A look at who the Summit League is losing

College sports graduates teams every year, players transfer, and teams are affected by that from year to year…duh.  Some top teams get worse because of what they are losing, and other teams get better with what they have coming back.

Here is who Summit League men’s basketball is losing this year, and the list is in order of what teams will be affected most by their losses.


South Dakota

It feels uncommon to see the team that finished 8th in a conference to be losing so many players.  Seems like these teams are typically youthful and at least have a lot to look forward to in the future as they develop their team.  South Dakota will graduate 4 players on scholarship and one walk on player; as well as lose three players to transfer.

The Yotes will have a new look with three transfers coming aboard, and could potentially have the deepest core of post players as most of their post players this season were freshmen and sophomores.

From 2014-2015 to 2015-2016, the Coyotes were losing the most scoring off their team at 57% and they fell from 4th in the conference to 8th.  Going into next season, they will again be the team that loses the most scoring at nearly 80 freaking percent of their scoring.

Graduates

Tre Burnette, 6’5″ guard/forward

Played in 32 games and started 23 in 2015-2016.  Averaged 13.2 points; 6.6 rebounds (4th in the Summit League), shot 44% from the field; 51% from the free throw line; and, 32% on threes.  Finished his senior season with 8 double-doubles.

Burnette played the 2, 3, and 4 for the Coyotes at different times.  His production and hustle will be missed by the Coyotes, but he could be being replaced by more efficient players.

Casey Kasperbauer, 6’1″ guard

Started in all 32 games for the Yotes in his senior season.  Averaged 12.1 points; 2.5 rebounds; 2.1 assists; and 1 steal per game.  Shot 41% from the field; 95% (led the Summit) from the free throw line; and 41% on threes.

Craig Smith once called Kasperbauer the best shooter that he had ever coached, and that will be missed by the Coyotes.  The transfer guards coming in for South Dakota appear to be slightly more versatile than Kasperbauer and be more productive over the 34 minutes a game that Kasperbauer was playing.

Trey Norris, 6’0″ guard

Played in all 32 games for the Yotes, and was moved into the starting rotation after Shy McClelland left the team, which was weird because Norris seemed to be the better point guard on the court for the team.  Ended the year averaging 7.5 points and 4.3 assists per game, but was averaging 12 points 5.4 assists in February and March.

Eric Robertson, 6’8″ forward/center

Started in all 32 games for South Dakota as a senior.  Not much of a rebounder for a big man averaging 3.2 per game.  Robertson scored 8.3 points per game on 47% from the floor.

I thought that Tyler Hagedorn or Dan Jech should have been playing more time than Robertson, and I may be more bias for Hagedorn being that he is from Nebraska, but both true freshmen seemed that they could have been more productive over Robertson.

Duol Mayot, 6’5″ guard/foward

Played in 17 games in his senior season as a walk on.

Departures

Dejon Davis, 6’4″ sophomore – Transferred to Indianapolis (D2)

Considered to be one of the most improved players in the Summit League after seeing his scoring go from 1.9 points per game in his freshman season to 9.3 as a sophomore.  Davis’ playing time was increased as well going from a seldom used guard his freshman season at 9.3 minutes per game to starting in 31 of 32 games in his sophomore season and averaging nearly 30 minutes per game.  He was 6th in the Summit League in field goal percentage shooting 55.1% from the field.  He was likely to see a reduction in minutes with Matt Mooney and Carlton Hurst becoming eligible, but Davis still would have been a contributor to the team.

Shy McClelland, 6’0″ junior – Left team in early February

McClelland averaged 11.5 points on 49% from the field in his time with South Dakota, but he shot 51% from the free throw line attempting over 4 free throws a game.  He was pretty inconsistent in his time on the team, but could have been a contributor to the Coyotes in 2016-2017.

Zach Dickerson, 6’4″ sophomore – Left team in early February

A transfer from Eastern Illinois that was not seeing much playing time for South Dakota, and probably was not going to see much of an increase in minutes in 2016-2017.


South Dakota State

The Jackrabbits are losing nearly half of their scoring, and they will working with a new head coach in 2016-2017.  Teams in the Summit League may not have the same fear that they’ve had going up against the Jackrabbits that they have had over the last few years.

Graduates

George Marshall, 6’0″ guard

Marshall ended the year struggling when it mattered most.  The Jacks had to survive through his 15% shooting in the conference tournament to move on to face Maryland in the big dance.  Marshall ended the regular season as a 1st Team All Summit League player with his 14.9 points per game, which was 10th in the league.

Marshall has potential to play basketball overseas or in the new NBLA.

Deondre Parks, 6’1″ guard

Parks played in 33 of the team’s 34 games and also averaged 14.9 points per game, and he was a good rebounder at his size with 4.6 per game.  He was shockingly pushed down to the Honorable Mention Team for the Summit after being named to the preseason 1st team.

Like his back court teammate, Parks also has potential to play basketball overseas or in the new NBLA.

Jake Bittle, 6’4″ guard

Bittle did not receive any post season awards after being named to the preseason 1st Team for the Summit League.  He was forced out and also played through some injuries, which may have led to some slightly inconsistent play for himself and the Jackrabbits.  Bittle led the Jackrabbits with 25 points in their win at Minnesota.

Losing Bittle as the guy to actually run the Jackrabbits offense is what could hurt the team the most.

Cory Jacobsen, 6’1″ guard

Never really saw much playing time as a walk on for the Coyotes.  Scored 2 points his senior season.

Departures

Connor Devine, 6’10” junior – Transferred to Alaska-Anchorage (D2)

Never truly broke into the rotation at South Dakota State playing behind a number of quality post players in three years.  Devine did average 2.6 points and 1.6 rebounds as a junior, and shot 64% from the field in 8 minutes per game.  Could have been potentially a starter or the 1st post player off the bench in 2016-2017 with the Jacks currently with a lack of big men.

Logan Doyle, 6’8″ sophomore – Transferred to Northern State (D2)

Basically the exact same situation as Devine.  Only played in 7 games as a sophomore, but could have been one of the first guys off the bench in 2016-2017.


Omaha

Graduating four contributors is really hard to make up in college basketball, but the Mavericks will get to reload some of their roster with transfers and players returning from injuries.  The Mavericks will also literally be blessed with a 6th year of eligibility to Kyler Erickson.

Graduates

Devin Patterson, 5’11” guard

Patterson was the fastest player in the league, and that speed is what kept the Mavericks in a few games and gave the team a few victories.  Making up 18 points per game (3rd in the Summit) will be difficult, making up for his speed and his ability to get to the free throw line with be more difficult to overcome.

Patterson has potential to play basketball overseas or in the NBLA.

Jake White, 6’8″ forward

Even though White seemed to constantly be in foul trouble, he finished his senior season 5th in scoring in the conference with 17.3 points per game; as well as 6th in the Summit in rebounding at 6.2 rebounds per game.  It is hard to find a big man like White that can score from anywhere on the court as well draw as many fouls as he did.  As much as White did commit fouls, he was also able to tie for 3rd in the Summit for free throws attempted per game behind Obi Emegano and Devin Patterson.  White also shot 81% from the free throw line as a senior, which was 2nd in the league among forwards.

White has potential to play basketball overseas or in the NBLA.

Randy Reed, 6’6″ forward

Reed may have only averaged 6 points and 3 rebounds per game in his senior season, but the energy and hustle that he brought off the bench for the Mavericks was priceless and will be incredibly difficult to replace.  His 21 points and 5 rebounds off the bench on senior night was one of the most fun performances by a Mav to watch in person since the Mavericks made the transition to division one.

Tim Smallwood, 6’2″ guard

Smallwood was a little inconsistent, but he was able to improve on his shooting from his junior season to his senior season.  As a junior he shot 26% on threes, and he ended up shooting 37% on threes in his senior season.  I personally thought Smallwood was an underrated one-on-one defender.

Departure

Devin Newsome, 5’9″ sophomore

This appears to be unofficial at the moment.  Per the Omaha World Herald, Newsome is looking for a school to transfer to, but there has not been an official statement from anyone.  Newsome was rarely used in his freshman and sophomore seasons, and was unlikely to see an increase in minutes with the guards expected to be on the 2016-2017 roster.


IPFW

Graduates

Max Landis, 6’2″ guard

The ‘Dons are losing the Summit League player of the year that averaged 10 points a game on just three point field goals.  This is not something that is just easy to make up, but it can be done with a few players taking over the load of scoring and shooting.  After Mo Evans was forced off the team in the second semester, Landis stepped up as a passer and averaged over 4 assists without Evans on the roster.  IPFW has Purdue transfer, Bryson Scott to help take over the scoring load but he shot 29% in his two years on threes at Purdue while Landis just shot 45.6% on threes as a senior, which was 30th in division one.

Landis has recently had workouts with the Indiana Pacers and has potential to play in the NBDL.

Joe Reed, 6’8″ forward

The ‘Dons may end up missing Joe Reed more than they think.  He averaged 10.5 points and nearly 5 rebounds a game, but he was always ready to take a clutch shot.  The ‘Dons loved their small ball style in 2015-2016, and Reed was perfect to play at the 5 for that style.  Their core of post players in 2016-2017 may not be the best players for that type of system the coaching staff seemed to fall in love with.

Michael Calder, 6’2″ guard

Calder was fantastic making up for the loss of Mo Evans in the second half of the season.  He was a bit of a one dimensional guard in his junior season when he averaged 4.7 points, and he was able to step that up to 10 points per game overall as a senior.  Calder averaged 14.4 points in Summit League games after Evans was forced out for the 2nd half of the season.

Departure

Andrew Poulter, 6’11” junior

When Poulter signed with the ‘Dons, I was under the impression that Jon Coffman was going to start and play Poulter at the 5.  Poulter was overweight, shot terribly in junior college, was quite slow, and the ‘Dons wanted to go to a new small ball style.  I thought we were going to have to get Coffman checked into some sort of rehab, but instead Poulter hardly got any playing time at IPFW and decided to leave.  Just didn’t seem like the right fit from the beginning.


Oral Roberts

Graduates

Obi Emegano, 6’3″ guard

So I read somewhere that NBA scouts thought that Emegano was a junior and they were not taking his stock into the draft very seriously.  This seems like a really bitter end for the conference scoring champion after a bulk of his teammates leaving Oral Roberts over the last few years, a shoulder injury in the summer, a mid-season concussion, and being surrounded by an incredibly inconsistent youthful squad with zero chemistry.  Though a year from now we could be talking about how the 2016-2017 Summit League scoring champion, Garret Covington, was only a part of 40 wins in his entire collegiate basketball career.

Emegano has potential to be in the NBDL as he appears to be too short to play the shooting guard position in the NBA, nor really enough speed to be in the NBA…but people said the exact same things about Steph Curry.  The loss of Emegano is obviously huge for the Golden Eagles, and they may be classically bad in 2017.

Brandon Conley, 6’6″ forward

The undersized big man suffered through little injuries his entire senior year at Oral Roberts, which led to inconsistent play.  Conley did shoot 56.2% from the field, which was 4th in the Summit League.  His averages of 7.4 points and 5.4 rebounds are something that can be easily made up with Oral Roberts’ youth.  They seem to routinely have a guy that goes from averaging 2 points a game to getting 8 to 10 points each game the following year.

Departures

DaQuan Jeffries, 6’5 freshman

Jeffries looked like a guard that loved playing against faster paced teams like Omaha and IPFW, and he even looked pretty good for what Oral Roberts liked to do…yet he transferred away from the team.  His versatility as being a 6’5″ guard who was actually probably better as a forward made it difficult to figure out where to play him in each and every game.  His 6.7 points per game was going to be 4th among returning players to the team.

Tre Vance, 6’9″ junior

Vance averaged less than one point and one rebound in his time at Oral Roberts.  Not really sure what to say here…  I’ve lost 17 pounds in the last 2 months…I’ve been working out a lot and eating really well.  It’s cool and all, but I have to buy a bunch of new clothes because I look like a little kid wearing a bunch of hand me downs from his big brother.


Western Illinois

I want to say it really couldn’t get any worse for the Leathernecks, but it doesn’t seem like it will get much better.

Graduates

JC Fuller, 6’3″ guard

Fuller started the year off pretty hot, and then his shooting dropped off toward the end of the conference season.  Fuller averaged 12.7 points a game, but I doubt Billy Wright will miss his shot selection.  The Leathernecks won two games in a row over Omaha and Denver when they decided to play freshman De’Angelo Bruster more than Fuller…then they went back to giving more minutes to Fuller and lost 4 of their last 5.

I will still remember Fuller as the guy that was absolutely on fire in the first half at Baxter Arena and talking shit to the Maverick bench, then put his forearm into Kyler Erickson’s chest right in front of a referee to push off to miss a 30 foot jump shot.  Then Fuller went missing the second half and the Mavericks came back from a big deficit to win the game.

Tate Stensgaard 6’9″ forward

I feel like Stensgaard was injured throughout his entire career.  He always appeared as if he was playing with a pulled hamstring.  Stensgaard could hit 15 foot jump shots consistently, and could put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket and draw fouls, he shot 60% from the field and averaged 8.6 points as a senior.  Western Illinois just boggles my mind.

Jalen Chapman, 6’8″ forward

Chapman started at center for the Leathernecks and averaged 17 minutes a game in each of his 2 seasons at Western Illinois.  I’m not really sure where else in the Summit League that he would have averaged 17 minutes a game.

Jamie Batish, 6’4″ guard

Batish was a really good shooter that had his career affected by nagging injuries.  The Leathernecks may have picked up a few more wins with the shooter being able to play more as a senior.


North Dakota State

Graduates

Kory Brown, 6’4″ guard

Brown is going to be hard to make up for the Bison, but they pride themselves on their Next One Up philosophy.  It’s not easy to lose a guy that was a part of 2 NCAA tournament teams and went to the conference championship every year he was a member of the team.  He was second on the team in rebounds and was arguably their best perimeter defender.  Brown was also that guy that you forgot was in the game when they’re down by 10 and then all of a sudden he makes a handful of defensive stops and scores on 4 straight possessions to get the Bison right back in the game.  They may not have that guy that can just create a 10 point swing in 2 minutes completely by himself next season.

Chris Kading, 6’9″ center

Normally, you wouldn’t think the loss of a guy that averaged 3 points and 3 rebounds is a big deal, but it is actually a little bit of a big deal for the Bison to lose Kading.  His senior year was slowed down with surgeries before the start of the season, which is what led to a reduction in playing time, but he was still effective for the Bison on the court with his smart play and defense.

In the game at Baxter Arena, AJ Jacobson couldn’t guard Jake White or Tre’Shawn Thurman and Jacobson got into foul trouble so David Richman called on Kading.  Kading grabbed some big boards, drew some fouls on Jake White, hit a big three in the first half, and helped spark a little run to keep the game close.  Thurman and Randy Reed were both bothered by Kading and couldn’t really score on him.  The second half, Jacobson got more playing time before ultimately fouling out, and the Bison probably could have won that game if Kading was fully healthy and could have gotten 35 minutes.

Departures

Trey Miller, 6’7″ freshman

Miller played 5 minutes for the Bison and just decided to say “eff this” and left the team.

Brian Ishola, 6’5″ sophomore

I’m not sure who Ishola was.  I think he was just a player that EA Sports made up when there weren’t enough players in the game anymore.


IUPUI

The Jaguars are graduating two seniors, but they are going to have the most returning to their roster in 2016.  They also added two senior transfers that will be eligible immediately and could have the most depth in the Summit League in 2016-2017.

Marcellus Barksdale, 6’5″ guard

One of the best perimeter defenders in the Summit League, and Barksdale had to play every position at some point in his career with the Jaguars as they just about didn’t have anyone else on the team in his first 3 years in the program.  If James Gardner had not come along for IUPUI and brought in a bunch of transfers with him, Barksdale may have been a part of 8 wins in his entire year with the IUPUI.

The stats for Barksdale won’t be hard to make up for the Jaguars, but his defensive presence that allowed the Jaguars to start most of their fast breaks may hurt them to a degree.  They really didn’t win games with their amazing offensive efficiency, they won 9 conference games with their scrappy defense that Barksdale was a major catalyst for.

Mason Archie, 6’5″ guard

The Jaguars considered Archie to be their best perimeter defender, yet that seemed like a ploy to have teams forget about Barksdale somehow.  His length may have bothered some of the smaller shooting guards in the league a bit, but it’s not like that is something teams couldn’t overcome.

The Jaguars are going to be the most experienced team in 2016-2017, if that wasn’t the case, I may have said the losses of Barksdale and Archie were more detrimental to the team.  They return 80% of their scoring from their 9-7 team, and are adding two graduate transfers and a transfer from Syracuse to the roster.  They’ll be fine.

 

 

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Creighton and UNO baseball are playing, but basketball…

Let me start out by saying, and maybe reminding you, that I like the Creighton basketball program.  I hope they do well, and I think the program is great for the city of Omaha.  I like to see all the Creighton athletic programs be successful in addition to the Huskers and Mavericks (obviously)…except for Creighton softball…I just have this unexplained animosity where I don’t like Creighton softball.  I try to watch every Creighton event on television that is available, but they are at the bottom of the three instate division one schools on my Give A Crap About Meter.

Now, I would like to awkwardly transition to say that I hate going to Creighton events because of how annoying I find Bluejay fans.  That is not to say that Maverick (or Husker) fans are perfect, by any means, but Creighton fans are a lot like 16 year old kids that start out driving and drive like they own the roads that they think belong to them; not to mention they think driving validates them to finally be respected as adults.  They turn into the adults that drive 40 through the Village Pointe parking lot and run stop signs because their lawyer is better than your lawyer.

Another awkward transition: Creighton and Omaha will again not be playing in men’s basketball next season.  This will upset Omaha Maverick fans and make the Creighton fans’ heads grow…or just go on with their days.

Creightonites will say things like: “We would beat them by 40 anyway” and “That game wouldn’t help us anyway.”

I have to ask, how are you so certain that Creighton would beat the Mavericks by 40?  I know you’ve seen very little basketball as you spend most of your time at Creighton games in concession lines for hot dogs, pretzels, and Bud Light; so how do you know this?  Have you heard of intangibles?  Do you really not think Omaha guys like Tre’Shawn Thurman and Tra-Deon Hollins are not going to outwork guys for 40 minutes on the Bluejays roster that have never even heard of UNO?

As a Maverick fan, I am not sitting here and claiming that Omaha would go into the CenturyLink Center and roll the Bluejays…I am not that guy, and I really don’t think many Maverick fans are in that group.  I’m more of a Let’s Have Some Fun With This Game kind of guy.  And since when has scheduling teams that Creighton can beat by 40 turned you off as casual basketball fans anyway?  The pregame analysis of every Creighton non-conference home game is just wasted time spent trying to legitimize every opponent that won 12 games in their previous six combined season seasons.  Is that the problem?  You don’t want to spend 8 seconds legitimizing UNO basketball?

I am not even sure what it means when Creighton people (and Greg McDermott) say “Playing UNO would not benefit our program,” and I am pretty confident that they have no idea what it means.  It’s been rumored, and confirmed by some local media Twitter accounts that UNO has offered to play a men’s game for free.  How did Texas San Antonio, Western Illinois, IUPUI, and Coppin State benefit you in such colossal ways that the Mavericks would not?  I’ll even go a step further here, how does playing Nebraska every season help them?

When was the last time we had just a solid player versus player match up that got us super excited for Nebraska versus Creighton?  Here is a list of 1 on 1 match ups to laugh at in this series.


2015

Geoffrey Groselle vs. Michael Jacobson

Mo Watson vs. Benny Parker

2014

Avery Dingman vs. Terran Petteway

Toby Hegner vs. David Rivers

2013

Okay, there was decent amount of anticipation for McDermott vs. Petteway

2012

The high octane slow and furious match up of Gregory Enchinique vs. Andre Almeida

Austin Chatman vs. Benny Parker

Jahenns Manigat vs. Ray Gallegos


2016 could be an incredible potential point guard match up between Tra-Deon Hollins versus Mo Watson.  We’re being robbed from seeing this happen.  Robbed!  It’s okay though, it’s not like Omaha is a big event town or anything.  People hate going to things here.  I’m getting goosebumps over the thought of paying 50 bucks to see Watson get 20 points and 10 assists against over some SWAC point guard who was listed as “pretty good in high school.”  A Tre’Shawn Thurman versus Cole Huff match up sounds pretty enticing as well.  And even Marcus Tyus versus Isaiah Zierden perimeter match up even sounds pretty fun.  Damn it, this game really does not nothing for Creighton.

In state programs do not have to play every single year, but the bigger programs need to play the smaller programs when they have someone that everyone agrees is a legit basketball player.  I was in Utah when Damian Lillard was with Weber State (similar in size to UNO)…Utah, BYU, and Utah State all had to take on Weber State that year.  It was what was best for them.  This is somewhat ignorant of me to see…Maybe they had some instate deal that year or something going on, I don’t know, I hated living in Utah.  I am not saying that Tra-Deon Hollins, or anyone with the Mavericks, is on the Damian Lillard level, but Hollins just led the nation in steals and he got better and better offensively as the year went on.  Hollins has even been compared to some Big East guards, and you’re seriously tell us this would do nothing for Creighton?

Creighton is like the older sibling that thinks they are really special and they see their younger brother trying to get bigger and better, and develop, so they have to mock and tease them to hide how insecure big brother is.  They don’t want to give the Mavericks the big stage of the CenturyLink for the casual fans* that attend their games to see the Mavericks actually play an exciting brand of basketball and grow some interest in actually paying money to go to the Baxter Arena to watch a basketball game…or even two!

*I’m not saying all fans at Creighton games are casual fans, but there is a decent chunk that are just there for the event.

Take Creighton baseball for example…the first year of UNO’s transition, they played twice and split games.  The Bluejays got a small taste of Oh Crap, Our Baseball Team Is Not THAT Far Ahead of Them.  The second year the two teams played in three games, one was even played at Werner Park, and Creighton won 2 of the 3 games.  It was so bad for the city to play that game at Werner Park, the Old Mattress Factory had pretty poor beer sales that day…and on a Saturday… The third and fourth years, the two went down to just playing one game, splitting those games over two years.  Now, it’s 2016, and Creighton baseball offered us a charity event for a division one baseball game on a Tuesday at 12:30.  That’s prime time for college baseball…in June.  How are their baseball season ticket holders no complaining about this game time?

While I know Mav fans are grateful that the two schools will finally play a regular season game in men’s soccer in 2016, the game is at 7 pm on Labor Day; which is exactly when people want to get out and go to an event in this town.

Let me throw this idea out there…it’s a long stretch, but UNO being a division one school was a long stretch for quite some time.

UNO just stops calling Creighton to do events.  For them, it will be like they are a girl that has a boy that keeps asking them out, and she keeps rejecting the boy.  The boy gives up and then starts talking to other girls, and the girl gets pissed that she’s not getting that attention anymore so she does something dramatic and weird.  Is that how middle school worked?

The Mavericks start asking out the Huskers.  Make that a yearly rivalry, convince them that Creighton can be the once in a while thing…if they feel like it.  Take the big event away from Creighton fans.  Taking the event away was lightly discussed during the Doc Sadler era, but Doc was a total dick about that sort of stuff.  I think the Creighton versus Nebraska men’s basketball game every year is the super bowl for Creighton fans.  It is their Batman versus the Joker boxing match set right in front of them.  Shit, play Huskers versus the Mavericks in the CenturyLink Center, let them bring their court up from Lincoln so they actually feel confident in that building…  Get UNK involved to come to Nebraska and Omaha in the same weekend for exhibition games, and then play each other.  You get three in state games in a week, keep that money in “the system.”

That plan will basically never happen, but it is a thought.  Wait, do we know someone’s dad?  That’s what Creighton people have taught me, anything is possible if you know someone’s dad.

Creighton better seriously start considering playing the Mavericks in basketball.  Some day the Mavericks are going to make the NCAA tournament, and the selection committee loves matching up potential in state match ups in the 2nd round.  You really want the first time you play UNO since their transition to be in the 2nd round after pissing them off for not playing them for years by not playing them?

 

The Mavericks: Reloaded

2016-2017 is going to be a bit of a sequel to last season.  Consider it The Mavericks: Reloaded.  Is The Matrix Reloaded the 2nd or the 3rd one of the Matrix series?  They blend together to me for 4 and a 1/2 hours of stupidity for me, so it is difficult to remember.

The Mavericks graduate Kyler Erickson, Devin Patterson, Randy Reed, Tim Smallwood, Jake White from the program.  Each player brought something unique to help guide the program through the first year of transition into the CBI.  Erickson brought the heart, and the other 4 bought some earth element to create a superhero to save the world of disaster.  Normally teams that lose 5 seniors do not compete too highly the following season, but the Mavericks get to quickly reload their roster with Marcus Tyus (redshirted to recover an injury), Mitchell Hahn (redshirted due to transfer from Holy Cross), and JT Gibson (only played 10 games due to an injury).

The decision to redshirt Tyus apparently came a day or two before the start of the regular season.  Really, it was a smart move on the part of the Mavericks.  He tore his ACL in February of 2015, and normally tearing your ACL takes over a year to fully recover.  I still showed up to the opening game and had a 2 hour WHERE IS TYUS panic attack for that game.

You have got to think that Tyus will get the most shot attempts on this team next season.  His junior season, he may have had one of the most efficient seasons since the transition to division one, for a guard at least.  In his junior season he shot 49% from the floor and 44% on threes.  The only guard who really came close to that, that played most of a season, was Justin Simmons who shot 47% from the field and 40% on threes in his junior season.

While Tyus may take over as the primary shot taker, he never really showed the ability to create his shot in the same capacity that Devin Patterson could.  I’m not really sure this program has seen a guy that has that ability that Patterson had, and no one remaining on the roster is really that guy who can do that; so next season the team will have to work together more to get open looks…which can be good because of less standing around and less jump shots with 25 seconds on the shot clock.  Patterson attempted 5 threes a game in 2015-2016, granted that number would have been lower with Tyus on the floor, but Tyus should be taking about 4 threes a game in his senior season, but his percentage should put him at making the same number of threes each game as Patterson did in 2016.  Tyus wont really need to create his own shot with a play maker like Tra-Deon Hollins with him in the back court.

The Mavericks finished 8th in the conference in three point field goal percentage at 33.7%, but that number should go up with Tyus, Hahn, and Gibson on the court; and also Hollins improved from behind the arch as the season went on.  Hollins shot 17% on threes in November and December, and 39% on threes after January 1st.

Aside from the expected better shooting; arguably the best post player the Mavericks have had since transition, Jake White is graduating and that will be a huge piece to make up. Tre’Shawn Thurman will continue to get better and should be an All Conference player in his junior season.  Daniel Meyer and Zach Pirog will really have to improve this summer to help make up for that post production.  I never got to actually watch Mitchell Hahn in high school, but he doesn’t appear to be the same type of rebounder that Jake White was, or a dominating post player against Nebraska high school basketball.  Hahn has the ability to handle the ball and play as a very tall three, which could make the Mavericks very versatile team.  Either way, I hope one of the main on the court goals of the Mavericks this season will be to get my section to stop screaming “BOX THE EF OUT!”

The Mavericks currently have 10 players on scholarship.  Maybe 11 if they give Ben Kositzke a scholarship, who actually could be a pretty underrated player.  He has some really nice post moves, a baseline jump shot as good as Jake White’s, and he just had a year of redshirting to work out on basketball.  Kositzke also apparently had a scholarship offer to Tennessee Tech out of high school.  I was telling my wife about some of the Mavs’ roster and mentioned this, and she usually does some shit talking whenever a university in the state of Tennessee is brought up, instead she was like: “Tennessee Tech, really?  They’re a really good program, that’s a great scholarship offer…and he walked on to the Mavericks?  That’s great!”  That’s got to be worth something.

Speaking of basketball in Tennessee: the Omaha signee Daniel Norl, originally from the state of Tennessee, appears as if he can really add depth to the Mavericks back court.  The 6’2″ guard averaged 11 points, shot 50% from the floor, and 40% on threes for a top 25 junior college in 2015-2016.  He started his career at Eastern Kentucky after getting offers from Tennessee Tech, Belmont, Austin Peay, Middle Tennessee State, and Murray State.  In his highlight videos you can tell he is a solid defender and likes to make the extra pass on offense.

There are still many available transferring players out there.  It is unclear if Nebraska’s Johnny Trueblood is going to transfer somewhere to play basketball, or if he going to just destroy every pickup basketball game in Lincoln; but many Husker fans on the Husker Hoops Central would like to see him transfer to UNO.  I’m sure both South Dakota schools will try and move in on Trueblood should he decide to pick the Mavericks.

South Dakota State was able to pick up a transfer from Southern Utah, AJ Hess, who will be a senior and eligible to play immediately for the Jackrabbits.  Hess only played in 6 games for South Utah in 2015-2016; in his junior season at SUU, he averaged 11.7 points and 3.7 rebounds; Hess also shot 44% from the floor, 41% on threes, and better than 80% at the free throw line.  The Jackrabbits are going to be able to put out some bigger lineups with two 6’6″ guys who can play the guard position.

I’m bummed that Omaha Benson/Iowa Western’s Thik Bol committed to Southern Illinois.  His post defense combined with Hollins’ perimeter defense would have been a delightful combination on the court.

With the potential to sign two to three more players, and another assistant coach, the Mavericks still have a lot to come in the next few weeks.