#24 South Dakota State Women's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

South Dakota State Jackrabbits
Overall Rank: #24
Conference Rank: #1 Summit
As a 12 seed in the NCAA Tournament, South Dakota State beat fifth seed Miami and nearly upset fourth seed Stanford in the second round. The Jackrabbits were just one point away from making an improbable run to the Sweet Sixteen in the 66-65 loss to the Cardinal. With five starters back, not to mention a starter two years ago who missed last season with an injury, last year was supposed to be a bit of a building season to better things to come in 2016-2017. Better things are still to come, but now the expectations are rising significantly.
2015-16 Record: 27-7, 13-3
2015-16 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Aaron Johnston
Coach Record: 392-133 at South Dakota State, 392-133 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Gabrielle Boever, Guard, 4.7 ppg
Chloe Cornemann, Guard, 3.1 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Macy Miller, Junior, Guard, 15.5 ppg
Kerri Young, Senior, Guard/Forward, 10.5 ppg
Madison Guebert, Sophomore, Guard, 10.4 ppg
Ellie Thompson, Junior, Forward, 10.4 ppg
Clarissa Ober, Senior, Center, 9.0 ppg
Alexis Alexander, Junior, Guard, 3.7 ppg
Sydney Palmer, Sophomore, Guard, 2.0 ppg
Tiffaney Faata, Junior, Center, 1.3 ppg
Chynna Stevens, Junior, Guard/Forward, Injured last season
Key New Players
Megan Bultsma, Freshman, Center
Annabel Graettinger, RS Freshman, Guard
Sydney Tracy, Freshman, Forward
Tagyn Larson, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Iowa, not eligible
Macy Miller will again be the team’s leader. She averaged 15.5 points per game during her sophomore season. Madison Guebert is one of the best three-point shooters around. She took 203 three-pointers in 2015-2016 and connected on 40.9 percent of those attempts. Kerri Young is a decent shooter too and the big 6-0 wing can score attacking the basket and help out on the glass as well. Most of the rebounding though will be done by forward Ellie Thompson and center Clarissa Ober. Both are threats to stretch the defense with their shooting ability as well as score in the paint. Ober, a 6-2 senior, is especially talented in the rebounding and shot blocking departments, but Thompson can do plenty of both as well. Coach Aaron Johnston will also get the services of Chynna Stevens back. The 6-0 wing averaged 7.3 points and 5.7 rebounds two years ago before missing last season with an injury. South Dakota State has more size than anybody in the Summit League can handle, and they have already proven that they can match up well with the best teams in the country.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.1 (72nd in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.9 (83, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.5 (93, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.2 (104, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.8 (20, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.6 (41, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.4 (180, 7)
Rebound Margin: 3.9 (67, 2)
Assists Per Game: 14.6 (74, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.9 (22, 2)