THIS WEEK: Dakota State (8-5 overall record) ends their first-half of their 2011-12 schedule on Friday night as they host AIB (Iowa) (1-13). Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. at DSU Fieldhouse. The Trojans begin their second-half of the 11-12 schedule on Tuesday, Jan. 3 as they travel to the Civic Center. DSU takes on their former Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC) Jamestown (12-3, No. 13 in the latest NAIA Division II Men's Basketball national poll). The Trojans and Jimmies battle out at 7:30 p.m. in Jamestown, N.D.
LAST MEETING: Dakota State won the inaugural meeting with AIB, a member of the Midwest Collegiate Conference (and their first year of men's basketball program in AIB's athletic history), on Nov. 30 in Des Moines, Iowa. The Trojans drained 11 3-pointers as DSU earned a 75-54 road win over the Eagles at AIB Activities Center. Jamestown had won the last four meetings from the Trojans, including three contests last season. In the last two regular-season meetings were decided by one- and two-points, both won by JC. DSU's last win over Jamestown was on Jan. 22, 2010 as the Trojans earned a 63-53 home victory at DSU Fieldhouse. The Trojans' last road win at Jamestown was on Feb. 6, 2009 as DSU notched a 65-63 win.
LAST TIME OUT: The Trojans ended their 12-game drought with their long-time in-state rival Dakota Wesleyan on Dec. 19. DSU shot 53.6 percent (15-of-28) and converted 14-of-21 free-throws in the second-half to defeat DWU 78-73 at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D. AIB have not played since Dec. 10 as they suffered a 76-62 decision to Ashford (Iowa) on Eagles' home court. Jamestown won two games in Florida, defeating No. 15 Southeastern (Fla.) 62-58 on Dec. 17 and No. 18 Warner (Fla.) 60-56 on Dec. 19. The Jimmies, currently on a 11-game winning streak, play in the Briar Cliff Holiday Classic on Dec. 29-30 in Sioux City, Iowa. JC faces two teams from the Great Plains Athletic Conferenceâ€”No. 22 Morningside and Briar Cliff-in the classic.
ROAD WARRIORS: Dakota State is currently 4-1 in games played on the road this season. The Trojans suffered its only road defeat on No. 26. DSU lost an 85-65 decision to then No.4-Bellevue (Neb.) as part of the Hampton Inn Classic in Bellevue, Neb.. The Trojans are 1-0 on the neutral site, defeating York (Neb.) 79-69 at Bellevue in the Hampton Inn Classic.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: DSU had faced four teams from the NAIA's Top 25 national poll this season, including three teams from the NAIA's Top 10 national poll. DSU-JC match-up on Jan. 3 will mark the Trojans' five nationally-ranked opponent this season. Dakota State had recorded a 78-72 win over No. 23 Morningside in the Ed Harter Classic on Nov. 11.
NAIA NATIONAL RANKINGS: As of Monday, Dec. 12, Dakota State received recognition to the third edition of the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball 'Top 25' national poll. It was the second straight week that DSU had received votes to the national poll. Jamestown had made to every NAIA's national poll this season, reaching as high as No. 13 in the latest poll. AIB is not ranked. The fourth edition of the national poll won't be released until Monday, Jan. 9.
DSU RANKS NATIONALLY: According to the DakStats-NAIA statistical website as of Tuesday, Dec. 27, Dakota State ranks 18th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (13.5), 22nd in assists per game (16.1) and field goal percentage defense (41.6), 23rd in total rebounds per game (39.8), 25th in total assists (209) and 30th in defensive rebounds per game (26.3). Keith Lee ranks 14th in the nation in assist/turnover ratio of 2.8.
QUICK LEADERS: Jesse Bean leads the team in scoring with an average of 13.5 points per game. He shoots 41 percent from the field. Bean averages 2.9 assists (38 total) and 1.2 steals (15 steals) for the Trojans. He ranks 47th in the nation in free-throw percentage (79.4 percent). Keith Biggers records 83 rebounds (6.4 average). He ranks 43rd in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (2.8). Cameron Krump records six blocked shots (0.5 per game).
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Dakota State men's basketball and athletics all season long at www.twitter.com/DaSUAthletics.
LIVE STATS: Live stats and play-by-play will be available in all Dakota State's home games. The live stats are available on game day on www.dsuathletics.com under the 'Live Games' tab for live video link when DSU visits at Jamestown on Jan. 3.
UP NEXT: Dakota State heads to Fremont, Neb. on Jan. 7 as they face a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference-Midland. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. at the Midland Event Center.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director