VERMILLION — A tournament in Hawai’i, a game at reigning Pac-12 regular season champion Washington, and a meeting with longtime friend Eric Musselman at Arkansas highlight the 2019-20 South Dakota men’s basketball schedule announced Wednesday by head coach Todd Lee.
Two old comrades, Lee and Musselman, take the court on Nov. 22 as South Dakota faces Arkansas in Fayetteville. Lee and Musselman’s history dates back to their time coaching together for the Rapid City Thrillers of the CBA. Both also have connections to the University of San Diego, where Lee once coached and Musselman played. Musselman enters his first season at Arkansas after taking Nevada to three-straight NCAA Tournaments.
“I normally don’t like to play friends,” said Lee. “However, this game was scheduled before Eric got the job. But it will be an opportunity to play an SEC school and play against one of the best coaches in the country.”
The Coyotes will also take on the reigning Pac-12 regular season champion Washington, who advanced to the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, on Dec. 2 to cap off a four-game road trip. Sandwiched between the SEC and Pac-12 games are road trips to California Baptist (Nov. 27) and Northern Arizona (Nov. 30). The game with California Baptist will serve as a part of The Summit League/WAC Challenge in men’s basketball, now in its second year.
“Our four-game road trip and the tournament in Hawai’i will really define what kind of team we will be early in the season,” said Lee. “Those are both big challenges for us. We start the season with seven of our first nine games away from the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.”
The Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, Hawai’i, announced earlier this month kicks off the season. The Coyotes will face Pacific, Hawai’i and Florida A&M across the span of four days from Nov. 8-11.
South Dakota will have eight nonconference home games during 2019-20, including five-straight between Dec. 6 and Dec. 22. Highlights include hosting Northern Colorado inside the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Dec. 20 and playing future Summit member Kansas City inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center on Dec. 22.
“We come home from a four-game road trip and then we have, if you count the Pentagon game, five-straight home games right before Christmas,” said Lee. “It’s important that we are playing well before we start league play.”
The Coyotes begin Summit League play on the road at Western Illinois (Dec. 29). Marquee games against in-state rival South Dakota State are scheduled for Jan. 19 in Vermillion and Feb. 23 in Brookings. The regular season will conclude with senior day against North Dakota on Feb. 29.
Nov. 2 vs. Conc.-St. Paul (Exh.) TBA
Nov. 8 vs. Pacific * TBA
Nov. 10 vs. Hawai’i * TBA
Nov. 11 vs. Florida A&M * TBA
Nov. 15 vs. Texas Southern 7 p.m.
Nov. 18 vs. SIU-Edwardsville 7 p.m.
Nov. 22 at Arkansas TBA
Nov. 27 at Cal Baptist 9 p.m.
Nov. 30 at No. Arizona TBA
Dec. 2 at Washington TBA
Dec. 6 vs. Mount Marty 7 p.m.
Dec. 9 vs. Alabama State 7 p.m.
Dec. 14 vs. Mayville State 3:30 p.m.
Dec. 20 vs. No. Colorado ^ 7 p.m.
Dec. 22 vs. Kansas City 3:30 p.m.
Dec. 29 at Western Illinois TBA
Jan. 1 at Purdue Fort Wayne TBA
Jan. 5 vs. Denver 3:30 p.m.
Jan. 11 vs. Omaha 3:30 p.m.
Jan. 15 at N.D. State TBA
Jan. 19 vs. S.D. State 3:30 p.m.
Jan. 23 vs. Purdue Fort Wayne 7 p.m.
Jan. 25 vs. Oral Roberts 3:30 p.m.
Jan. 30 at Denver TBA
Feb. 2 at Omaha TBA
Feb. 4 vs. Peru State 7 p.m.
Feb. 8 at North Dakota TBA
Feb. 12 vs. Western Illinois 7 p.m.
Feb. 15 at Oral Roberts 7 p.m.
Feb. 19 vs. N.D. State 7 p.m.
Feb. 23 at S.D. State TBA
Feb. 29 vs. North Dakota 3:30 p.m.
M. 7-10 Summit League Tourn. (SF)
* - Rainbow Classic, Honolulu, Hawai’i
^ - at Sanford Pentagon, Sioux Falls