More potential stadium specs emerge

One of the most interesting elements of the South Dakota Board of Regents building process is that it’s a slow burn, details emerging over months and without much pomp or circumstance.

That’s going to be the case with a proposed new football stadium at South Dakota State, too. First, the intention to move forward was made clear during a building committee meeting and now a facility program plan - to be presented to the Regents next week - has been posted online in the meeting agenda.

You can find the full document here. But I’ve taken the liberty of highlighting a couple of new or noteworthy details:

The building would cover 277,000 square feet. That’s (obviously) larger than Coughlin-Alumni Stadium and means there could be changes to the east practice field and the west parking lot. Plus, the current scoreboard will be moved further south.
The University Police Department will get 5,700 square feet of space along with 1,500 for an apparel shop. A venue map also shows room for a Hall of Fame area.  

SDSU plans to come up with at least $10-15M from private donations and naming rights and use bonds to cover up to $50M, repaying that through revenue from season-ticket sales, amenity seats, sponsorships, concessions and facility use fees.
A check on fundraising progress will made in November. Every $1M raised will decrease the annual repayment cost by $75,000. 
A consulting firm will help the school formulate what sort of revenue is possible in this market from amenity seats. 

The building committee recently gave SDSU the approval to beginning selecting a Construction Manger at Risk for the project. That’s important because it keeps alive both potential timelines. Yes, there are more than one. Being open by the start of the 2015 season - instead of the previously mentioned 2016 opener - is on the table as an “accelerated approach.” 
That’s going to require the Regents to allow SDSU to use the CMR approach, as it did with the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex.

If built at 18,000 seats that would break down as 13,334 for general admission, 3,000 compensatory (students, band) and 1,666 for suites and club, loge and alumni club options.
Seats between the 10-yard lines will be chair-back style with bleachers elsewhere.

Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.

Too Much TV: Michigan


We’re talking tourney this week on Too Much TV as Joe Stapleton of stops by the podcast to get us up to speed on the University of Michigan - South Dakota State’s opponent in the Big Dance on Thursday night.

Here’s one link. And another.

Also, stop back later today for a live video preview show from Auburn Hills.

Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.

Emergency podcast: Wolters goes big


Nate Wolters made some history Thursday night and nearly broke the Intertubes in the process, putting up 53 points in an important Summit League road win over Fort Wayne.

That’s the most in a single game in South Dakota State history, breaking a mark that had been in place since 1973, and the most by any NCAA Division I player in a non-overtime game in four years.

His final line: 17 of 28 from the field, 9 of 14 from deep - a school record for makes - and 10 of 11 from the foul line for 53 points in 40 minutes. He also threw in four boards and three times.

We figured we better call a witness to make sure any or all of this actually happened. Enter Tyler Merriam, radio voice of the Jackrabbits, out guest on this emergency edition of the Too Much TV podcast.

Here’s the link. Here’s an alternate version, too. 

Oh, and here’s some film from the game.

Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.

Tuesday Tidbits

We’re going football heavy this week as national signing day approaches. South Dakota State has landed a handful of verbal commitments in the last week or so:

Jesse Bobbit is a linebacker from Palatine, Ill., a Chicago suburb. He was a four-year starter and four-year all-conference pick at an 8A school (the largest) and set a Palatine record for career interceptions (17), spending most of his time at safety. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder was a first-team all-state pick and conference defensive player of the year as a junior, but missed several games as a senior due to a broken leg.
Still, Palatine coach Tyler Donnelly said that Vanderbilt and Indiana had been recruiting him recently and considering making offers.
Bobbit said that the people sold him on SDSU. He liked the hometown feel. Here’s his highlight reel.

Holy Angels (Minn.) linebacker Mikias Alipate also had offers from North Dakota and Northern Iowa, despite missing most of his senior year due to a knee injury. He’s a two-star recruit, per Here’s his film.
Prep coach Ray Betton described the 6-foot-1, 205-pounder as physical and explosive. He’s also got good genes. He has two brothers playing college football, one at Minnesota and another at St. Thomas, and his dad (Tuneau Alipate) played in the NFL and CFL after an all-conference career at Washington State.

Receiver Connor Orgill also competes in basketball, baseball and track. Prep coach Robert Doyle said the 6-4, 185-pounder is the best athlete to come out of Legends High in Parker, Colo. He was an all-conference pick, but did not have any other D-I offers.
Orgill considers himself a possession guy. He played quarterback before moving to WR. Here’s his film.

Charles Harmon is a 6-6, 250-pound offensive lineman from O’Fallon (Ill.) High. Prep coach Brandon Joggerst said Harmon had offers from Florida Atlantic, Central Arkansas, Southern Illinois, Holy Cross and Eastern Kentucky. He’s a starter on the basketball team, too, and is appropriately athletic.
Here’s his junior film.

Jake Weineke (pictured below; photo credit to Maple Grove Patch and Maple Grove Boosters) is a 6-4, 200-pound receiver from Maple Grove. He caught 68 passes for 1,340 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior, earning all-state and all-metro honors. He was also a finalist for Minnesota Mr. Football. Here are his clips.
Still, Weineke said he didn’t have any other D-I offers, although Minnesota offered a preferred walk-on spot. (Coach Matt Lombardi attributed that to an injury during his junior season.) Did that surprise him?
"Yeah," he said. "But I’m happy now."
Lombardi said that teams began to game plan around Weineke as the season went along and still couldn’t stop him.


Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.

Right on schedule?

This information is going to be less surprising in light of a 70-65 win at No. 16-ranked New Mexico on Saturday, but the South Dakota State men’s basketball team heads to holiday break in much the same shape it was at this time last year.

The Jacks were 10-4 then and 10-4 now.

They were shooting 45.0 percent then and 45.0 percent now.

They were plus-2.5 in rebound margin then and plus-3.0 now.

For all the defensive concerns, they’re allowing 3.1 points per game fewer so far this season and defensive field-goal percentage has improved from 45.5 to 44.8.

They’re still shooting 3s at a solid clip (35.6 percent) and are 4.1 percent better at the foul line.

There are some drops, too, such as scoring 6.1 fewer points per game, a plus-12 total turnover margin compared to plus-27 last year and giving up 36.5 percent from deep, up 5.0 percent. But, relatively speaking, the Jacks are on pace for a season that’s similar to 2011-12 - tied for the best in school history in terms of wins (27).

Why bring this up? Because this club hasn’t felt as sharp, whether that feeling is based on fan expectations or the reflections of a refreshingly candid coach. Yet the numbers seem to indicate that there’s nothing “wrong” with the Jacks even if they aren’t undefeated. Last year, they played exactly zero teams during the regular season that made the NCAA tournament. There’s almost no way that turns out to be the case again this season.

There have been tough trips, close wins and losses, injuries, ups and downs - as is the case with most teams. SDSU hasn’t given anybody reason to think it can go all VCU on a bracket, but there’s no reason to panic, either. The Jacks made their money in March last season, and that will have to be the case again this year.

Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.

Notes from a big basketball weekend

So much more to cover from a sizable weekend in South Dakota State hoops …

Predictably, every phone even remotely related to the SDSU men’s basketball team was bombarded with well wishes after the 70-65 win at No. 16-ranked New Mexico, the first top-25 upset in program history. 
True to form, coach Scott Nagy had an interesting take on this.
“I’d prefer people text me after he lose,” he said. “I have no friends after we lose, and today I’ve got 100 texts to answer.” 
As for the maybe 10-15 SDSU fans that were in The Pit for the upset, they waited near the team bus to snap pictures with the victories.
“It was pretty cool,” senior Nate Wolters said. “They were rooting for us all day.” 

Saturday marked the third time that a Summit squad has knocked off the No. 16-ranked team. In 1986, Cleveland State beat Indiana and Green Bay did the same to Cal eight years later. However, both of those were NCAA tournament games played at neutral sites. The Jacks claimed a true road win - and in front of what’s believed to be the largest crowd ever to see an SDSU victory: 15,278. The previous high: 11,700 at Iowa in 2010.
For what it’s worth, the Jacks wore black when beating the Hawkeyes just as they did against the Lobos on Saturday and in winning at Washington last season. 
Another common thread in those three wins: Wolters going nuts. The point guard totaled 87 points, 23 assists and 11 boards. 

Jacks junior forward Jordan Dykstra notched two double-doubles in the first 72 games of his college career. He’s posted three in the last five games.
On a related note, SDSU is 7-0 this season when finishing with a rebound advantage. That includes a 36-28 edge over New Mexico, the Lobos largest deficit this season. 

Coach Steve Alford had been 52-4 in non-conference home games leading the Lobos and hadn’t lost a December home game since 2006-07 when he was still at Iowa.

By beating Georgetown on Friday, the SDSU women have three wins over power-conference teams this season. That’s the most since claiming five during the magical 2008-09 season. The Jacks won a total of one in the three seasons in between.
SDSU has 12 such victories since joining the Summit League in 2007. The rest of the league has combined for seven in that time.

Those major-conference triumphs are what sets apart this non-conference season from the last couple. That’s because SDSU won eight, seven and eight regular-season non-conference contests in the past three seasons, respectively.
But, again, just one power-conference win in that time (and one D-II win, too). This year, SDSU has topped three teams that have been ranked or receiving votes: Nebraska, Georgetown and Middle Tennessee State.

Jacks coach Aaron Johnston expects that center Katie Lingle, who missed the Georgetown game due to a laceration on her forehead suffered against Delaware State, should be back sooner rather than later.

SDSU senior guard Ashley Eide had arguably the best weekend of her career in wins over Delware State and the Hoyas, totaling 52 points in 59 minutes on 17 of 27 shooting with nine 3-pointers, 18 rebounds, six assists and four steals. She now leads the team in scoring at 15.3 per game.

Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.

Live chat 11/15

Here’s the replay from this week’s live chat.

As for the next live event … that will be the South Dakota at South Dakota State football game on Saturday. I’ll be live by 1:30 p.m.

On Sunday, I’ll be live at the Nebraska at SDSU women’s basketball game. Same time.

Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.

Signing recap

Not to be confused with “singing recap.”

Here is what South Dakota State men’s basketball coach Scott Nagy and women’s basketball coach Aaron Johnston had to say about the four players they landed Wednesday, the start of the early signing period:

Anders Broman, 6-2, G, Lakeview Academy (Minn.): “Gym rat. I would liken him in terms of the time he puts in the gym to Nate (Wolters). Just loves it. Every time I call he’ sin the gym. Shoots it. He’s a good shooter; I think he can be a great shooter. He knows how to score, he knows how to get to the free-throw line. He’s tough, he’s not afraid.”

Skyler Flatten, 6-5, G, Clark/Willow Lake: “He absolutely has no ceiling in terms of how good he can be. I feel like he can play multiple positions, and we’ll even look at him playing some point guard for us. He really defense, he really passes it, he really shoots it. He’s an athlete. In terms of what you think he would need at our level, he is all of that. I Just think the potential for him is probably higher than just about anybody we can recruit.”

Lane Severyn, 6-5, F, Pierre: “Definitely our kind of kid. Tough and very athletic. The one thing that people don’t pay attention to about him is that he may be third on the list of all-time rebounders at Pierre. He shoots it. But what we really like about him is just how tough he is. We feel like he’s in the mold of Griffan (Callahan) except he’s bigger and he’s more athletic. Just a great fit for us.”

Logan Doyle, 6-8, F, Alexandria (Minn.): “We like how tough he is and how hard he plays. If you talk to his coach, the thing he would tell you is he just continues to get better, and that’s one thing about big kids - it’s hard to evaluate them sometimes if they’re reached their ceiling. Logan’s not even close - he just keeps getting better. He’s tough, he’s physical, he’s aggressive, he loves to block shots. He has some work to do on the offensive end, but he’ll do it, he’ll get in the gym and work. He wants to be a good player.”

As for the SDSU women …

Clarissa Ober, 6-2, F, Glencoe-Silver Lake (Minn.): “Her parents both went to SDSU - he dad played basketball at SDSU. Real good connection there. Clarissa’s a really versatile, athletic forward. She’s developing a perimeter jumper. I think she’ll become someone who’s a consistently good 3-point shooter. Runs the floor well, can block some shots around the rim.”

Kerri Young, 6-foot, G, Mitchell: “She’s an exceptionally complete player - she can do just about anything. She could play anywhere from the point to a four for us, but I envision her to be a wing player, someone that can handle it some, she can shoot it really well, great passer, she can defend a few spots. Very smart player. She’s very gifted.”

Tiffaney Flaata, 6-2, F, Prior Lake (Minn.): “Another really good forward - athletic, really long, good defensive player right now. She plays very hard and rebounds really well. She complements our group of forwards really nicely. We like forwards who are versatile and can face the basket and can pass the ball.”

Chynna Stevens, 6-foot, F, Clark/Willow Lake: “Another skilled forward. Tiffaney and Clarissa are more of a 4-5 and Chynna is more of a true four. She reminds me a lot of (former SDSU standout) Shannon Schlagel. She can shoot it, she can post up, really skilled, really smart player, just really understands the game and has the right mentality.”

Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.

Tuesday Tidbits

It’s too bad there isn’t much going on this week on my beat:

The South Dakota State wrestling team beat Indiana 19-18 on Saturday in the dual debut of coach Chris Bono, ending an 0-18 streak against BCS schools since moving to the NCAA Division I level. What’s more, the Jacks did so with a lineup consisting of just two upperclassmen plus three sophomore and five freshmen.
SDSU (2-1) heads to Lincoln this weekend to take on the Huskers and North Carolina.

Wednesday is the start of the fall signing period, and the SDSU basketball teams are expected to sign a combined seven players. But wrestling will make a bigger splash, by comparison, with its eight expected signings. Amateur Wrestling News currently has the Jacks with the 10th best class, a group led by one five-star recruit and two four-star recruits.
More on all of this in the Thursday edition.

SDSU has placed bids to host multiple rounds in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs should it qualify, according to athletic director Justin Sell. The bids were due Monday with the minimum number being $30,000.
Sell didn’t disclose how much the Jacks bid, but said that timing and weather would be considered. Some teams open on Thanksgiving weekend and the rest will start the first weekend in December.
“We’ll go as aggressive as we can,” Sell said. “I want to try to get a home game. That would be huge for us. I think our home field is a big advantage.”
There’s also some precedent in that while SDSU has never hosted an FCS playoff, it had huge fan support for the WNIT, an event that some schools look down on.
The 20-team playoff field will be announced at 12:30 p.m. Sunday on ESPNU.

The Jacks host Tennessee State tonight in men’s hoops, their undisputed best non-conference home date of the season. The Tigers return four starters from a squad that won 20 games and beat Murry State. That earned coach John Cooper a new gig at Miami of Ohio; he’s been replaced by assistant Travis Williams.
The SDSU women open the home slate Wednesday against Creighton and welcome No. 15-ranked Nebraska on Sunday afternoon. Coach Aaron Johnston said that both opponents will run spread, motion offenses, something the Jacks struggled against in a loss to Villanova.
Also, Johnston hopes that the status of senior guard Steph Paluch – who tore an ACL in the conference semifinals last season – will be determined this week. The decision to redshirt or not is in her hands, and he thinks that she’s likely to redshirt.

Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.

Week 10 wrap

Some final notes from South Dakota State’s 20-17 loss at North Dakota State on Saturday:

The Bison have won 10 in a row against ranked teams and are 19-3 in their last 22 games at home.
And the Jacks STILL have just one win in Fargo since 1964. This was the fourth close call in the John Stiegelmeier era - two by three points and two by seven points.

The SDSU offense gained just 209 yards, a season low by 96. What’s more, it put up a total of 27 yards on 18 plays in the first and third quarters. That’s compared to 182 yards on 37 plays in the second and fourth quarters. Oddly enough, that’s an extension of a season trend. The Jacks have scored a total of 75 points in the first and third quarters this season compared to 137 in the second and fourth quarters.
Meanwhile, SDSU has totaled 39 points in its last three road games with 20 of those coming in the 2-minute drill at the end of a half.

Jacks sophomore RB Zach Zenner was held to 43 yards rushing, the fifth week in a row that he’s posted a season low. He’s totaled 179 yards on 48 carries over the last three games.
Still, he has moved into fourth-place in school history for rushing yards in a season, passing Dan Sonnek. The top three spots belong to SDSU legend Josh Ranek.
Zenner is now No. 2 in the FCS at 1,539. The leader is Miguel Maysonet of Stony Brook, who ended the regular season at 1,721.

SDSU senior linebacker Ross Shafrath posted 15 tackles against the Bison, the third time this season he’s tallied 15 or more. That pushes his season total to 118, the most by a Jack since 1989. And 76 of those are solo stops, unofficially the most since SDSU began keeping that stat in 1976. Shafrath is tied for the lead in the FCS at 7.0 solo tackles per game.

NDSU QB Brock Jensen threw a pretty noteworthy interception in the third quarter. It was the first time since 2004 in this series that the winning QB got away with throwing a pick. It was also the first time this season that Jensen threw more than none and less than three picks, and was the first interception in the career of SDSU redshirt freshman CB JeRyan Butler.
Jensen made a mark more with his legs than his arm, rushing 14 times for 67 yards. Both numbers were season highs - and not by coincidence. Bison coach Craig Bohl said the team had been holding some designed runs in its back packet for this game, figuring SDSU was susceptible to that. He declined to expound on the specifics.
But Stiegelmeier countered by pointing out that Jensen recorded 56 yards on a single run, and that play should have been a 5-yard gain - a safety missed a tackle and a linebacker over-ran the play.

SDSU sophomore kicker Justin Syrovatka hit a season-best 46 yarder Saturday, his only attempt. That was his seventh make in a row this season with three of those coming from 40 or more.

After throwing 13 picks over the first eight games, Jacks QB Austin Sumner hasn’t thrown a pick in the last two games (while throwing three touchdowns). He also didn’t throw a pick last year vs. NDSU, but is 0-2 in the series.

NDSU has given up exactly 17 points in each of the last three games and in four of the last five. Meanwhile, SDSU has scored exactly 17 points three times this season, going 1-2 in those games.
This was the lowest combined score in the series since a 24-0 win by NDSU in 2003.

Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.

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