#43 South Dakota State Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

South Dakota State Jackrabbits

Overall Rank: #43
Conference Rank: #1 Summit League
#43 South Dakota State Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview
South Dakota State Team Page


The South Dakota State Jackrabbits are quietly becoming one of the top mid-major programs in women’s college basketball. They beat Arkansas on the road in Fayetteville and battled Oregon State very tough in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Veteran head coach Aaron Johnston has taken this relatively young Division I program and built it up to point where major programs are willing to visit Frost Arena to come play the Jackrabbits instead of always playing power five schools on the road.

2014-15 Record: 24-9, 12-4
2014-15 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Aaron Johnston
Coach Record: 365-126 at South Dakota State, 365-126 overall

Balance offensively is a huge strength for South Dakota State as they had three players average in double figures a season ago. Macy Miller will be back to lead the way offensively this season. Miller averaged 13.7 points per game last year as a freshman and will be expected to build on that during her sophomore season. Kerri Young is back as well as a combination guard/forward and her ability to create offensively is going to be key offensively in order to take pressure off of Miller. The Jackrabbits last year were very good at the free throw line as they shot nearly 78 percent and controlled the boards nicely as well. They are going to have to be able step up big from the foul line again when they get into conference play. That is especially true when they battle with rivals South Dakota, who beat the Jackrabbits once last season.

There is the challenge of replacing Megan Waytashak's production from last season. Waytashek averaged 14.1 points per game along with nearly five rebounds game. Waytashek also was clutch from behind the three point line as she hit nearly 39 percent and shot over 80 percent from the foul line. Inexperience as far as starting along the front line goes is going to be another issue to watch for South Dakota State. Ellie Thompson and Clarissa Ober are going to have to adjust quickly to being part of the starting lineup and create havoc down in the low post.

Final Projection:
The Jackrabbits will be tested right out of the gate as Marist, Arkansas and Notre Dame all come to Frost Arena to start off the season. Then a trip to the Paradise Jam during the Thanksgiving holiday will bring match ups with Pittsburgh and Maryland on consecutive days. An underrated back to back set of games against Green Bay and Bowling Green are going to be fun battles for mid-major supremacy just before the Christmas holiday. The ability to get a few quality wins will be a great NCAA Tournament resume booster. Overall, it is going to take some time for South Dakota State to come together and get immediate production from freshman guard Madison Guebert, who is pretty highly touted by the various recruiting services. But, if they can be clicking by the time conference play starts, South Dakota State should be in a very advantageous position to go back to the NCAA Tournament once again this season.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Macy Miller, Sophomore, Guard, 13.7 points per game
Madison Guebert, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Kerri Young, Junior, Guard/Forward, 9.4 points per game
Ellie Thompson, Senior, Forward, 6.1 points per game
Clarissa Ober, Junior, Center, 4.6 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.2 (36th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.2 (130, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.7 (58, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.7 (190, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.1 (101, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.0 (24, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 77.5 (3, 1)
Rebound Margin: 7.2 (22, 1)
Assists Per Game: 14.2 (91, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.7 (91, 3)


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