Amelia Rayno's Basketball Insider: South Dakota St., Nate Wolters having noticeable impact

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 7, 2012 - 8:16 AM

The secret is out at South Dakota State: St. Cloud's Nate Wolters can score against the best, and he has elevated the profile of the Jackrabbits' D-I program.

Nate Wolters had a tough time with Trevor Mbakwe when South Dakota State visited Williams Arena in November, but the St. Cloud Tech product found it much easier to score at Washington a month later.

Photo: Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Nate Wolters is on a bus in the middle of the desert, somewhere between Las Vegas and Cedar City, Utah, a few dusty roads between his last game and his next, completely unaware that this is how one of the country's best scorers travels.

"Oh, I didn't even know I was seventh," Wolters said, sounding almost embarrassed. "It's a nice little accomplishment ... I focus more on wins and losses. Points per game is not a big deal. It's just kind of, you do what you've got to do."

What Wolters has done, exactly, is push South Dakota State into basketball relevance. The former St. Cloud Tech standout is scoring 21.5 points a game, good now for fifth-best in Division I entering the weekend, two spots better than when he was reached by phone earlier in the week. The 6-4 junior guard might not have realized just how he has contributed statistically, but he earned the attention of many basketball observers after taking over a game against Washington three weeks ago.

Three days after a tough December loss at North Dakota State, the Jackrabbits traveled to Seattle. Wolters responded with a career game that hoisted SDSU over Washington -- only the third victory over a BCS conference team in school history. His 34-point breakout performance lifted Wolters into the country's top 10 scoring leaders and sparked the team -- which is 13-4 -- to a four-game winning streak heading into Saturday's game against Oral Roberts, which, like South Dakota State, is 5-0 in Summit League play.

"I think we all wanted to come out and show everyone that we were a better team than we had shown a couple of days earlier," he said. "I don't think anybody likes to lose at all, but it's always best when you have games right away so you can kind of forget about it and get back at it the next day."

Perhaps Wolters' own accomplishments have slipped by him because he's so caught up in the team dynamic. After going 14-16 in his freshman year, the Jackrabbits improved to 19-12 last season, and Wolters has been a big part of helping SDSU gain steam as a program after moving up to Division I seven years ago.

Despite his obvious talent and scoring ability -- graduating from St. Cloud Tech as the school's all-time leading scorer after taking the team to third-place finishes in the Class 4A state tournament in his junior and senior seasons -- it "never even occurred" to Wolters to dream of playing for the Gophers. These days, it's probably occurred to shorthanded Gophers coach Tubby Smith, who watched Wolters score 20 points and dominate stretches before the Gophers beat SDSU in early November. The Gophers weren't alone in their inability to guard Wolters. He has scored at least 20 points in seven games this season and at least 30 in three.

"He really schooled us pretty good," Smith said. "Nobody could really guard him there for a while."

  • related content

  • Amelia Rayno's short takes: Jan. 7

    Friday January 6, 2012

    In one of the most talked-about finishes of the early Big Ten season, officials ruled in Michigan State's 63-60 overtime victory over Wisconsin on Tuesday that an apparent tying buzzer-beating...

  • Amelia Rayno's Big Ten power poll

    Friday January 6, 2012

    Until the Spartans lose to someone other than Duke or North Carolina, I'm sold.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Houston 6
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Miami 1
Baltimore 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Chicago Cubs 6 FINAL
San Francisco 8
Los Angeles 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox 1
San Diego 3 Top 9th Inning
Seattle 9
Cleveland 9 FINAL
Cincinnati 3
Milwaukee 2 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Texas 4 FINAL
Kansas City 5
Colorado 3 FINAL
Arizona 4
NY Mets 4 Bottom 3rd Inning
Washington 0
Boston 6:05 PM
Minnesota
Toronto 6:05 PM
Baltimore
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
Chicago
Dallas 9:30 PM
Portland
Calgary 6:00 PM
Boston
St. Louis 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 6:00 PM
Washington
Toronto 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Dallas 6:30 PM
Florida
NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Nashville
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Arizona
Montreal 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Morgan State 76 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 89
Niagara 31 2nd Half 14:20
Siena 49
Holy Cross 6:00 PM
Bucknell
Western Ky 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Navy 6:00 PM
Colgate
Temple 6:00 PM
East Carolina
UAB 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Lafayette
American Univ 6:00 PM
Lehigh
Wisconsin 6:00 PM
Minnesota
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Saint Peters
Arkansas 6:00 PM
South Carolina
Morehead State 6:00 PM
UT Martin
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
North Florida
Southern Ill 6:05 PM
Missouri State
Texas State 6:30 PM
Appalachian St
SC State 6:30 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Delaware State 6:30 PM
Coppin State
Middle Tennessee 6:30 PM
FIU
Texas-Arlington 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Norfolk State 6:30 PM
Hampton
NC A&T 6:30 PM
NC Central
Savannah State 7:00 PM
Florida A&M
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Georgia State 7:00 PM
ULM
Marshall 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Rice 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ark-Little Rock 7:15 PM
Louisiana
South Alabama 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
Alabama State 7:30 PM
Grambling St
Alabama A&M 7:30 PM
Jackson State
Sam Houston St 7:30 PM
Lamar
Central Arkansas 7:30 PM
Nicholls
Portland State 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Southern U 7:30 PM
Prairie View
Alcorn State 7:30 PM
Texas Southern
Houston Baptist 7:30 PM
TX A&M-CC
SE Louisiana 7:45 PM
New Orleans
California 8:00 PM
Arizona
Eastern Ill 8:00 PM
Belmont
Memphis 8:00 PM
Connecticut
VA Commonwealth 8:00 PM
Davidson
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Marist 8:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Northwestern St 8:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
North Texas 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 8:00 PM
Washington
Idaho 8:00 PM
Weber State
Abilene Christian 8:00 PM
Incarnate Word
Eastern Wash 8:05 PM
Idaho State
Bradley 8:35 PM
Drake
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Long Beach State
UC Riverside 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Stanford 10:00 PM
Arizona State
Utah 10:00 PM
Washington St
Monmouth 68 FINAL
Canisius 56
Wake Forest 85 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 79
Saint Louis 65 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 58
Saint Peters 62 FINAL
Rider 54
UNC-Asheville 51 FINAL
Liberty 59
UNC Greensboro 44 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 78
Michigan State 69 FINAL
Michigan 49
Arkansas 72 FINAL
Ole Miss 61
Manhattan 51 FINAL
Niagara 57
Massachusetts 63 FINAL
Richmond 67
Virginia 52 FINAL
Miami-Florida 62
Jacksonville St 45 FINAL
Belmont 55
Morgan State 65 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 50
Campbell 65 FINAL
Winthrop 52
Furman 65 FINAL
Samford 54
Oregon 64 FINAL
Washington St 66
Indiana 52 FINAL
(23) Rutgers 63
Pepperdine 67 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 68
Auburn 47 FINAL
(18) Texas A&M 57
Morehead St 66 FINAL
Tennessee St 81
George Mason 43 FINAL
Saint Josephs 71
Western Carolina 53 FINAL
East Tenn St 73
Arizona 24 2nd Half
UCLA 37
Texas State 39 2nd Half 15:07
Appalachian St 43
TX-Arlington 40 2nd Half 15:43
Georgia Southern 13
SC State 13 1st Half 7:33
Bethune-Cookman 14
Delaware State 23 2nd Half
Coppin State 38
Portland 19 1st Half 3:21
Santa Clara 31
Norfolk State 15 1st Half 3:44
Hampton 23
NC A&T 38 2nd Half
NC Central 18
Savannah State 5:00 PM
Florida A&M
Virginia Tech 5:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Central Arkansas 5:00 PM
Nicholls
Houston Baptist 5:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
Gardner-Webb 5:00 PM
Radford
Georgia 6 1st Half 15:43
Missouri 7
Old Dominion 4 1st Half 15:35
Marshall 5
Ark-Little Rock 7 1st Half 15:36
Louisiana 6
South Alabama 5:05 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 5:15 PM
ULM
Sam Houston St 5:30 PM
Lamar
SE Louisiana 5:30 PM
New Orleans
Northwestern St 5:30 PM
Stephen F Austin
Alabama A&M 5:30 PM
Jackson State
Alabama State 5:30 PM
Grambling
Southern U 5:30 PM
Prairie View
Alcorn State 5:30 PM
Texas Southern
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Wofford 5:45 PM
Mercer
Abilene Christian 6:00 PM
Incarnate Word
La Salle 6:00 PM
Rhode Island
Illinois 6:00 PM
Nebraska
TX-San Antonio 6:00 PM
Rice
Valparaiso 6:00 PM
Oakland
Missouri State 6:05 PM
Indiana State
Georgia Tech 7:00 PM
(15) North Carolina
Presbyterian 7:00 PM
High Point
Charlotte 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Florida Atlantic 7:00 PM
UAB
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
North Texas
Wichita State 7:00 PM
Evansville
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Bradley 7:05 PM
Drake
Vanderbilt 7:30 PM
(12) Kentucky
Colorado 8:00 PM
USC
San Francisco 8:00 PM
Pacific
FIU 8:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Eastern Washington
Weber State 8:00 PM
Idaho
Purdue 8:25 PM
Minnesota
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Long Beach St 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Hawaii 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
UC-Riverside
Northern Ariz 9:00 PM
Portland State
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
Utah 10:30 PM
Washington
BYU 10:30 PM
St Marys-CA
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is the best center on a Twin Cities sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close