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Bracketology Today: Could Tech be facing a 3,000 point scorer?

South Dakota State could be a tough out for the Red Raiders.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-South Dakota State vs Ohio State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

In this week’s Bracket projections, the experts have the Red Raiders solidly as a 3 seed. Most of these predictors have the Red Raiders in Tulsa for Round 1, facing an interesting team out of South Dakota. The South Dakota State Jackrabbits are currently the number one seed in the Summit Conference Tournament and are looking for a second straight NCAA Tournament Berth.

Currently projected as a 14 seed, the Jackrabbits would give the Red Raiders a great challenge in the first round. They are an offensive oriented team which is a great reason why they would pose an interesting match-up for the Red Raiders. They have three great players including a career 3,000 point scorer. Here’s who South Dakota State brings to the court.

Mike Daum: 6-9 Senior Forward - 25.6 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 1.7 APG.

This guy is one of the best players to ever play basketball in the NCAA. He is a freak offensively and can shoot from anywhere, hitting 36% of hit three pointers and getting 83% of his free throws to go down. He averages a double-double and is an all-around player. We could really go on and on about this guy. Tariq Owens and Norense Odiase would have their hands full with this guy as his success has been great no matter who has been matched up against him. His play in the center allows the other players around him to get open for jump shots. I would be pretty surprised if we didn’t see Daum on an NBA roster next season. This guy has all of the tools to be a solid NBA Player.

David Jenkins: 6-2 Sophomore Guard: 19.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.6 APG

Jenkins has been the second best scorer on this team. He plays shooting guard and is primarily a three point shooter, taking and making the most shots from behind the arc. He will drive into the paint and even hit mid-range jump shots on occasion, but his primary goal on the offensive end is to hit three pointers. Jenkins is deadly from outside the arc as he shoots 46% from three this season. Matt Mooney should match-up pretty well on him as Mooney is this team’s best perimeter defender (yes Albie, best).

Skyler Flatten: 6-6 Senior Guard/Forward: 15.8 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.1 APG

Flatten is one of the more complete players on this team. He shoots 45% from behind the arc and can also drive the paint and draw contact. Aside from Daum, I would say he is the most effective player on this team. Flatten could go off at any time as in the team’s last game, he scored 31 points. Jarrett Culver would probably get the match-up on him and would have to do a good job guarding the senior as he can score from all over the floor.

Aside from these three, the Jackrabbits only have 4 other players that play in their rotation. Senior Point Guard Tevin King averages 4 assists and nearly 2 steals per game and run their offense. Their other starter is freshman Alex Arians. Arians is a decent shooter, but plays a secondary role in their offense due to the three aforementioned players.

Coming off the bench are freshman Owen King and Matt Dentlinger. These guys come in to fill minutes and play pretty well. Dentlinger is a 6-8 forward that anchors the paint when Daum needs a break. King plays the guard spot and averages about 17 minutes per game, giving starters a break when they need it. Neither do anything great but they are both solid players that can come in and hold down the fort while the starters get some rest.

The Red Raiders would have their hands full with this team. They play fast and they have a few guys that can score the rock. The point of emphasis for Coach Beard will be to shut down Mike Daum. If this defense can shut him down, the rest of the team will have a harder time scoring. Tariq Owens will most likely get most of the reps on him, but Norense Odiase will get some as well when Owens comes out of the game.

The Red Raiders should be able to score points on this team. While the Jackrabbits are really good on the offensive end, they’ve only held an opponent under 60 points twice. Most of their close games have gone into the 80s and even 90s. I believe this type of game actually benefits the Red Raiders who have found their shot of late. I believe the Red Raiders will be able to shut down the Jackrabbits’ great offensive attack to the point that the Red Raiders secure enough points to win the game.

This no doubt would be an interesting game for both teams to play. Really good offense versus the best defense in the land. We’d also see a lottery pick match-up with one of the best scorers in NCAA history. It would most likely be a back and forth game early but I predict that the Red Raiders will eventually pull away with some great second half adjustments.