Notre Dame-South Dakota Basketball: Irish Should Handle First-Year Div. I Foe

Weis GipperCorrespondent IDecember 2, 2008

Game Seven: South Dakota (3-4) at No. 7 Notre Dame (5-1)
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 2
Time: 7:30 p.m. (EST)

Despite not having the services of Luke Harangody for the second straight contest, Notre Dame should not have too much trouble with first-year Division I foe South Dakota.

As was the case on Sunday against Furman, the Fighting Irish will have to rough it for at least one more night as Harangody is still battling the effects of pneumonia. It showed during the first 14 minutes of the contest before Kyle McAlarney started heating up where he left off in Hawaii. The senior guard almost broke his 3-point FG mark as he connecting on nine in 28 minutes of action. He finished the game with 32 points.

South Dakota like to play an uptempo game as they average 74.7 points a contest, which plays into the hands of the Irish. Unfortunately for the Coyotes, they can not hold their opponents either. They are giving up 72.7 points, 42.8 percent shooting, and 38.5 percent three-point shooting their opposition on average.

Notre Dame, meanwhile, is playing at midseason form behind the sharp shooting of McAlarney, the toughness of Harangody and Zach Hillesland, and the steady play of guard Tory Jackson.

Currently the Irish rank high nationally in several categories:

1st Assist-to-Turnover Ratio (1.9)
6th Turnovers (9.8)
15th Assists (18.7)
17th Scoring (84.7)
27th 3PT FG (40.4%)

This one should be over very quickly, as coach Mike Brey will empty his bench and give quality minutes to guys like Tim Abromitis, Tyrone Nash, and Carleton Scott. Anything less than a 30-point victory will be disappointing.

South Dakota Coyotes Breakdown

Head Coach

Dave Boots (538-226), 21st season

Last Season

22-7 in Division II


The Coyotes do have a strong nucleus back from their 22-7 squad of a season ago. South Dakota starts three seniors, a junior and one freshmen.

Junior forward Tyler Cain provides the scoring and muscle for the Coyotes. He has three double-doubles so far this season and had 16 last season for South Dakota.


Entering their first season of Division I basketball, South Dakota is going to experience a few bumps and bruises. The talent level will be quite noticeable when they face bigger squads.

Projected Starters

South Dakota

C Steve Smith 8.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg
F Tyle Cain 16.1 ppg, 11.1 rpg
F Dylan Grimsley 11.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg
G Jesse Becker 12.6 ppg, 3.6 apg
G Louie Krogman 15.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg

Notre Dame

F Zach Hillesland 6.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg
F Luke Zeller 7.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg
G Ryan Ayers 10.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg
G Tory Jackson 14.3 ppg, 5.7 apg
G Kyle McAlarney 19.7 ppg, 3.8 apg