The Madison Bulldogs get to open their season tonight at home when they play the back end of a doubleheader with Elk Point-Jefferson.
The Bulldogs come into this season without their 6’9” star in Aiden Jensen who led their team the last two years. The keys to the team are now passed on to another young star to lead this program.
The Huskies come into this game 0-1 overall after dropping their owner to the Canton C-Hawks. This team is similar to their counterparts on the girls side, in the way that his group is very active on both ends as well. Tipped balls, blocked shots, and getting out in transition are where they thrive. They’ll press the Bulldogs most of the game, no matter the deficit/score in the game.
Where they have issues, just like their girls, is shooting the ball. This group had a rough go of it in their opener by shooting just seven percent from deep and just 33% from the field. Not the strongest defensive team, but as long as Madison is smart when sharing the ball and limiting careless mistakes, the Huskies won’t take advantage.
This group is led by head coach Jake Otkin in his fourth year at the helm. He has 34-34 overall as HC and his team had their best season in his tenure last season going 18-7 overall and were So Dak 16 Qualifiers. They won their opening game against St. Thomas More, but dropped the next two – finishing in fourth place in Class A.
The Bulldogs will be led this year by junior guard/forward Ben Brooks. Brooks averaged 9.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists. He’s been handed the keys to this team and has a real chance to blossom into quite a special player. He doesn’t come into the season as the leader in scoring though.
That title belongs to Andrew Comes, who averaged 11.5 ppg for the Bulldogs last season. He’s a sharp shooter and likely the main guy Brooks will hope to find at the perimeter on drives to the basket. Along with various others who can score from the outside.
Madison’s head coach is Jeff Larsen who is in his fourth season at the helm. He is 28-31 overall and his team were So Dak 16 Qualifiers last season. Coming up one win short of making State in 2022-2023.
This group has a fair amount of decent height and length on their team. It’s a young group, but it has a number of players with experience at the varsity level. Tons of talented athletes littered throughout and if they grind it out each game and remain active defensively, they’ll pose problems all year. Nerves will come for some who will have expanded roles this year, but this team can be scary.
The game is scheduled to tipoff at 5pm following the girls game, with a pregame to begin at 5:20pm on AM 1390 Dakotas Best.