Maryland first-round NCAA Tournament opponent South Dakota State has a solid team top to bottom, enough so that it brings its clear best player, Mike Daum, off the bench.
Daum, a 6'9, 245-pound power forward, is the team's best offensive player and one of its best on defense. He scores 15.2 points per game on an extremely efficient 56 percent shooting and grabs 6.1 rebounds in just 20.5 minutes per night.
The redshirt freshman from Kimball, Neb., was named the Summit League's Sixth Man of the Year and took Freshman of the Year award as well. He's put together a strong resume in a short period of time.
Though not quick, Daum is incredibly skilled from all over the court. When he's on the floor the Jackrabbits tend to stick to an inside-out game plan similar to what Maryland thrived on in its game against Nebraska in the Big Ten Tournament.
Throughout the Summit League Championship, North Dakota State had to switch how it handled Daum. Initially the Bison tried to handle him one-on-one with help defense, but to no avail.
On the season, Daum shot two-point field goals at a 58.8 percent clip on a significant 7.2 attempts per game. He's able to bully his way to get to where he needs to against mid-major level talent and lay the ball in or shoot from short range.
He's got finesse all around the hoop, and giving him any room to operate is a mistake
Against Robert Carter Jr. or Damonte Dodd, he's going to struggle to get as clean looks, but he can do more than just score. This makes Daum a particular challenge to handle.
When North Dakota State realized it couldn't handle Daum in its original scheme during the Summit League Tournament, the team started to trap him on the catch in the post, again similar to what Diamond Stone and Carter saw against Nebraska.
Daum has great vision, and though he only ended up with one assist, he kept the ball moving once he was swarmed with inevitable double-teaming defenders.
Double-team or not, Daum just has a good sense of where his teammates are on the floor.
He's also consistent in two areas the Terps struggle to defend against at times: offensive boards and the three-point line. He grabs more than two rebounds on the offensive end per game and is shooting a ridiculous 45 percent from deep on a more modest 1.8 attempts per game. But as Maryland learned in its upset by Minnesota, leaving shooters open will lead them to take more shots.
To stop the Jackrabbits, the Terps will have to keep Daum in check. With Maryland's bigs appearing much quicker and stronger this, shouldn't be an impossible feat, especially after containing one of the nation's best offenses a few days ago. But Daum is a serious threat, and he'll keep Maryland's video and coaching staff busy this week.