Coyotes Go From Seventh To The Peak Of The Summit
USD Men First Regular Season League Title
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — In the Summit League preseason poll the USD men’s basketball team was picked to finish seventh out of nine teams.
Now, they stand alone at the Summit as champions.
Their 92-85 win at IUPUI last night coupled with North Dakota State’s loss at Omaha gave the Coyotes their first outright Summit League title in program history. That assures them of at least a bid in the NIT and the top seed for next week’s Summit League Tournament.
It’s a remarkable season for a team that, despite having just one senior, won 21 games, had the Summit’s best road record and never lost consecutive games in league play.
“It feels great. Ever since coach recruited me here that was the goal to be conference champs so to actually do it is a dream come true.” USD Sophomore Guard Matt Mooney says.
“People didn’t really pick us at the top so it’s kind of satisfying. Knowing before the season I knew that this team had the talent to do it and it was just going to be a like a growing experience throughout the season. It’s awesome to see it all come together.” USD Senior Forward Tyler Flack says.
“Anybody can win a three day tournament. You just get on a hot streak. But when you look at the duration of a conference season you go through a lot of ups and downs, emotionally, physically, health concerns, guys getting sick, and you have to have a true team in terms of chemistry and depth to come out on top.” USD Head Coach Craig Smith says.
The top-seeded Coyotes face Western Illinois in the Summit League Quarterfinals next Saturday at 6 PM.