South Dakota State came out flat against Saint Mary’s Friday night to end the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic. Getting behind by as much as 22 early in the game, the Jacks never got going and lost 72-59. While the ending of the tournament was not what the Jacks were looking for, there is a lot to look back on and build from.
One of the main takeaways from the tournament is the Jacks may have found another guard to help take the scoring burden off of Noah Fridel. Baylor Scheierman had 44 total points in the tournament, 23 of which game in the second game vs Utah State. He stepped up and showed why he got to start all three games over returning starter David Wingett. Adding another scorer to the lineup like Baylor will not only take the stress of the outside shooting from Noah, but it will also take away some of the double teams that Matt Detlinger and Douglas Wilson might have thrown at them throughout the season.
While there was a lot of promise after the first two games, State found out there are still some problems that need to be corrected throughout the season. Turnover seemed to stifle the Jacks in their three games. Totaling 24 turnovers in their two losses, the Jackrabbits need to take care of the ball more especially in conference play.
Starting slow versus the Gaels looked like a result of fatigue for the Jacks. Early in the tournament the Jacks did not go to their bench as much as expected which may have led to them starting slow. Luke Appel did not have quality minutes in the first two games, which will need to happen this year for Doug and Matt to not tire out late in the year. The back court did not see as much rotation either, with Baylor moving to the starting lineup, there will be a limit to who can come off the bench. Charlie Easley is eligible and will be helpful but there will have to be more production coming from Matt Mims, Wingett, and potentially Mfum. Tray Buchanan still was not dressed with a boot on his foot, we may not see him much if at all this season.
Overall the Bad Boy Mowers Classic showed that the Jackrabbits will compete this year against any team they take the court against. Beating Utah State and competing against #15 West Virginia, it was clear that it will be a fun season to watch the Jacks!