Losing to Denver at home in the Summit League opener would not exactly ruin the USD men’s season but a win would be a great one for a team needing some assurance that they’re going to do good things during the second half of the season.
Looking over the next three games — all at the Dome and all Summit contests — winning two of three would qualify as a good start. In talking to Trevor Gruis this week, he said one of the things you realize while going through the league is how important it is to win home games. Nothing earth-shaking about that viewpoint but the point is clear: Take care of business as best you can when you can because it’s going to be that much more difficult outside of Vermillion.
Trey Norris, Casey Kasperbauer and Eric Robertson will all be in uniform Saturday afternoon against the Pioneers and presumably will play. It’s got to be a tough deal, though, to be as sick as those kids were and expect that they’re going to be at full-speed. I anticipate the coaching staff is going to be watching the three very closely for signs of wear. Norris in particular. Now that the conference season is upon them I expect the point guard would be penciled in for somewhere between 36 and 38 minutes normally.
The keys are pretty much a rundown of the basics — defense, rebounding and decent shooting. The Coyotes are going to be chasing guys around a lot. Denver likes to work the ball here and there quite a bit so hanging in there on the scoreboard will be essential right from the start. Coming back from double-digits against a very patient offense is tough to do.