A month out game preview: Eastern Michigan

The second return game of the year for the Mavericks.  This time they get to go to Ypil…Ypilis…shoot, who cares.  It’s in the eastern part of Michigan.  Probably.

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You may remember the game last year as one of the games that Omaha was down by large margin and did not end up coming back for a win.  The Mavericks were able to cut a 15 point lead down to six before losing 80-73 at Baxter Arena in what was just another Baxter Arena shooting blunder.  You may have sat there in Baxter Arena wondering how this high octane offense could survive if they shot around 20% on threes.  Survive may be too strong of a word.  It’s not like we’re dealing with a zombiepocalyse here.  This was also the game that I figured out that I love the french fries at the Baxter Arena.  Maybe my favorite in town.  If there was a reward program for racking up points on french fry purchases at Baxter Arena, I might literally own Aksarben Village in a decade.

That game was early in the year, and you could guess that is one of the games that the Mavericks wish they could have back.  Tra-Deon Hollins was still trying to figure out how to shoot and be conditioned at the division one level.  The Mavericks had not inserted Kyler Erickson into the starting lineup at that point or were using him as the team’s source of energy.  It still seemed as if after one season that Derrin Hansen had not completely figured out how to utilize Randy Reed and Tim Smallwood at this point.

Hansen and the Mavericks still may have some issues trying to figure out some of their guys in this game.  Figuring out where and when to play Daniel Meyer, Mitchell Hahn, and Zach Pirog looks like it could be difficult at the beginning of the season.  Each has a different skill set, and finding that right mix in the post for the right opponent could be a challenge for this coaching staff.  Figuring this out will be important for the Mavericks in this game as Eastern Michigan has 6’10” sophomore Jason Thompson IV who averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds as a freshman.  He may have been one of the best post players that Mavericks played all season long.

The Eagles are likely to not have issues like this.  Eastern Michigan is bringing back four starters, and return 80% of their scoring to their team that finished 18-15 overall and 112th in RPI.  The biggest loss to the Eagles is the graduation of 6’8″ forward Brandon Nazione who averaged 9.6 points and 6.5 rebounds.  The other players they lost were mostly players with small roles.  Nazione had 12 points and 7 rebounds against Omaha last season.  The Eagles will get to replace Nazione with Nick Madray, a 6’9″ transfer from Binghamton, who averaged 10.8 points per game as a freshman before ending his freshman and sophomore seasons with injuries.

The main issues the Eagles may have is their depth.  They really only have 6 players that are in their main rotation, which could be a problem for a fast paced team like the Mavericks.  They have three players that transferred in but will be sitting out the 2016-2017 season, and while that is good for the future of the program, that hurts your depth right now.

The Eagles were able to win in Baxter Arena with a lack of depth against the Mavericks on the Mavericks shooting 37% from the field and 4-of-17 on threes.  With Mitch Hahn, JT Gibson, and Marcus Tyus in the lineup, the Mavericks do not plan on going 4-of-17 in many games this season from behind the arch.  Let’s just hope they can shoot so well that the Mavericks wont have to worry about rebounding…

This game will be played at noon on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  On ESPN3, so get prepared for your spouse to yell at you about hanging up Christmas decorations “because this is the best day to do it.”

 

 

 

 

 

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A month out game preview: Rice

It’s finally here.  The chance to play the Rice Owls in Baxter Arena!  You have been thinking about this since Day 1 of Omaha Mavericks basketball transition to division one.  Hosting a Conference USA team in a regular season basketball game, and you spent 5 years wondering if it would ever happen… I actually did spend 5 years wondering if and when the Mavericks would host a team like Rice.

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Don’t know anything about Rice University Men’s Basketball?  That’s fine, no one does.

Here are some things to throw out at you:


2015-2016 Record: 12-20

2015-2016 Final RPI: 279

Conference USA had a final RPI ranking of 22.

2015-2016 Attendance Average: 2,204


Omaha was better than Rice in all of these things last year.  So take that, Rice!  The Owls did beat Doc Sadler’s Southern Mississippi team twice last season, so they do have that on Omaha.  They do have a player named Egor, so they win the cool names competition.  I’m so hungry for a rice bowl from Pepperjax now.

I Googled “best rice bowl in Omaha” and the top three places on Foursquare were Pepperjax locations.  That doesn’t seem right.  Amigos/King Classic came in 7th.  We’re better than that, Omaha.  We need to get to the bottom of this.  Have you ever had the Tuna Tower or Sake Tower at Blue Sushi Sake Grill?  I get that it’s not an official rice bowl, but once you knock down the tower it becomes rice and a few different ingredients in a bowl and it’s one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth.  You can take your fork and cut it down and eat it as stacked ingredients, like a freak.

I’m not even going to look up the name of the Owls’ basketball arena.  If it’s not the Rice Bowl, I’d rather go one not knowing.

Rice is coached by former VCU Assistant, Mike Rhoades, who wants to play an uptempo style like Omaha, and as VCU did under Shaka Smart, but Rhoades has not had much of a chance to play this way with little depth on his team.

Rhoades and Rice may actually be able to have some of that depth this season, so they are not a team that the Mavericks should take likely, especially given that they will be playing the style that they actually want to play when they come to Omaha.

Being such a young team last season, Rice had 7 guys in their main rotation last year, and 6 of those players will be returning for 2016-2017.  This includes 6’2″ sophomore Marcus Evans who was named the Conference USA Freshman of the Year and 1st team All Conference after averaging 21.4 points per game.  In addition to this, the Owls had a freshman named Chad Lott sitting out with an injury, who apparently could be better than Evans… Lott picked Rice over Creighton, now watch this kid.  Warning: the first minute is one of the worst produced highlight reels you’ll ever see.

Similarly to Omaha, Rice had a guard sitting out who was expected to be one of their main scorers and leaders.  6’3″ guard, Marcus Jackson sat out his entire junior season after averaging 14.5 points per game and shooting 40% on threes in his sophomore season.  Without Jackson, Rice did not have much of an perimeter game on offense and struggled on threes, shooting 32% on the year.  So they’re just going to allow Jackson and Marcus Tyus to defend each other with both players wrapped in bubble wrap, right?  So many dudes named Marcus to keep track of in this game.

Rice will be adding 5 new scholarship freshman to their lineup as well, and they’re likely to redshirt a few of those guys.  Even though the Owls appear young on paper, there is a fair amount of division one experience on their basketball team, especially at the wing positions.  In the post, they are are quite young, with only one post player being a senior and the others being true freshman or a sophomore.  If the Mavericks get some opportunities to post up, Tre’Shawn Thurman could really have his way with the Rice post players.

With both teams wanting to score at a Millennium Falcon or Barry Allen the Flash type pace, there should be little opportunities for a post up move from either team.  This game is going to be a high scoring affair, and if Nebraska football was not playing Maryland this day, the attendance could actually get pretty large as the season home opener.

It’s easy to look at the 12-20 record and the bad RPI and think this could be an easy win for the Mavericks.  Considering, the two key injuries the Owls had last season, and their youth to a coaching staff in their second year, it is understandable for a team to produce such poor results.  With their style of play, this could be a game of whoever gets to 100 first wins.

 

 

A month out game preview: Kansas State

Three road games in the first four games of the college basketball season?  Have we gone mad?  So much basketball!

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It is hard to gauge a team like Kansas State.  For one, you immediately try to pretend that Manhattan, Kansas is not a real place in this area that we call Earth, so you’re like “what a bunch of dorks.”  For two, Bruce Weber is just kind of an odd ball guy, so it can be hard to take his team truly serious…especially since Kansas State has gotten worse in the Big 12 in each season that he has been coaching the Wildcats.  Even after a successful career, it’s hard to take him all that serious.  Third, Kansas State’s style of play is not incredibly flashy, and they do not ever really aim to impress you on paper.

This is the second time that Mavericks will be taking on the Wildcats since transitioning to division one.  The last time, the Mavericks kept the game close in the first half, but the Wildcats were able to run away with the game in the second, winning 84-66.  Both teams have moved on from those teams with few players remaining that actually played in that game.  Some are calling for Weber to be fired at this point while other’s have been pointing out their youth, and the potential of the young guys he has brought in.  The Wildcats recruiting rankings in the last two seasons have been in the top 75.

Kansas State brings back Wesley Iwundu, who is not a character from Star Wars, but is a 6’7″ senior who is the returning leading scorer for the Wildcats averaging 12 points per game last season.  He apparently worked on his shot in the summer and is a more rounded player from when the Mavericks last saw him.  The Wildcats do return just about everything except for two players, and they appear confident that they can easily replace that production even though they lost their leading scorer, Justin Edwards.

Things were not great last season for the Wildcats, who ended at 17-16, but went 5-13 in the Big 12.  They struggled to score the ball, they claim that scoring is not super important to them, which seems obvious as they ended the season as one of the worst three point shooting teams in the NCAA, and ranked 210th in free throw percentage.  Did Doc Sadler take over the body of Bruce Weber?  Did they switch identities like the movie Freaky Friday or Vice Versa?

Hold on, I’m doing this thing lately with all the evil propaganda out there on our presidential candidates, where every time something bad is said that I must say something good…Let me think…Bruce Weber did a really great job at Southern Illinois.  That was tough.  He also went to the NCAA Championship game while coaching at Illinois, cannot forget about that one.

The Wildcats do not care about scoring.  They want to keep the possessions down, and they want to force their opponents to make mistakes while on defense.  I’m just curious: If you’re wanting to minimize possessions, and you have a lack of true point guards on your team, and no one on your team is really an efficient scorer, wouldn’t you want to get the ball out into traffic to get an attempt at an easy basket instead of clogging up the floor and drawing a bunch of fouls for your team to embarrass themselves at the free throw line?  That’s just a thought.

Weber, though, does believe this is maybe one of the most competitive rosters he has had since arriving at Kansas State in 2012, and is encouraged that most of the roster is returning and has had some seasoning together.  The team had a Europe trip this season, so there is a good amount of chemistry on this team.

If the Mavericks can limit their mistakes, which was difficult for them to do last season at many points, and get out and run their style of play, they can really have an advantage to beat the Wildcats.  But, and this is a hard twisting pull of your nipples, this is the Mavericks’ third true road game in four days.  For the Wildcats, it is their second game of the season, and their first game is another home game against…Western…oh, this hurts to say…Western Illinois.  That hurt my face.  Hold on, a nice thing to say…incoming freshman, Jeremiah Usiosefe looks like he could be a really good player for Western Illinois, and it should be fun trying to figure out trying how to pronounce his name.

The Wildcats have not lost a home game to a mid-major team since December of 2014 to Texas Southern, who eventually made the NCAA Tournament that season.  This game is on FSN…and it’s just another Tuesday.

A month out game preview: USC

Two games, two days in a row?  Is this some weird plan to prepare your team for March?  Well a day after playing UC Santa Barbara, the Mavs get to play the USC Trojans.  The Huskers of the Pac-12.  Or the Coyotes of the Summit, maybe?

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After being college basketball’s sweetheart in the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, Andy Enfield left Florida Gulf Coast University to take over the Trojans after USC ended a series of mistakes from Tim Floyd to Kevin O’Neill.  USC ended Enfield’s first two seasons as the last place team in the Pac-12, but finally saw some success last season ending their season 6th in the Pac-12 and making the NCAA tournament.

If you like offense, this could be a very fun game for you.  The Trojans enjoy a fast pace of basketball just like the Mavericks do.  USC finished third in the Pac-12 in points per game, and dangerously shot 39% on threes last year, but they will be working several new players new players into their lineup.

The Trojans lost a lot of production from their NCAA Tournament team.  The team lost six players that they initially believed were coming back for this season to make for one of the greatest years ever in USC basketball.  I don’t know if it would be one of the greatest ever in USC history, that is ignorant of me to say.  They have been basically pretty awful to mediocre my entire life, and the one year or two years they were pretty good came from a result of recruiting violations.

After the departures, the Trojans did not even enough players to hold summer practices.  Two players, 6’11” forward Nikola Jovanovic and 6’4″ guard Julian Jacobs both left early to sign as undrafted free agents in the NBA.  Four players players transferred away from the program, including 6’6″ guard Katin Reinhardt who left for Marquette after starting 18 games for the Trojans last season and averaging 11.5 points per game as a junior.

So who is left?  USC will return three players that started at least half of their games.  The Mavericks will need to prepare for sophomore forward 6’10” Bennie Boatwright, who averaged 11.5 points and 5.2 rebounds, and likes to play a bit on the outside for a forward making nearly 2 threes a game on 36% on threes.  There is also 6’5″ guard Elijah Stewart who started in 18 games for the Trojans last season and averaged 9.8 points and 3.6 rebounds.

The Trojans also have Pac-12 Honorable Mention guard Jordan McLaughlin, who has some NBA potential and averaged 13.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.6 steals as a sophomore last season.  McLaughlin played this summer on the Pac-12 All Star team, which traveled to Australia, so this could have provided some great experience to the young player.  Does the Summit League have an All Star Team?  Can they travel around all of Canada and beat up on all of the Canada YMCAs?  Hansen is going to make Tra-Deon Hollins stalk McLaughlin, right?

To make up for the losses, USC put together the 32nd rated recruiting class according to 247 Sports.  Incoming freshman guard, Jonah Matthews, was rated on ESPN’s top 100 players for the class of 2016.  These recruiting rankings and hype things do not appear to threaten the core guys for Omaha like Tre’Shawn Thurman, Tra-Deon Hollins, and Marcus Tyus.  Hollins has said he loves the big games, and loves playing on the road to shut up a crowd.  I am paraphrasing a series of tweets I have seen him say and combining it with quotes from things I have read in the Omaha World Herald.  These thoughts have been consistent with things Thurman has said as well, and Marcus Tyus has shot 52% from the field and 48% on threes against the Power 5 and Big East as a Maverick.

The Trojans are also adding two transfers that are eligible this season.  6’9″ Graduate transfer, Charles Buggs, from Minnesota, averaged 6 points and 3 rebounds as the Gophers finished in Might As Well Be Last in the Big 10.  By the way, I do not think the Big 10 should allow 11, 12, 13, and 14 seeds into their conference tournament…makes the regular season more important, but that will never happen.  Buggs had 8 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, and a three against the Mavericks last season.  They will also be adding 6’7″ forward, Shaqquan Aaron, who averaged 1.3 points and 0.7 rebounds as a freshman at Louisville in 2014-2015.  He had surgery on his hand while he was redshirting last season.  These guys do not really seem all that threatening, but who knows how well guys can do in a new system.

Either way, with all the new faces, it appears as if this team really has not had enough time to play together and work out together. The Trojans should still be trying to figure out the roles of most of their team at this point in the season.  They will start the season against a solid Montana team, that could wear down the Trojans two nights before this game.  Then again, this will be the second game in two days for the Mavericks, so the Omaha bench could be vital to the Mavs in this game.

The post players could be an issue for the Mavericks.  In addition to Boatwright and Buggs…Boatwright and Buggs sounds like the world’s worst law firm that specializes Feral Cat Ordinance laws…the Trojans also return 6’11” sophomore center, Chimezie Metu, who averaged 6.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks as a freshman last season.  With three guys that are 6’9″ and taller, and two of them being capable of going outside to hit threes, the Trojans advantage may to be to post up on the thinner Mavericks down low.  If Tre’Shawn Thurman and Mitchell Hahn get into a little foul trouble in this game, Daniel Meyer, Zach Pirog, and Ben Kositzke could be extremely important for the Mavericks in this USC game.

This game will be on the Pac 12 Network, and hopefully the women’s team will be playing Washington in the Preseason WNIT the same day.  Also, this game will be around the same time as the New England Patriots versus the Seattle Seahawks.  Someone set up a watch party where the NFL game wont interfere…now…

 

A Month Out Game Preview: UC Santa Barbara

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A good ole rematch.  Everyone loves these home-and-homes, right?  I mean, you basically have no chance of watching this one, but playing the same team in back-to-back years can help give you an indicator of how your team has improved.  We hope anyway.

I’m not sure what you remember from this match up last season.  It is possible that you tried to put the actual game itself out of your memory.  I mean, it was the first regular season basketball game played at Baxter Arena.  There was that.  That was hot.  That was fun.  Tra-Deon Hollins went 0-6 from the floor, and most of us could never imagine him going 9-of-12 from the floor with 28 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists against South Dakota State a few months later; but it happened.

The only things that come to memory, other than the satisfaction of finally seeing basketball in the Baxter Arena, was the terrible offense, terrible shooting, and wondering if Marcus Tyus not playing was a sick prank.  The only memorable plays I have from that game was when JT Gibson gave the Mavericks hope by draining three pointers in back-to-back possessions after the Mavericks had been shooting so bad on threes I found myself wondering if the game would be closer if I was out there shooting some threes.  I assure you, the Mavericks would have been down by more.

Well the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos get to host the Mavericks this year for their home opener.  The Mavericks graduated four players from last season, and the Gauchos graduated six players, so it is possible that this game could have the same offensive woes of last season with both teams trying to figure out their personnel.  I imagine if the teams go a combined 34.8% from the floor again that Gary Sharp will leave at half time and go check out Santa Barbara.  Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s had a vacation home in Santa Monica.  Maybe, Brad Pitt is just bumming around in his home dipping mini tacos in nacho cheese, like a real man.

The Mavericks, for the most part, get to reload their roster, with some transfers, and guys coming back from injuries.  The Gauchos, though, have a relatively young roster with nine scholarship players that are freshmen or sophomores.  There might be some meshing issues at the start of this game for each team, so listen to this game holding your lucky rabbit’s foot, put that lucky penny in your shoe, or wear your Gauchos shirt if you’re the bad luck person.

Clearly biased here, but my perception would be that Omaha will not need as much time meshing together since most of their “newcomers” have been with the team for over a year at least.  The Mavericks, though, may have some difficulty of dividing up and figuring out what to do with minutes in this game since they play at USC the following night.

The Gauchos could have some issues finding some chemistry on the court with what is a mostly new roster.  Their coaching staff and fans have already claimed this season to be a “rebuilding year.” UC Santa Barbara does return Gabe Vincent, a 6’4″ junior that averaged 14 points a game and earned Big West Honorable Mention.  Other than that, the Gauchos do not return much scoring at all.  Vincent had 16 points on 5-of-16 scoring against the Mavericks last season, which was just a painful offensive showing from both teams.

Santa Barbara will be adding a very serious presence to their front line with Junior College transfer Jalen Canty.  Canty is a 6’8″ and 255 pound beast that can be a match up nightmare for teams, so… please be too slow for the Mavs quick pace, please be too slow for the Mavs quick pace, please be too slow for the Mavs quick pace.  While in junior college, Cantry also received offers from Colorado State, Tulsa, and Rhode Island, and he was once committed to Washington State while in high school.

Okay, he does not look all that slow, and appears to have some pretty solid footwork.

Going into their match up last season, I thought the scariest thing about the Gauchos was the quality of their wing players, and that may still be the case.  The Mavericks were going into last season introducing Zach Jackson, JT Gibson, and Tra-Deon Hollins to the wing, after a year of struggling at defending pretty much anyone from 6’2″ to 6’6″ on the wing.  Now the Mavericks are a little more established at the wing with Jackson, Gibson, Hollins all returning, and now the Mavericks will be able to add experienced 6’3″ guard Daniel Norl to that core wing players.  Let’s not forget, and how could we, that the Mavericks still have Kyler Erickson who’s non stop energy could give problems to Robocop.

The Gauchos lost their core of wing players, but are reloading with adding a few well recruited 6’5″ freshman.  Christian Terrell is a freshman out of Sacramento that held offers from Washington State, Tulsa, Pepperdine, and Gonzaga.  Terrell was rated as a 3 star recruit by Rivals and Scout.  They also have Clifton Powell, always be afraid of a guy named Clifton, who played at a prep school for a 5th year.  He’s described as “bouncy.”  The Gauchos also have Ohio State transfer, Mickey Mitchell, who will be sitting this season out.  The Mavericks don’t play these guys next year, right?

One thing to keep in mind: Los Angeles Lakers’ General Manager Mitch Kupchak’s son, Maxwell Kupchak, plays for UC Santa Barbara.  The Lakers will be away at New Orleans and Minnesota while Omaha is in Southern California.  Maybe Mitch Kupchak comes to watch his son play basketball, for the fun of it, and maybe he takes notice in a particular point guard on the Mavericks’ roster.  Maybe he’s impressed enough to check him out a second night in Los Angeles.

All in all, since this is a rebuilding year for the Gauchos, you would think the Mavericks would have the edge in this game.  Right?  Maybe with Santa Barbara having home court advantage, Omaha might be like a 3 point favorite or something.  Right?

Relax.  By the time this game happens, you’ll get to know if it will be Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton filling out a presidential bracket on ESPN in March.  Actually, that is incredibly depressing.

 

 

 

Tyus and Jacobson lead the The Summit League All Snubbed Team

Not making the Preseason All Summit League Team is really not that big of a deal at the end of the day.  Making it, and then not making the final season All Summit League team is kind of a big deal.  Everyone laughs at you.  They don’t actually.  Okay, wait, what is the point of a Preseason Team of anything?  Is the real point of it to upset some of the players who just maybe should have been on there?

Former South Dakota State coach, Scott Nagy, basically said it was completely worthless.  It’s like when some movie gets really hyped up because it has Marlon Brando and he gets top billing, but the movie is actually great because of the acting of the 5th highest billed actor.  Maybe, it is a sign of respect to some guys?  It certainly has added a little motivation to guys in the past that were not selected to the team.

I’m not going to specifically say who should be dropped off from the teams, but here are some guys that maybe should have been named to the 1st or 2nd team.

Tyler Flack, Sr., F, South Dakota

No South Dakota player was selected to the Preseason Team, and we kind of get it. The Yotes lost a ton, and we have no idea what is going on there.

After missing all of 2014-2015 with a back injury, Flack was able to make a comeback in the second half of last season.  He ended up averaging 9.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, and was able to raise those numbers to 12.7 points and 6.3 rebounds over the last 12 games of the season.  With a number of players leaving, and having a relatively young and thin front line, Flack could be even more of a center piece for the Coyotes and put up even bigger numbers in 2016-2017

AJ Jacobson, Jr., G/F, North Dakota State

I had to double check a couple things here.  Jacobson seemed like Summit League royalty a year ago, so it was weird not even seeing him mentioned.  First, I had to double check that my Cntl + F was working properly when I did not see Jacobson’s name on the Preseason Team.  If you don’t regularly use the Cntl + F option to find certain words in readings, just know that if you start using it, it will really start angering you in regular life when you read things like restaurant menus without and you just want to know what items have avocado in them. After that, I had to go check to see if Jacobson was still on North Dakota State’s roster.  Sure is still on the roster.

Jacobson was named Summit League Honorable Mention as a freshman and again as a sophomore, and he’s been just about the only member of the Bison that’s been able to stay away from injuries and not get in trouble on the team in some fashion.  It’s possible he wont have to play as much at the 4 this season, so he could be a more effective player on offense and defense in his natural position.

Matt Mooney, So., G, South Dakota

With over 75% of their scoring from last season gone, South Dakota will need to replace that scoring…duh.  Mooney, a transfer from Air Force, could really be one of the main guys that step up and take a big role on this team.

I get that this is a stretch for being snubbed, and there is uncertainty here, but a couple of the guys on the Preseason Team could have slightly reduced roles because of the newcomers on their rosters taking their minutes and shots away.  Mooney is the one getting the shots.  Mooney was a consistent freshman for Air Force in 2014-2015, averaging 7 points per game and shooting 45% from the field.  There are 40+ points per game from the wing positions that need made up for South Dakota, and then some if they want to be a contender this season, Mooney is going to be the main guy to take over this loss of scoring.

Matt O’Leary, Sr., F, IUPUI

O’Leary had some consistency issues in 2015-2016, but he was still a big weapon for the Jaguars as a newcomer.  For a big man, he can do just about anything.  He has a few post moves, can hit mid-range jumpers, knock down a three here and there, step back and hit the three, put the ball to the floor and drive to the basket, and he even led all big men in the Summit in assists last season.  It’s bascially like watching what I thought Rylan Murry would have become, but the Indiana version.  With some late departures, O’Leary has been left as one of few experienced big men for the Jaguars and if he finds some consistency, could really be one of the biggest match up problems in the Summit League.

Marcus Tyus, Sr., G, Omaha

It’s fine, I get it, I am biased, but Tyus is being named the Co-Captain of the All Snubbed Team with Jacobson.  I sat here a year ago thinking Tyus got snubbed on the Preseason poll, in addition to Jake White and Devin Patterson who both ended up on the 2nd Team at the end of year.  I also thought Tre’Shawn Thurman was snubbed in both the Preseason and Regular Season awards in 2015-2016, but whatever.

Maybe some people forgot of Tyus’ existence, but can you imagine the Mavericks last year with a healthy Marcus Tyus on the roster?  Can you even believe it?  He arguably had a better junior season than Max Landis did (who was selected to the 2015-2016 Preseason 2nd team and then ended up as the Summit League Player of the Year), and Tyus was playing out of position on defense for basically the entire 2014-2015 season.  Tyus should be taking over the scoring left from Devin Patterson’s departure.  They both score in different ways, but are capable of putting up the same points.

I’m just putting a back court together in my mind of one of the best all around players the Mavericks have ever had (Hollins) next to one of the most consistent shooters the Mavericks have had in division one.  I’m trying to not start the Mavericks Would Beat the Huskers by 15 This Season debate.