Star player

Tyler Hagedorn is a star player on the University of South Dakota's basketball team.

A few weeks into the college basketball season, teams figure out who will be the stars, leaders and role players of their team.

Norfolk native Tyler Hagedorn is finding himself to be not only a team captain but also a star for the University of South Dakota.

Hagedorn enters into his senior year after taking a medical redshirt because of a foot injury from a year ago. After a full season to recover, Hagedorn has been completely ready for his final collegiate season.

"I feel healthy right now. I want to continue to stay healthy and continue to stay consistent as much as I can," said Hagedorn, a 2015 Norfolk High graduate who is the son of Randy and Patti Hagedorn of Norfolk.

Once he put the injury in the past, he was then able to focus on his game, which has been taken to the next level.

In 11 games, Hagedorn leads the Coyotes in scoring with 17.5 points per game and is shooting 54 percent from field.

As a 6-foot-10 forward, not only can he post up down low, he can also step outside and drain the 3-pointer, as he is shooting 58 percent from the 3-point line and is shooting 77 percent from the charity stripe.

"I'm able to score in a lot of different areas, and a lot of it has to do with who is guarding me," Hagedorn said. "My teammates are doing a great job of finding me in areas for me to score."

Hagedorn has been all over the boards, grabbing 71 rebounds while he has six blocks and three steals in the early season.

Hagedorn has helped South Dakota jump out to an 8-3 start. Even with a couple of key injuries, the players feel confident heading down the stretch in their nonconference schedule.

"We got off to a good start," South Dakota coach Todd Lee said. "It hasn't been an easy schedule, but our guys are doing a good job."

South Dakota early on was connecting on all cylinders as it went on to win in the Rainbow Classic in Hawaii, beating Pacific, Hawaii and Florida A&M.

Then just a week later on Nov. 15, Hagedorn was able to take over in the 88-69 win over Texas Southern. Hagedorn scored a career-high 33 points on 12 of 17 shooting from the field and set a new Summit League record as he made eight 3-pointers in a row and finished 8 of 8 from behind the arc.

"Offensively that was my best game in my entire career," Hagedorn said. "Once you see the ball go in through the hoop once or twice, you just get it going."

Hagedorn was two rebounds away from achieving a double-double.

Ever since his performance against Texas Southern, defenses have played him differently, as he’s been able to top 20 points just one other time.

"Teams have made adjustments and they're not going to allow him to get open on the perimeter. But there is only so much you can do," Lee said. "It's a matter of him working harder because teams will adjust."

Hagedorn and South Dakota will get more nonconference action, as they will take on Mayville State this afternoon

They will have a little break before they match up against Northern Colorado on Dec. 20 and then they will finish the nonconference schedule when they host Kansas City on Dec. 22.

"It's a matter of keeping everybody healthy and playing really good basketball going into league," Lee said.

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