South Dakota State vs Wyoming Preview and Prediction
South Dakota State vs Wyoming Preview
The Cayman Islands Classic tips off today as the South Dakota State Jackrabbits face off against their Midwestern rival the Wyoming Cowboys.
The Cowboys are coming off of a program-changing type of victory over Oregon State 75-66 on November 12th–and more impressively, it came on the road, something they haven’t done in a long time.
The Pokes hadn’t won a game away from the Arena-Auditorium since Feb. 4 at Air Force.
“Whenever we go on the road, we try to get as many victories as we can on the road, because in the history of Wyoming, we’ve always had a good home record,” junior Justin James said. “We always do good at home, especially last year. So (head coach Allen) Edwards made an emphasis about when we go on the road, we definitely need to take away of those away games, and we definitely did that last game.”
“Even though it’s not really home crowd, away crowd, we’re not on our home floor, and we’re playing against other competition,” James said. “So playing against other teams in different conferences and just continuing to grow more as a team and hopefully win some more games.”
The Cowboys hosted South Dakota State last year before the Jackrabbits made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament as Summit League Tournament champions. Wyoming won that meeting 77-67.
South Dakota State is led by Mike Daum, whose mother and father played basketball and football at Wyoming. Daum led the Jackrabbits, who are coming off a loss to Kansas, with 25.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game last season and has averaged 21.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game this season.
“Very good player,” Wyoming senior Alan Herndon said. “Very solid guy. It’s kind of like Hayden that he’s just skilled and can do it all. We’re definitely going to have to key in on him, try to limit his effect on the game as much as he has.”
The Cowboys will face either Iowa or Louisiana in their second game. Cincinnati, UAB, Richmond and Buffalo are also competing in the tournament. The championship game will be played Wednesday.
“I think it will be (good) just to be able to go out there with guys, get out the country, just spend a little time together,” Herndon said. “But at the end of the day, we’re there on a business trip, and we’re there to handle some things. So we can’t have too much fun.”
Not enough people know about the South Dakota State forward who made our 1st Team All Mid-Major Preseason list. Daum will likely be able to carve out a role in the NBA once his collegiate playing days are over. He is a walking double-double, averaging 21.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.
The Cowboys will need to focus their gameplan on stopping Daum if they want a chance to continue their winning ways.
Daum will be the best player on the court and it isn’t close. However, the Cowboys have a more complete team and Hayden Dalton who had 22 points, including four-3-pointers, and nine rebounds against Oregon State should be able to pace the Wyoming attack. With the line at -2 for Wyoming, it should be right around there with Wyoming taking home the victory.
Wyoming 75 South Dakota State 72