1. IPFW, 4-1
Last Week: 3rd
Fort Wayne had a tough weekend on the road against South Dakota State and IPFW. They were able to split the weekend and needed Max Landis, John Konchar, and Brent Calhoun to combine for 29-of-41 in order to pull off a win. With the loss of Mo Evans, who was potentially a first team all Summit League player, the ‘Dons may need shooting like that from those three players in every single game. Can they keep that up? Regardless, if the team starts to take a step back because of missing Mo Evans, they were still going to be an extremely tough out in the Summit League tournament.
2. Omaha, 4-1
Last week: 1st
Omaha hit 10 threes against IPFW…Tra-Deon Hollins has hit 5 threes in the last two games after only hitting 7 all year. Omaha will be even more dangerous of a team if they can get the three point shooting going.
By the way, Hollins has already broken the single season record for steals at Omaha. Assuming Omaha plays at least one Summit League tournament game, Hollins is on pace to have the 4th highest amount of steals in one season ever in division one.
3. South Dakota State, 3-2
Last week: 2nd
This team needs Jake Bittle back in the lineup. The Jackrabbits are 10-2 with Bittle in the lineup and 4-4 without Bittle. It is not easy to lose a guard that shoots 55% from the field, and who forces his teammates to move on offense. Imagine taking Tra-Deon Hollins off of Omaha for 8 games…or Obi Emegano off of Oral Roberts…or Mo Evans off of IPFW…oh wait.
The Jackrabbits have a tough week playing at Oral Roberts and at their instate rival South Dakota.
4. North Dakota State, 3-2
Last week: 5th
It has been interesting to see how this team has done since losing Lawrence Alexander. They are not the same threatening team that they were the last few years, but they did just hold a tough South Dakota State team to 29% from the field.
5. Oral Roberts, 3-3
Last week: 6th
After losing 7 straight games, the Golden Eagles are on a three game winning streak with getting a healthy Obi Emegano back in the lineup. Their next 4 games are at home against South Dakota State, Omaha, IPFW, and on the road against North Dakota State…whom they previously beat by 1 at home.
6. IUPUI, 4-2
Last week: 5th
Oral Roberts really showed who was the more athletic team between IUPUI and Oral Roberts last week. IUPUI’s defense was really able to contain and frustrate the leading player of the year candidate, but they could not defend Oral Roberts’ three point shooting who was at one point 10-of-12 from deep.
The Jaguars rebounded nicely against Denver at home beating the Pioneers by 15.
7. Denver, 2-4
Last week: 8th
Denver’s style of play can always frustrate teams and their home court advantage gives them a leg up…by the way, I don’t know what the expression “leg up” means.
Denver is made up of almost all newcomers and the returning guys are career role players…which is actually somewhat fitting for a Princeton offense. Teams of newcomers are typically inconsistent, unless you are Western Illinois, then you have career inconsistent dudes. IUPUI just shot nearly 70% on the game against the Pioneers on Saturday…70! And IUPUI is not necessarily known for being a juggernaut of an offensive team.
8. South Dakota, 1-4
Last week: 7th
The Coyotes almost had a comeback win at North Dakota State, but could not pull it off. A few of their role players and freshmen have become non factors in league play.
South Dakota’s one win was against Oral Roberts, who was playing without Obi Emegano.
9. Western Illinois, 0-5
Last week: 9th
I hate that the players on this team are so inconsistent that they are one lifetime performance away from getting a win over some pretty good team and someone saying “maybe they are good again.” I also hate it that the once in a lifetime performance always seems to come against your team.