health – We know that Nate Wolters injured his right hip at Murray State and has missed practice time this week. He’s expected to play but if it’s not a close game I’m sure he won’t play much. It will be interesting to see how effective he can be. He was noticeably affected by it Saturday but he’s had a while to heal up.

2.) Shooting – Omaha is a very good shooting team, 34th in the country for the year, and South Dakota State is 50th. The Jackrabbits are also 15th in three point shooting. For Omaha to stay in this game they’re going to need to be red hot from the field and hope that South Dakota State is cold.

3.) Crowd – Omaha is planning a blackout and I’d expect a big crowd on Thursday night. The crowd has been very supportive over the last few games and with such a big name in town I expect some buzz to the atmosphere and it might really pick the team up.

This is where I lament how Omaha’s women’s game is at the same time at the Sapp Fieldhouse. I’m so glad to be doing the women’s game as I’ve really enjoyed this team. That said… with how well the men are playing and how good Nate Wolters is… it’s really tough to miss this one! Blame the Summit League… they are the ones who after a full season of having the men’s and women’s teams play mirror schedules gave Omaha, Western Illinois, and IUPUI home games on both the men’s and women’s side this weekend.

I think Omaha is really going to turn up for this one, but I’ll predict a close South Dakota State win, 81-75.

Massey – South Dakota State wins 85-74
RealTimeRPI – South Dakota State wins 74-70


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