Here are some notes in advance of South Dakota State - idle last week - hosting Indiana State on Saturday. I’ll be live starting at 1 p.m.
As a special bonus, the first 2 million readers also will receive free bonus notes previewing the season openers for the Jackrabbits basketball teams. Have at it:
The SDSU football team will start true freshman Cole Langer at defensive tackle for the second game in a row. Coach John Stiegelmeier said that the Dell Rapids grad continues to get better by the day.
Did you notice that the Jacks had four quarterbacks in uniform the last time out? True freshman Dalton Douglas was the one wearing No. 19. He dressed just to get the game day experience. That said, Stiegelmeier is pleased with the way the Californian has run the scout offense, calling him a perfectionist.
The coach also is high on three true freshmen tight ends, meaning the shortage on pass catchers at that spot should be coming to an end.
SDSU isn’t necessarily concerned about field conditions despite the midweek snow. Quarterback Austin Sumner said that the practice field was beginning to feel dry and hard prior to the precip; this could just even things out.
At practice Tuesday, the Jacks were told that they could no longer spat-up their shoes unless it was to treat a legitimate health issue. Why? Because equipment provider Under Armour doesn’t want its logos being covered up without reason.
Stiegelmeier has been in contact via text message with longtime former Jacks assistant Luke Meadows, now the offensive line coach at Florida Atlantic. The Owls are in turmoil due to the resignation and attempted un-resignation of head coach Carl Pelini.
Stiegelmeier said that Meadows seems to have a good attitude about the situation and the uncertainty it may present beyond this season.
The SDSU men open against San Diego tonight. The Toreros went 16-18 last season and have been picked fifth in the West Coast Conference. But that’s a bit deceiving considering the four programs ahead of them: Gonzaga, BYU, St. Mary’s and San Francisco.
The most interesting angle is the size contrast. USD’s best player is Johnny Dee, a 6-foot junior guard. Its point is 5-7 Christopher Anderson. The Jacks will go 6-4 and 6-6 opposite those guys. In that regard, SDSU has to be able to defend dribble penetration.
SDSU goes into the weekend unsure if it’ll play or redshirt true freshman wing Lane Severyn. The Pierre product is on the trip - he might play, he might not. Ideally, he won’t, coach Scott Nagy said, because of the positive value of trading the relatively few minutes he’d play as a true freshman compared to his possibly central role as a fifth-year senior.
Severyn has done well during preseason workouts, it’s just that the point guard moves have put Jake Bittle on the wing meaning less available minutes.
On Saturday afternoon, the Jacks will take on Loyola Marymount of Bo Kimble and Hank Gathers fame. LMU went 11-23 last season, was picked right behind USD in the WCC poll and opens Friday against D-I newcomer Grand Canyon.
The SDSU women open in a late afternoon affair at BYU, the first game in a men’s-women’s doubleheader. The Cougars were tabbed fourth in the WCC poll coming off a 23-11 campaign and a berth in the third round of the WNIT.
Jacks coach Aaron Johnston summed up BYU this way: Big, athletic, good motion offense and strong tradition.
The Jacks will be down one of their eight upperclassmen - fifth-year senior guard Tara Heiser. The Watertown grad got hurt during practice before the second exhibition game. She is on the trip, however, and could return next week when SDSU visits Creighton on Tuesday and hosts Georgetown on Friday.
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.