THIS WEEK: Dakota State (3-2 overall record) concludes their four-game home stand on Tuesday night. The Trojans host their long-time in-state rival Dakota Wesleyan (4-1) with an 8 p.m. game start time at DSU Fieldhouse. DSU will travel to Aberdeen, S.D. on Friday night to take on Northern State, a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC), in an exhibition game. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at Barnett Center. On Saturday evening, the Trojans takes on Trinity Bible College (3-1) in Ellendale, N.D. The Trojans and Lions game will start at 6 p.m. from the Ray Ulmer Fieldhouse.
BEST START: Dakota State had posted a best start in more than 15 years. The Trojans started off the season with a 2-0 after posting wins over Grace (Neb.) 79-53 on Nov. 1 and Mayville State 81-61 on Nov. 5. DSU extended their best start with a 3-1 record after defeating No. 23 Morningside 78-72 in the Ed Harter Classic on Nov. 11.
LAST TIME OUT: DSU went 1-2 for the week last week at DSU Fieldhouse. The Trojans suffered a 99-90 double overtime loss to No. 7 Northwestern (Iowa) on Nov. 8. DSU went 1-1 in the Ed Harter Classic last weekend. The Trojans defeated Morningside 78-72 on Nov. 11, but dropped an 87-75 overtime loss to NAIA Division I Graceland (Iowa) on Nov. 12. Dakota Wesleyan went 2-1 for the week at the Corn Palace. The Tigers defeated Mayville State 71-48 on Nov. 8 and No. 13 Saint Ambrose (Iowa) 79-73 on Nov. 11. DWU dropped a 74-73 decision to Kanas Wesleyan on Nov. 12. Trinity Bible beat Turtle Mountain Community College 80-70 on Nov. 8 in their only game last week.
LAST MEETING: Dakota Wesleyan had won the last 11 meetings from DSU. The Tigers swept the Trojans last season. Dakota State dropped a 74-60 overtime loss at DSU Fieldhouse to DWU as part of Ed Harter Classic on Nov. 12, 2010 in both teams' last meeting. Dakota Wesleyan defeated DSU 78-64 in the Corn Palace Classic on Oct. 30, 2010 in Mitchell, S.D. Dakota State and Northern State both met on Nov. 26, 2002 in their last meeting. The Wolves, who upset NCAA Division I Butler in an exhibition game 53-50 on Nov. 2, defeated the Trojans 98-62. DSU defeated Trinity Bible 107-66 on Nov. 19, 2010 in Ellendale.
NATIONAL RANKINGS: According to the NAIA-DakStats statistical website as of Monday, Dakota State ranks 16th in the nation in total assists (85), 18th in total rebounds per game (42.4), 22nd in assists per game (17.0), 24th in offensive rebounds per game (14.6) and 25th in defensive rebounds per game (27.8).
DSU DEFENSE RANKS NATIONALLY: Dakota State ranks 29th in the nation in total steals (46) and 31st in turnover margin (+3.6). The Trojans are 36th in the nation in field goal percentage defense (40.8).
QUICK LEADERS: Donald Stewart leads the Trojans in scoring with 15.2 points per game. He shots 57.8 percent from the field, which is 39th in the nation. Spencer Adams averages 7.2 rebounds per game for DSU. Jesse Bean and Yusef Gray each dish out 3.6 assists and ranks 37th in the nation in total assists. Bean records eight steals (1.6 average) for the Trojans. Cameron Krump leads the team with four blocked shots.
COACHES' CORNER: Gary Garner is entering his third year as Dakota State University men's basketball head coach. Garner's collegiate experience is primarily on the Division I and II levels. Prior to Dakota State, he has served as the assistant coach for Iowa Energy, a team with the NBA Development League, for two seasons. He served as head basketball coach at Southeast Missouri State University from 1997-2006. From 1991-1997, he led the men's team at Fort Hays State University. His 1995-1996 team won the NCAA Division II Tournament, capping a perfect 34-0 season. The same year, Garner was named the NCAA II Bulletin National Coach of the Year and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Coach of the Year. In June 2011, Garner was inducted in the RMAC Hall of Fame for his successful coaching ear at Fort Hays State University.
COACH MATTHEW GARNER: Matthew Garner is in his third season with the Dakota State University men's basketball coaching staff. He comes to DSU with a wide background of coaching experience. He was a member of the 1995-96 undefeated Fort Hays State University NCAA Division II National Championship team that finished an overall record of 34-0. In addition to his tenure at FHSU, he was an integral part of four conference championship as a player and a volunteer student assistant coach. After his tenure at Fort Hays State, he joined the coaching staff at NCAA Division I Southeast Missouri State University. He also had coaching experience at University of Denver.
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 'Live Games' tab above the 'Upcoming Events.'
WATCH IT: All Dakota State home men's basketball games will be webcast live and free of charge. Fans wanting to follow the action can go to the following link: www.streaming.dsu.edu/Athletics-Live.
UP NEXT: Dakota State plays their second exhibition game on Tuesday, Nov. 22. The Trojans face their second opponent from the NSIC, Augustana. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Elmen Center in Sioux Falls and will be broadcast live on Midco Sports Network channel. Dakota State heads to Bellevue, Neb. on Nov. 25 and 26 to play York (Neb.) and No. 4 Bellevue in the Hampton Inn Classic.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director