South Dakota is coming off its school-record fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament. After winning the NCC Tournament, the Coyotes earned the number four seed in the North Central Region where they faced the University of Nebraska-Kearney. USD fell 95-88 to Nebraska-Kearney in the tournament and finished the 2006-07 season with a 23-7 record.
The Coyotes will be returning 10 letterwinners, including all five starters from last season's NCC championship team. Grimsley and Hall will headline USD's returning lineup. Grimsley (Jr., Sioux City, IA) is coming off of a 2006-07 campaign in which he averaged 16.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. In 12 conference games he averaged 18.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Grimsley was selected to the All-North Central Conference and All-Disney Tip-Off Classic teams as well as to Daktronics NCAA Division II All-North Central Region Second Team. He was also named the NCC Newcomer of the Year and selected as
the NCC Postseason Tournament Most Valuable Player. Hall (Sr., Huron) earned All-North Central Conference honors after scoring 15.9 points and grabbing 4.9 rebounds per game last season. He finished the season ranked 11th in the nation in three-point field goal percentage and was 31st in three-point field goals made per game.
USD also returns three other players who averaged 10 or more points per game last season. Jesse Becker (13.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg), Dustin Little (10.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Steve Smith (10.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg) will all be back in the USD lineup this season. The Coyotes will also be returning NCC Freshman of the Year Tyler Cain, who was 27th in the nation in blocks per game (2.1 bpg).
South Dakota opens the 2007-08 season on Saturday, Nov. 17 when they play host to Dana College at 8 p.m. at the DakotaDome. The Coyotes will begin conference play on Jan. 12 when they travel to Sioux Falls to face Augustana College.
Rank Team 2006-07 Record
1. South Dakota 23-7
2. Winona State 35-1
3. Grand Valley State 29-5
4. Northwest Missouri State 24-7
5. Metropolitan State 28-4
6. Augusta State 24-7
7. Southern Indiana 29-6
8. West Virginia State 26-7
9. Christian Brothers 21-7
10. Alaska-Anchorage 19-9