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Big Bloch: Skyler Bloch, USF

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The USF Cougars will not be playing for any conference championships this year as they complete the transition to division two. Still, that hasn't stopped senior Skyler Bloch, our Karl's TV and Appliance Athlete of the Week, from giving 100 percent every night for the Cougar men's basketball team.

"We'd be lying if we said there's not that carrot at the end of the year." USF Head Basketball Coach Chris Johnson says, "If you lose a game, it doesn't feel the same, you don't lose a game in the conference standings."

That's the story for the USF men's basketball team this year. Completing the transition to division one and the NSIC, the Cougars, who are 16-8 and have gone undefeated at home this season, will not be playing for any conference titles. That fact isn't lost on the Coo's lone senior, Skyler Bloch, but he's very aware of the big picture.

"You just gotta go out there and play every game like it's your last," Bloch says, "It sucks, it's not very good that we don't have a conference tournament, it's kind of a downer, but at the same time, the goal is still the same: for USF to be good in this year, years to come, and be successful in the NSIC. That's what we play for."

Bloch has performed extremely well for USF this season, leading his team in rebounding and scoring while averaging six boards and nearly 17 points per game. Despite his large frame, a lot of those points come from outside the paint.

"He's actually probably better facing the basket shooting jump shots than he is even with his back to the basket," Johnson says, "Which is odd when you're 6'8", 250 pounds."

The Lesterville native can get it done on the low block though too, but he says that's not the product of an arsenal of post moves, just good passes from teammates. Oh, and one other thing.

"It helps that I weigh 250 pounds." Bloch says.

So next year when USF goes up against the very tough Northern Sun, will they falter without their versatile big man? Bloch sure doesn't think so.

"It's gonna be pretty easy to replace me," Bloch says. "We've got some big guys coming in, some nice freshmen."

As for this year, even without the hope of a conference championship, Bloch and the Cougars are still looking for some gold.

"We got two tournaments," Bloch says, "One in Spearfish and one in Vegas and hopefully we can win out and win those tournaments, bring home a little bit of hardware."

Follow KDLT Sports at @KDLTSports and KDLT Weekend Sports Anchor Kolbe Nelson at @KolbeNelson for opinions, links, and updates on Twitter. And don't forget to check out the KDLT Sports Facebook Page
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