BHSU men’s basketball team picked second in RMAC preseason poll
SPEARFISH, S.D. – The Black Hills State men’s basketball team not only enters the 2020-21 season with high expectations, but a ton of motivation as well.
With the new season set to tip off in less than two weeks, the Yellow Jackets are projected to finish second in a tight Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference race this winter.
Last year, the Yellow Jackets tied with Dixie State as the regular season Co-RMAC Champions.
In fact, Black Hills State finished 17-5 in the conference and 20-9 overall.
However, the Yellow Jackets lost to South Dakota Mines in the first round of the RMAC Tournament.
BHSU head coach Ryan Thompson is optimistic and excited about the upcoming season.
“We’re expecting to take a step forward this year,” BHSU men’s basketball coach Ryan Thompson said. “We like our group a lot. We have five guys back that played a lot of minutes last year and we have some new pieces that we’re really excited about. So we feel that we have a chance to be a better basketball team this year. We’re not there yet. But we think we have all the pieces. We love our culture. We love how our guys are coming together and we’re just hopeful that we get an opportunity to compete as many nights as possible this year.”
Black Hills State lost three seniors to graduation including Tyler Oliver, who was named first team All-RMAC after averaging 12.7 points and seven rebounds per game.
But the Yellow Jackets do return their top two leading scorers from last year.
Joel Scott led BHSU in scoring last season with 17 points per game and Trey Whitley averaged nearly 15 points per contest.
“Those two guys are huge pieces and they’re going to demand a lot of attention from other teams defensively,” Thompson said. “Then Sava Dukic, Snjolfur Stefansson and Tommy Donovan are three guys that played huge minutes for us, as well. So that core has provided great leadership for our new guys.”
Black Hills State is set to open the regular season at Western Colorado on Dec. 4.
The Yellow Jackets home opener is Friday, Dec. 11 against Colorado Mesa University.