With a core group of upperclassmen returning and a very young and talented group of freshmen joining the program, the outlook for the Yellow Jacket basketball program is very promising. Last season the Yellow Jackets finished the season 10-19 with a seventh place finish in the DAC. Entering his third season as the head coach for Black Hills State University, Paul Sather believes the Yellow Jackets can make a run at a DAC championship.

“We return four starters and a couple key players off the bench, most of which spent their first season with us last year. We all have a better feel for what is in front of us this season and what needs to be done to accomplish our goals.”

The Yellow Jackets lost their starting point guard in Andre Goldberg (Boulder, CO) from last year, but will replace him with senior Sam Kim (Fremont, CA) and freshmen Spencer Childress (Aurora, CO). Other guards such as senior Corey Doolan (Ogden, UT) and red-shirt freshmen Jeff Smith (Lodgpole, SD) may also see some time at point guard as well as the two-guard position. The two-guard position most likely will be filled by senior Forrest Dorr (Gillette, WY). Dorr started every game for the Yellow Jackets during the 2006-07 year. Doolan, Smith, and true freshmen Cain Atkinson (Evanston, WY) as well as red-shirt freshmen Travis Haney (Gillette, WY) will make this a very competitive position for Black Hills State. Sophomore transfer Derrick McCauley (Aberdeen, SD) will red-shirt for the Yellow Jackets this season to prepare him for the 2008-2009 season.

“Forrest has been a warrior for us the past two seasons and we’ll look to him, Sam and Corey for leadership. Spencer, Jeff, Cain, and Travis will push our upperclassmen everyday in practice. They will help make us a much deeper team than we were last year. We will frequently play with three guards on the floor this season giving us some great options and versatility throughout our schedule.”

The Yellow Jackets may have been undersized last year…this year should be much different. Senior wing Parfait Nayigihugu (Laramie, WY) and junior wing Randy Herman (Belle Fourche, SD) who both played the power forward position last season, will settle into the wing spot. This will help with our rebounding efforts on both sides of the floor. True freshman Clay Pottorff(Greeley, CO) will again give the Yellow Jackets some young depth that will make great strides as the season progresses.

“We have some great size and experience at the wing with Parfait and Randy. We expect Clay to really push for time as a freshman allowing us to split Randy’s time at the power forward and wing positions throughout the season.”

The Yellow Jackets added some young depth inside to go along with junior post AJ Fodness (Lennox, SD) who started several games last season for BHSU. That help comes from true freshmen 6’8” Will John Johnson (Sturgis, SD) and 6’7” Luke Enos (Faith, SD). Both bring very good size and aggressiveness that will help give the Yellow Jackets a stronger post presence. The Yellow Jackets will also be able to red-shirt 6’6” freshmen Matt Tasset (Windsor, CO) to give him a year to develop and learn the college game.

“Our recruiting emphasis last year was on post play, bringing in more size to help us establish a presence in the paint. Both of these young men will make an immediate impact in the 2007-08 season and for years to come. We have become more athletic and much longer than we were last season…not to mention better depth off the bench.”