1. Fort Wayne
Duh, a win over the # 3 team in the country is going to get you stuck at number one in the Summit League until someone else knocks you off. The ‘Dons are a complete package. They can play big, play small, shoot, and defend. Two of their guards had double-doubles in points and rebounds against Indiana.
2. South Dakota
The Coyotes have had an easy schedule so far, but they are still 5-1. Three of their wins have been considered upsets, and they compete until the very end. Craig Smith has a competitive roster this season. The Coyotes may lack some size, but most of the Summit League lacks size this season.
3. North Dakota State
The Bison are also 5-1 and have had a relatively easy schedule. They still have the best Kenpom ranking in the Summit League. The Bison did beat Arkansas State, who beat Georgetown, so take that for what it is worth.
Last night, the Bison beat Waldorf, which is nothing big, but they were playing without one of their key players, AJ Jacobson. Jacobson has had problems with his thumb, which he had surgery on over the summer. If this is something that bothers Jacobson and his shooting all season, the Bison may end up having issues over the course of the conference season.
With the hardest schedule in the Summit League so far, the Mavericks are sitting at 2-3 and still have tougher non-conference games ahead.
Attendance wise, the Mavericks have also had a rough start to the season. They were competing with the tail end of the Nebraska-Maryland game when Rice came to Baxter Arena, and played Buena Vista while the Omaha women were playing at Nebraska.
I was about to say that the Jaguars’ win against Eastern Michigan was the best win in the Summit League this season, but now it’s not even the best win in their own state.
The Jaguars have their next five games on the road, and are probably not considered favorite in any of those games.
6. South Dakota State
The Jackrabbits have also played a difficult schedule. They have still yet to beat a division one team, and the one team they did beat was Wayne State, and the Jackrabbits only won by 8.
Mike Daum is good, but can he be good enough to carry the entire team through the Summit League tournament? Reed Tellinhuisen, Tevin King, and AJ Hess are going to need to show some consistency for this team to remain one of the top teams in the conference.
HOW HAS THIS TEAM ONLY PLAYED 2 GAMES?
8. Western Illinois
The Leathernecks have also yet to beat a division one team, and they may not do that until the month of December. Junior forward Dalan Ancrum has been a nice surprise going from 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds per game last season to 10 points and 4.7 rebounds so far this season.
9. Oral Roberts
The Golden Eagles have also had a tough schedule, and have also yet to beat a division one basketball team. They were able to take Ole Miss to overtime with the team shooting 47 percent from the field. Oral Roberts has the makings to be a very extremely inconsistent. They could look really good one game, and really terrible the next game.