CALGARY, Alta. — If you thought that the South Dakota Coyotes would be in second place in the Summit League standings in mid-February, you must be rejoicing right now.
Coming into the season, the Coyotes were underrated by many, including those in their own conference. They were ranked seventh in the preseason Summit League polls, and did not have a player listed on the All-Summit League teams.
Predictions are just that, predictions of what people think will happen. The Coyotes are out proving people wrong with each passing game, and look like a top threat in the conference race.
This past week, South Dakota extended their winning streak to three games with a pair of wins over two top contenders for the Summit League crown.
A big reason for the Coyotes’ strong play as of late has been the individual play of senior big man Tyler Flack. After returning to the lineup on January 28th against the Denver Pioneers, Flack has scored in double-figures in all five games.
His strong play continued this past week, as he was highly effective from the floor in leading the Coyotes to two big wins to keep pace atop the standings.
Fans came out in full force to support Flack on Twitter, as they tabbed the senior as the College Court Report Fan-Voted Player of the Week for the week of February 6 – 12, 2017!
The poll amassed over 1,200 votes on Twitter, as fans of the Coyotes came out in full force to show their support for their beloved big man.
Flack beat out Quinton Hooker, Josh Ibarra, and Marquis Wright for this week’s award.
Coming into the week, the Coyotes were riding high after knocking off the North Dakota State Bison on the road in their previous outing. They had two big games this week against tough opponents, but the Coyotes came ready to play.
Up first, South Dakota closed out their three game road trip with a contest against the preseason favourite Fort Wayne Mastodons. Behind an effective offensive showing from Flack, the Coyotes notched a 93-82 victory over the Mastodons.
In 27 minutes of court time, Flack went an impressive 13-of-15 (86.7%) from the field, finishing the night with a career-high 29 points to pace South Dakota. Flack also pulled down 8 rebounds, dished out 2 assists, and committed just one turnover.
The Coyotes used a 56-point second half to pull away from the Mastodons.
Three days later, the Coyotes were back at home in Vermillion, SD for a date against their instate rivals, the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Flack picked up right where he left off from the previous outing, and led South Dakota to the tight 91-89 victory over the Jackrabbits.
Flack went 8-of-11 (72.7%) from the floor, and 5-of-6 from the free throw line, scoring a team-high 23 points in the win. He added another 8 rebounds, and dished out 3 assists to help lead South Dakota to their third straight triumph in Summit League play.
Over the two games, Flack averaged an even 26.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per contest, while also dishing out 2.5 assists per game. He shot a combined 21-of-26 (80.8%) from the field, and 4-of-6 (66.7%) from three point range.
The 2016-17 season has been a career-year for Flack. The native of Lakeville, MN is averaging career-highs in points (15.6 ppg), rebounds (7.3 rpg), assists (0.8 apg), blocks (1.8 bpg), and steals (0.8 spg).
After last week, he sits at 869 career points with the Coyotes.
Since his return to the lineup after a seven game absence, South Dakota has gone 4-1. In Flack’s absence, they went just 4-3.
Behind strong play from Flack, Matt Mooney, Trey Dickerson, and others, the Coyotes have emerged as a true contender atop the Summit League standings. At 18-10 overall, and 9-4 in conference play, the Coyotes sit just a half-game back of North Dakota State for the conference lead.
For his efforts this past week, South Dakota fans came out and showed their support for Tyler Flack, selecting him as the College Court Report Fan-Voted Player of the Week for the week of February 6 – 12, 2017!
– T. Bennett
Jan. 30 – Feb. 5, 2017: Victor Sanders, Idaho Vandals
Jan. 23 – 29, 2017: Kevin Hervey, UT-Arlington Mavericks
Jan. 16 – 22, 2017: Dequon Miller, Missouri State Bears
Jan. 9 – 15, 2017: Nick Hornsby, Sacramento State Hornets
Jan. 2 – 8, 2017: Daniel Dixon, William & Mary Tribe
Dec. 26, 2016 – Jan. 1, 2017: Alec Wintering, Portland Pilots
Dec. 12 – 18, 2016: Devin Carter, Arkansas State Red Wolves
Dec. 5 – 11, 2016: Jeremy Morgan, Northern Iowa Panthers
Dec. 5 – 11, 2016: Joe Cremo, Albany Great Danes
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4, 2016: LaVell Boyd, UMKC Kangaroos
Nov. 20 – 27, 2016: Egor Koulechov, Rice Owls
Nov. 14 – 20, 2016: Josh Robinson, Austin Peay Governors
Nov. 11 – 13, 2016: Alize Johnson, Missouri State Bears
**College Court Report Player of the Week recipients are selected from teams in the following conferences:
America East, Atlantic Sun, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Conference USA, Horizon League, Ivy League, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, Southern, Southland, Summit League, SWAC, Sun Belt, West Coast, and WAC