The South Dakota men’s basketball team kicks off the 2022-23 season with a road contest in Madison, Wisconsin against the defending Big Ten Champion Wisconsin Badgers. This will be the first game for Eric Peterson, a native of Wisconsin, as head coach of the Coyotes on November 7.
“We could not be more excited to open up our season at Wisconsin,” said Peterson. “The Badgers have consistently been one of the best programs in the country. They have won the Big 10 two of the last three years and are the defending regular season champs. It will be a great early opportunity for our team playing in the Kohl Center.”
South Dakota and Wisconsin have met seven times in series history dating back to the 1956-57 season. That was the Coyotes’ lone win in the series after defeating the Badgers 58-56 in overtime. The most recent meeting took place in the Kohl Center in early December of 2010. USD kept it close by being down five at the half, but Wisconsin pulled away in the second half for a 15-point victory over the Coyotes.
Peterson’s coaching opener will be the first time since 1967 that a head coach has made his debut against a power five opponent. Bob Mulcahy made his Coyote debut against Iowa State on December 1, 1967. This is also the 26th time South Dakota has opened its season against a power five team since the first season in 1908.
South Dakota brings back eight from last year’s team including the return of A.J. Plitzuweit from injury. Plitzuweit averaged just over 20 points per game in the 2020-21 season. The top three scorers from last season in Kruz Perrott-Hunt (15.0 ppg), Mason Archambault (14.5 ppg), and Tasos Kamateros (11.5 ppg) all add even more scoring depth to the South Dakota offense. The Coyotes have five freshmen on the squad and added some key transfers in Paul Bruns from North Dakota and Mihai Carcoana from Toledo. Archambault and Damani Hayes are the two seniors this year.
The Badgers will be in their eighth season under Greg Gard in the 2022-23 year. Gard was named the 2022 Big Ten Coach of the Year after leading Wisconsin to a share of the regular season conference championship and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Badgers were a No. 3 seed in the tournament and made it to the Round of 32 before Iowa State upset them with a five-point victory. Wisconsin lost its top two scorers from last season in Johnny Davis (19.7 ppg) and Brad Davison (14.1 ppg). Tyler Wahl, a 6-9 forward from Lakeville, Minnesota, is the top-returning scorer for the Badgers after averaging 11.4 points per game last season. Steven Crowl (8.8 ppg) and Chucky Hepburn (7.9 ppg) round out the returning starters from last year’s squad.
Time for this game will be released at a later date along with the rest of the non-conference schedule for South Dakota.