By Brad Blume
‘Rockers looking to hit stride against Saints
Sports Information Director
South Dakota School of Mines
RAPID CITY --- The South Dakota School of Mines men’s basketball team will take a trek to the northeastern side of the state Saturday to battle against the Presentation College Saints in Aberdeen. The tip-off is set for 3 p.m. (CST).
The Hardrockers are going through some growing pains this season and are just starting to find their stride after a 2-6 start.
Last weekend at the U.S. Bank Thanksgiving Classic, the SD Mines men had two solid performances in which they split games. SDM fell to Johnson Wales University out of Denver, Colo., 93-89, in overtime and then turned around and took out Dana College of Nebraska, 80-70, in which freshman A.J. Trennepohl threw in a game-high 29 points and was 100 percent from the field, making 10 of 10 --- seven of which were from behind the three-point line and 2-2 from the free throw line. Junior Brandon Smith also had one of his career best games, contributing 19 points and making his presence known in the paint.
The ‘Rockers most recently took on Chadron State Wednesday night in Nebraska, in a exhibition bout. The game was meaningless to the Hardrockers as it does not count toward their season record or cumulative stats. The Eagles were able to defeat SDM, 92-77. Trennepohl still managed another impressive outing, cashing in for 18 points and Smith established balance underneath with 13 points.
Hardrocker Brent Cass (middle) attempts a shot over a Mount Marty College defender during a game earlier in the season at the King Center in Rapid City. Photo by Brad Blume
On the national scale, South Dakota Mines is currently ranked 34th in field goal percentage, shooting 49 percent so far this season. Individually, sophomore Robbie Fedor is ranked 22 in the NAIA Div. II in three-pointers made per game at three.
Five Hardrockers are currently averaging over 10 points a game. Fedor tops the list with 16.63, while freshman Michael Ross is a close second putting up 11.38 a game. Smith is averaging 11.13 a game and Trennepohl and Donny DeGooyer are both scoring a little over 10 points a game.
The one thing though that Hardrocker head coach Jason Henry is concerned about is keeping control of the ball and limiting turnovers. SDM has a total of 155 on the season.
“”We need to do a better job of taking care of the ball,” Henry said. “Every possession is important to us and it all adds up.”
The Saints are just starting out on the season, having competed in just three games so far this year. They post a 1-2 record with a victory over Trinity Bible College and losses to Dakota Wesley University and Valley City State.
“They have played some common opponents in DWU and Valley City,” Henry said. “And they have done fairly well against them. They are a lot like us. They have some small, undersized post and they use them pretty much like we use ours. They basically do the same type of things so it should be a good matchup and a good game.”
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.