Tough if not entirely unexpected news today for Jackrabbit fans as the South Dakota State men's basketball team will be looking to not only replace the Summit League's all-time leading scorer in the graduating Mike Daum ... but also replacing a head coach for the second time in three years.
The University of Nevada Las Vegas has hired South Dakota State's T.J. Otzelberger as its next men's basketball coach and the Jacks wasted no time in promoting assistant Eric Henderson to take over. It will be Henderson's first head coaching job at the college level. Otzelberger spent three seasons at State, going 70-33 while leading the Jackrabbits to the NCAA Tournament twice. SDSU won the Summit League regular-season title but ended up in the NIT after losing a shocker to Western Illinois in the conference tournament. Henderson is 2000 graduate of Wayne State and began his coaching career at his alma mater as an assistant coach. Henderson has also assisted at North Dakota State.
The Class A boys basketball all-state team was released today and Red Cloud senior Alejandro Rama, a South Dakota School of Mines commit, was the second pick on the first team behind player of the year Noah Freidel of state champion Tea Area. Freidel's teammate Justin Hohn also made the first team along with Mitchell Goodbary of Sioux Falls Christian, Paul Bruns of Dakota Valley and Karst Hunter of Miller. St. Thomas More teammates Ryder Kirsch and Caden Casey made the second team along with Halen Bad Bear of Pine Ridge ... Bad Bear's teammate Corey Brown earned third team honors along with Hill City senior Taylor Edwards.
And in high school baseball action tonight, the Sturgis Scoopers opened their season with a win over Douglas 9 to 2 ... Carl Nash struck out seven to pick up the win on the mound for Sturgis while Dylan Gillespie knocked in two runs. The Scoopers moved to 1-0 on the season with the win while Douglas dropped to 0 and 2.
And in ECHL action tonight, the Rapid City Rush looked to keep their slim playoff chances alive in Boise ... the Rush defeated Idaho 5 to 3 as Dexter Dancs, Brandon Fehd, Justin Faryna and Cedric Montminy all lit the lamp, with Montminy scoring two goals. Kansas City fell 5 to 3 to Cincinnati, meaning that regardless of Wednesday's result the Rush are still mathematically alive for a postseason berth but they'll still need some help and a winning streak to close the season.