Why not do some “power rankings” for the Summit League? It’s a top 10 conference right now, and it probably still will not get enough respect from the tournament committee to get two teams into the big dance. If you’re really impressed by Joe Lunardi’s fake bracket in July, then you might actually love something like this…but please, don’t even talk to me. Power rankings are kind of like a movie that has a pretty good story going up until the end and you find out it was all really just a dream and you realize the story sucked all along and Blake Lively has a really short range even if she was great in “The Town”…but here we go.
1. South Dakota State
- A 9 point win and a 4 point win over who many think to be the two worst teams in the Summit was not the best way to start off conference play for numero uno, but they still came out 2-0.
- The Jackrabbits look different without Jake Bittle. He may not be their flashiest player, but he is by far their smartest player that runs their offense and makes a low amount of decisions. His injury was only listed as 2-3 weeks, but they may not be favored in a road game against IUPUI without Bittle.
- The big question mark for the Jacks was: who were they going to play at the center position? Redshirt frosh, and Nebraska native, Mike Daum has been the answer for SDSU and has been averaging 12 points and 5 rebounds per game in 17 minutes a contest. Sophomore Ian Theisen has been putting up nearly 7 points and 4 rebounds per game, and both players can knock down threes.
2. North Dakota State
- The Bison put up a 10-4 record in non-conference play even while battling with injuries to two of their top players: Chris Kading and Kory Brown.
- NDSU recently moved Carlin Dupree to the bench and he scored 16 in 28 minutes.
- Head Coach David Richman acknowledges that they are a young team, but they still have a target on their backs and everyone in the conference is going to give them their best. Don’t worry about Globo Gym, they’ll be fine.
- Curious who was going to make up the scoring for the loss of Lawrence Alexander? Did you think it would be sophomore Paul Miller? Miller is scoring 16.6 points per game and he is making 2.7 threes per game at 43%.
- Clearly it looks like I have issues putting them here, but you shouldn’t be surprised. The Mavericks have won 4 games in a row and that is the longest streak they have had over division one teams.
- In the year of the foul, they get to the line more than anyone else in the Summit League. The Mavericks have shot 52 more free throws than South Dakota State, who has the second most free throw attempts on the season. If you’re not a deep team, especially at the wing, you could really run into foul trouble on the Mavs. They are also second in free throw percentage in the Summit League behind Denver.
- Tra-Deon Hollins is still leading the country in steals. Back courts have had issues getting the by Hollins and Devin Patterson.
- They are 12-4, but I challenge you to find a meaningful win. Oral Roberts is their best win.
- Head Coach Jon Coffman wanted to play more small ball this season and shoot more threes to match the rest of the Summit League, and they currently have the second highest three point shooting percentage in the league behind Western Illinois. They are even second in scoring behind Omaha.
- Mo Evans could be the most difficult player in the Summit League to defend, after Obi Emegano, Evans is tied for second in the conference in scoring (17.3) and he is third in assists (5.1).
- The Dons were really excited about redshirt freshman John Konchar, who Coffman said would have been worth 5 wins last season. Konchar is averaging 11.2 points and a league leading 7.7 rebounds per game. He’s also 5th in field goal percentage in the Summit League. He has been playing mostly the 4 position, so he will soon have to go up against AJ Jacobson, Tre’Shawn Thurman, and Tre Burnette.
- Max Landis has made more threes than any other player in the League with 3.3 threes per game.
5. South Dakota
- The Coyotes lost at home to IUPUI, but then beat Oral Roberts on the road. They had similar situations like this last year. Losing at home to Omaha, beating Omaha on the road. Losing to Oral Roberts at home, beating Oral Roberts on the road. Losing to Denver at home, beating Denver on the road. They are a hard team to predict for. This season they have beat Minnesota, lost to CSU Bakersfield, seriously, a hard team to figure out.
- Last year, their defense forced teams to take the more threes than any other team in the Summit League and they have done the same thing so far this season. So teams have to be able to knock down threes against the Coyotes. **Looks at UNO’s three point field goal percentage…hits head on table**
6. Oral Roberts
- Oral Roberts had a very difficult non-conference schedule, but they now have lost 6 games in a row…5 of those 6 games were on the road.
- The Golden Eagles have the best player in the league with Obi Emegano, but after that they are an incredibly young and inexperienced team. They are going to have a few “Seriously!” losses.
- ORU lost to South Dakota at home without Obi Emegano, who was out with concussion symptoms.
- Another team with an incredibly difficult non-conference schedule, the Jaguars are currently 5-12, but they did manage to beat South Dakota on the road. They are a gritty team and head the Coyotes to 2 of 15 on threes in that game.
- The Jaguars are playing with a large portion of their team as newcomers, so they could have some “Seriously” wins.
8. Western Illinois
- They gave up a 16 point lead to Omaha and only lost by 4 to (a Jake Bittle-less) South Dakota State.
- The Leathernecks are a deep team in the sense that they have a ton of players on the roster, but there is a significant talent drop off after their top 4 players. They were an injury filled team last season, and there have been a few little injuries so far this season…but they have had the same starting lineup in every game.
- They are an inconsistent team, in the sense that everyone on their team is incredibly inconsistent.
- The Leathernecks do have the best three point field goal percentage in the league, but they played an incredibly weak non-conference schedule. Yes, yes, we all know they beat Wisconsin…cool.
- Starting the conference season against North Dakota State and South Dakota State was not fun for them…and now they have Oral Roberts coming to Denver. Denver has been a good home team the last 3 seasons, but can Oral Roberts really drop 7 in a row? Yes, it is possible.
- The Pioneers also played a weak non-conference schedule facing no power conference teams, but they may have done this to get their basically new roster some much needed experience.
Seriously, Blake Lively was only really given 15 minutes of actual screen time in the “The Town.”