VERMILLION, SD (GoYotes.com) – The South Dakota men’s basketball program has added another marquee game to its 2022-23 schedule with a matchup against the BYU Cougars. This game will take place on December 3 in Salt Lake City at Vivint Arena, home to the NBA’s Utah Jazz.
“We are excited to head to Vivint Arena and play a top-notch opponent in BYU,” said USD head men’s basketball coach Eric Peterson. “It is a team and a venue I am very familiar with coming from Utah. Coach Pope and his staff do an excellent job and have put that program back into the national spotlight over the past three years. We look forward to the challenge and are also pumped for the opportunity to play in an NBA arena.”
The Coyotes are set to have one of the best offenses in the Summit this season. With the return of a 20 points per game scorer in A.J. Plitzuweit, South Dakota also brings back three double-digit scorers in Kruz Perrott-Hunt (15 ppg), Mason Archambault (14.5 ppg), and Tasos Kamateros (11.5 ppg). The Coyotes went out and got Paul Bruns, who averaged 14.8 points per game with North Dakota, and Mihai Carcoana from Toledo in the transfer portal to add more experience to the team.
The game between the Coyotes and Cougars will be the first time these two teams have met in program history.
The Cougars are in their fourth season under head coach Mark Pope. In 2021-22, Pope led BYU to a 24-11 record and the No. 2 seed in the NIT, advancing to the quarterfinals. Prior to that, the Cougars landed a No. 6 seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, making their first appearance in the Big Dance since 2015. Pope currently holds a 68-26 record at the helm including a 39-6 record at home.
BYU was hit hard by the transfer portal and graduation losing 10 players from last year’s team. Alex Barcello was the team’s leading scorer last season after averaging 16.8 points per game and shooting 45 percent from the field. Barcello graduated from BYU and is now playing professionally overseas. Fousseyni Traore, a 6-6 forward from Bamako, Mali, is the Cougars’ leading returner after starting 21 games last year and averaging 9.6 points per game. Pope and his staff added two guards from the transfer portal in Rudi Williams from Coastal Carolina and Jaxson Robinson from Arkansas.
Time for this game will be released at a later date along with other non-conference matchups for South Dakota.