South Dakota State vs Western Illinois Preview and Prediction
South Dakota State vs Western Illinois Preview
Summit League plays opens with the reigning champions (and 2018-19 favorite) South Dakota State (10-5) heading to Macomb, Ill to take on Western Illinois (5-8). The Leathernecks were picked to finish last in the preseason polls.
The Jacks are the three-time defending Summit League tournament champions, and last year earned the program’s first-ever outright Summit regular season title. However, they are coming off of a crushing loss to Montana, 85-74.
Western Illinois enters the weekend with a 5-8 mark, picking up an 81-52 win over Chicago State prior to the Christmas break on Dec. 20.
This is the 29th meeting between the programs, with South Dakota State holding a 23-4 advantage in the all-time series. The Jackrabbits are 8-4 all-time in Macomb, and in the overall series have won 21 of the last 22 meetings.
Western’s last win over South Dakota State came inside Western Hall on Jan. 4, 2017 when the Leathernecks came out on top, 82-74 to snap a 16-game losing streak against the Jackrabbits.
All about the Dauminator
All-American Mike Daum paces the Jackrabbit offense with a double-double average of 25.3 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, shooting 50.4 percent from the field with 33 3-point field goals. He is one of four players nationally averaging over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.
Daum has been named the Summit League’s Player of the Week 16 times in his career and five times this season, including three straight weeks (Nov. 26, Dec. 3 & Dec. 10). He has won more weekly league honors than any player in Summit League history.
Webster leads the Leathernecks
Sophomore guard Kobe Webster may only stand at 6’o weighing in at 160lbs soaking wet, but he can shoot the basketball and will challenge anyone in the paint, including Mike Daum.
Webster leads Western Illinois in points (18.2), assists (3.5) and steals (1.2).
Bet ya don’t know who leads the nation in blocks?
Good job if you guessed Western’s Brandon Gilbeck.
Gilbeck leads the team with 8.5 rebounds per game and 51 total blocks (first nationally), swatting 3.9 per contest to go with a scoring average of 8.8 points per game.
He will be matched up with Daum in what should be an exciting battle.
LINE: -7.5 South Dakota State
Dan’s Bet: Over 150
Score Prediction: South Dakota State 81 Western Illinois 73