BY JEREMY HOECK
When Oakland exited in early May for the Horizon League, remaining Summit League programs were left scrambling to replace those games on the schedule.
Men’s basketball, for one, at the University of South Dakota is one that found it especially tough to fill those gaps.
According to athletic director David Herbster, USD requested the option to schedule an additional lower-level home game for the 2013-14 season. The Summit League previously limited teams to two non-Division I games, but granted USD the option to schedule a third such home game, Herbster said.
“We have to have a home game in one of those three,” he said. “Finding that home game has been a challenge, though.”
USD’s schedule is nearly finalized, Herbster said, as the Coyote staff is working with a team to secure a home date.
According to schedules already released by other schools, USD will host three NAIA games next season — Graceland University (Nov. 30), Iowa Wesleyan (Dec. 2) and Peru State (Feb. 4).
The seven remaining teams, eight including the addition of Denver next season, in the Summit League will play a 14-game schedule in 2013-14.
Seems easy enough to go find two extra games? Not so, says Herbster.
“Everyone was scrambling after Oakland left,” he said.
By comparison, a year ago, the USD men hosted two NAIA games, Culver-Stockton and Waldorf College. For what it’s worth, the Coyotes won those games by 8 and 25 points, respectively.
Of course, USD had 16 Summit League games already guaranteed on its schedule, so that was two fewer games to go find.
USD’s only other home non-conference games last season were against Ball State (7-point loss) and Morehead State (10-point win).
Among the other known games for the USD men next season: at Wyoming (Nov. 22), vs. Wyoming (Dec. 7 in Rapid City), at Kansas State (Dec. 10) and at Morehead State (Dec. 19). We will wait to post the other games we’ve heard until they are announced by other schools.
On the women’s side at USD, the Coyotes are waiting on one contract to finalize their 2013-14 basketball schedule, Herbster said. The only known lower-level games for USD are S.D. School of Mines (Dec. 7 in Rapid City) and College of Saint Mary (Dec. 19).
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