USD's Hannah Sjerven is our "Athlete of the Week"

The South Dakota Women's basketball team improved to 17-2 on the season after hammering South Dakota State 83-48 Sunday.

A big reason for their success is their big presence at center, Hannah Sjerven.

Having Hannah Sjerven in the middle makes everything pretty simple for the Coyotes.

"She'll catch whatever pass I throw to her honestly! She's got that length, she's got the height, she makes it pretty easy for assists to happen." USD Junior Guard Chloe Lamb says.

The ultimate assist to USD might have come from the University of New Mexico. That's where the Minnesota native had a short lived beginning to her college career.

"There was a coaching change my freshman year. The staff that recruited me ended up getting fired before I got there and it just wasn't the kind of offense that I felt comfortable in. South Dakota was the first option that kind of really peaked my interest." USD Junior Forward Hannah Sjerven says.

Transferring was easy. Sitting out the NCAA mandated year wasn't.

"I think that year was probably the toughest year, but best year for me. The coaches here worked with me a lot, developed me. I was definitely your typical back to the basket, don't leave the lane, post player. And now I'm looking to screen more and facilitate some stuff." Hannah says.

It quickly showed in Sjerven's first season when she led the Coyotes in rebounds and blocked shots, winning Sixth Women of the Year in the Summit League to help USD make the NCAA Tournament.

"Just the strides that she has made speaks wonders for her. Just her work ethic and how willing she is to do whatever she needs." Lamb says.

This season Hannah starts as the center of attention for the 21st ranked Coyotes, averaging 13 a game....

"It's something you have to wake up every day and work at. You can't just let it be. Gotta keep working at it." Sjerven says.

And making it look easier than it really is.