South Dakota (0-1) at Canisius (0-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, November 11, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Koessler Athletic Center (2,176) -- Buffalo, New York. Television: None. Home Record: South Dakota 0-0, Canisius 0-0. Away Record: South Dakota 0-1, Canisius 0-0. Neutral Record: South Dakota 0-0, Canisius 0-0. Conference Record: South Dakota 0-0, Canisius 0-0. Series Record: Canisius leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The South Dakota Coyotes conclude their tour of the Empire State with a visit to the Koessler Athletic Center for a bout with the Canisius Golden Griffins.
The Coyotes tipped-off their season on Saturday with a 68-46 loss to St. Bonaventure at the Reilly Center. South Dakota had a miserable offensive performance as it hit on only 33.3 percent of its field goal tries with just four makes on 18 attempts from beyond the arc. Interim coach Joey James is in his first season with the program and has four starters from the 2012-13 season squad that compiled 10 wins. James was hired in September after the sudden retiring of 25-year head coach Dave Boots.
Canisius will be making its first appearance this season and has high hopes after a solid performance led to a 20-14 finish in coach Jim Baron's first year at the helm of the program. The Golden Griffins were one of the strongest programs in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with a 10-6 mark versus league foes. They have back their leader and MAAC Preseason Player of the Year Billy Baron, who transferred over from Rhode Island after his father was hired as the new head coach last offseason.
This will be the fourth all-time meeting between South Dakota and the Golden Griffins. Canisius is 2-1 versus the Coyotes, but the road team has been victorious in all three encounters.
Senior center Trevor Gruis is expected to be a top performer for South Dakota this season after netting 12.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game as a junior. The 6-foot-9 center posted 13 points and five boards versus the Bonnies in his season debut. Brandon Bos paced the Coyotes with 14 points thanks to a 3-of-4 clip from behind the 3-point line. Bos earned All-Summit League Honorable Mention in 2012-13.
Baron played close to 35 minutes per game and did a little bit of everything for Canisius last season, including scoring a team-best 17.2 ppg. In addition to being the primary offensive option, Baron also made it his mission to keep teammates involved in the action, resulting in a team-high 171 assists. The 6-6, 235 pound Chris Manhertz will provide a challenge for Gruis on the interior. The senior forward was a role player last season with 7.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, but has ample opportunity to become a feature player on the offensive end due to a few departures. Redshirt sophomore Dominique Raney will be in the starting lineup for his first appearance with the Golden Griffins, as will Stetson transfer Chris Perez, who led the Hatters in minutes (31.1) and ranked seventh in the Atlantic Sun in scoring at 13.5 ppg in 2011-12.
The Coyotes were overmatched versus SBU physically and could not find their shooting touch to keep things competitive. They will match up better on the inside against the Golden Griffins, but Canisius will be difficult to contain due to its stellar backcourt.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Canisius 75, South Dakota 63
11/11 10:37:47 ET