November 4, 2013
THIS WEEK: The Dakota State University men's basketball team (1-0 overall record) prepares for a busy schedule this week with three games scheduled. The Trojans welcome Northwestern (Iowa) of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Tuesday night. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at DSU Fieldhouse. On Friday and Saturday, Dakota State plays a pair of games in the Dakota Wesleyan/Fulton State Bank Classic at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D.
BATTLE OF NAIA 'TOP 25' TEAMS: Dakota State will play two teams that are ranked in the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Preseason Poll this week. The Trojans are ranked No. 18 in the preseason poll, marking their first time in school history to be ranked in the national preseason poll. DSU was ranked No. 14 (tie) with Bellevue (Neb.) last season in the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Postseason national poll. Northwestern (Iowa) is ranked No. 15, while Bellevue is ranked No. 19 in the national preseason poll. The Trojans advanced to the NAIA's 'Elite Eight' last March. Bellevue lost in the NAIA's 'Sweet Sixteen' round, while the Red Raiders lost in the NAIA national tournament opening round last season.
TROJANS FACE FORMER DSU BASKETBALL ATHLETE/COACH: Dakota State will play Benedictine at Springfield (Ill.), an NAIA Division I basketball school, on Friday night. The Bulldogs are coached by former Dakota State men's basketball standout and assistant coach Ian McKeithen. He was an assistant coach for the Trojans in 2010-11, helping DSU to their first-ever winning overall record for the first time since 1992-93. He was also a student assistant coach (2003-05) after he finished his two-year basketball playing career at Dakota State. He averaged eight points and three rebounds as a junior and 11.6 points and four rebounds per game (second leading scorer on the team) as a senior at Dakota State. McKeithen was an integral member of the Trojan men's basketball team that finished No. 2 in the former Dakota Athletic Conference regular-season standings in 2004-05 with a 12-6 conference record.
DSU WON 13 OF LAST 15 HOME GAMES: The Trojans had won 13 of the last 15 home games at the DSU Fieldhouse, dating back to Feb. 25, 2012 when DSU defeated Valley City State (N.D.) in the semifinals of the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Conference Tournament. Dakota State was 10-2 at home last season and recently defeated Mount Marty (S.D.) 71-53 in the season home opener on Oct. 30. The victory also gave DSU men's basketball head coach his 70th career win at Dakota State.
LAST TIME OUT: Dakota State pulled away in the second-half on Oct. 30 as they defeated in-state rival Mount Marty 71-53. The Trojans had four players recorded in double digits to seal the victory and outrebounded the Lancers 54-35 in the game. Northwestern (Iowa) won a pair of games against North Star Athletic Association members in North Dakota. The Red Raiders defeated Jamestown (N.D.) 76-63 on Nov. 1 and Valley City State (N.D.) 80-72 on Nov. 2. Benedictine (Ill.) dropped a home season opener on Nov. 2. The Bulldogs fell short by one point to No. 8 Midland (Neb.) 61-60. Bellevue (Neb.) opened their season with a pair of victories in the York (Neb.) Classic, defeating Kansas Wesleyan 91-85 on Nov. 1 and Concordia (Neb.) 93-76 on Nov. 2.
LAST MEETING: Northwestern (Iowa) swept the season series with Dakota State last season. The Red Raiders defeated the Trojans 78-70 at DSU Fieldhouse on Nov. 7 and 77-62 in Orange City, Iowa on Dec. 8. The Trojans are seeking for their first victory over the Red Raiders since 1990-91 season. DSU defeated at Northwestern in Orange City, Iowa by the score of 91-84. Dakota State and Benedictine at Springfield (Ill.) will meet for the first time on Friday night. DSU defeated Bellevue 61-59 at the DSU Fieldhouse on Dec. 21, 2012. The Trojans had a 40-25 halftime lead and held off Bruins' second-half rally.
TEAM LEADERS: Yusuf Vinson leads the Trojans with 12.0 points and 13.0 rebounds per game for the Trojans. Dylan Hale dishes out five assists per game. Adam Hofer stole the ball three times in the season opener game versus Mount Marty (S.D.). Ryan McCutcheon leads the team with two blocked shots.
WATCH & LISTEN: All Dakota State home men's basketball games will be webcast live video and audio. There is no charge to the webcast. Jon Hunter, voice of the Trojans, will be providing the play-by-play audio broadcast. Fans wanting to follow the action can go to the following link: http://streaming.dsu.edu/Athletics-Live. The link also will be available on www.dsuathletics.com in the 'Live Games' tab above the 'Upcoming Events.'
LIVE STATS/PLAY-BY-PLAY: Live stats and play-by-play will be available in all Dakota State's home games. The live stats link is available on game day on www.dsuathletics.com under 'Live Games' tab above the 'Upcoming Events.'
DWU/FULTON STATE BANK CLASSIC: Dakota Wesleyan will have a tournament page on http://old.dwuathletics.com/dwu-fsb-classic/ for the classic games this weekend.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Dakota State men's basketball and athletics all season long on www.dsuathletics.com. The Trojans are also on Twitter, just log onto www.twitter.com/GoDaSUAthletics. The Dakota State University Athletics group page can be found on Facebook on https://www.facebook.com/DSUTrojanAthletics.
UP NEXT: Dakota State returns back to the Corn Palace on Nov. 13 for a match-up with long-time rival Dakota Wesleyan. Tip-off from the Corn Palace is set for 8 p.m. in Mitchell, S.D. On Friday Nov. 15, the Trojans play an exhibition game at Northern State (S.D.) with a game starting time at 8 p.m. in Aberdeen. DSU returns home on Nov. 16 for a contest with Trinity Bible (N.D.). Tip-off from the DSU Fieldhouse is set for 7 p.m.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director