Up next for IPFW: Saturday vs. South Dakota State
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Gates Sports Center
On the air: ESPN 1380-AM
Records: IPFW (13-5, 1-0 Summit League), South Dakota State (9-7, 1-0 SL)
Expected starters for the Mastodons: Steve Forbes – 6-9, redshirt junior center; Luis Jacobo – 6-5, senior forward; Michael Kibiloski – 6-7, senior forward; Pierre Bland – 6-2, senior guard; Isaiah McCray – 6-0, junior guard..
Update: IPFW is off to its best start as a member of the NCAA Division I level in program history. The Mastodons are coming off an impressive win over Summit League preseason favorite North Dakota State (82-71). In that victory, IPFW connected on an astounding 20 of 21 free throws and a solid 8 of 17 from 3-point range. The Mastodons have done a very nice job of rebounding this season (holding a 34.7 to 30.5 advantage over opponents), and they have done so collectively. Jacobo, Forbes, Bland, and sophomore Joe Reed are each averaging between 4.6 and 5.4 boards per game. Jacobo is leading the balanced offense with a 14.4 points per game average, but Forbes (11.7), Bland (9.9), freshman guard Mo Evans (9.7), Kibiloski (8.3), Reed (8.2), junior wing Joe Edwards (8.2), and McCray (7.8) are each capable of leading the team on any given night. IPFW has already topped the 11 victories earned in third-year coach Tony Jasick’s initial season, and are three shy of last season’s 16 victories and still have at least 14 games remaining. The Jackrabbits graduated Summit League Player of the Year Nate Wolters, who is averaging 21 minutes per game for the Milwaukee Bucks as a rookie. South Dakota State is 6-2 in its last eight games with the two defeats at Stanford and at Minnesota.
Assistant coach Ryan Sims: (Sims has the scouting assignment for the Jackrabbits) “How (South Dakota State) plays together, they lost Wolters, but they still have that core of guys of Brayden Carlson, Jordan Dykstra, and Chad White. They’ve been playing together since they were freshmen and they are all seniors now. They lost Wolters, but when you lose one, someone is going to step up. They’ve added Cody Larson (a transfer from Florida), who is really good in the post. They scored 40 points in the post (vs. IUPUI) in their last game. If they don’t get anything in the post, then they’ll kick it out. They are averaging 20 (3-point shots) per game and their starting five is all averaging double figures. They are a real good inside-out team.”