I am sick on vacation, I am 2 hours behind in Oregon, and my in-laws are nuts. Hopefully, this will make some sense. It’s hard to pick between many of these teams because the non-conference schedule can have so many out liars, with some teams hardly playing any competition in November and December and Oral Roberts and Omaha having tougher schedules.
Oral Roberts strength of schedule RPI is currently ranked 10th in division one, and Omaha’s is ranked 88th.
North Dakota State @ South Dakota State on ESPN3
Normally, I would probably just go with the home team in this match up. The Jackrabbits have been pretty lackluster on defense this season, and the Bison weave offense will frustrate the Jackrabbits the entire game. The Jackrabbits have appeared to get better and better as their team gets more time to gel together, but it seems to take a while for them to get into a rhythm each game. If the Bison have a decent enough lead late in the game, their style of play will limit the amount of possessions that South Dakota State has to get back into the game.
The Bison may or may not have anyone who can stop Mike Daum, but who does? Perhaps Dexter Werner and Deng Geu can give him different defensive looks for 40 minutes to bother him enough to get him just a little bit off of him game.
Oral Roberts @ Denver
This is actually kind of a good match up. Daniel Amigo head-to-head with AJ Owens could be fun. Jalen Bradley head-to-head with Joe Rosga should be fun. Emmanuel Nzekwesi head-to-head with CJ Bobbit can be good. Denver does have a bit more depth than Oral Roberts, and can run the Golden Eagles out of Denver.
Oral Roberts played the toughest non-conference schedule out of all the Summit League teams, so playing the Pioneers may seem like nothing to them. However, the Golden Eagles are not a great defensive team, and the Pioneers have shown to be a solid team offensively.
Western Illinois @ Fort Wayne
Omaha @ South Dakota on ESPN3
The Coyotes are 6-0 at home. Omaha has won in Vermillion two straight years, and swept South Dakota last season.
The Mavericks will be one of the deepest teams the Coyotes have faced at home, and while the Coyotes will be able to force Omaha to outside shots, that wont bother them too much now. If the three point shooters for Omaha can knock down shots, they should be having a good night. That Thurman-Hahn-Gibson-Tyus-Hollins lineup should create some points and start a good run of the Mavericks.
Western Illinois @ IUPUI on ESPN3
It has to be pretty difficult to be the road team on a day like New Year’s Eve for college students. The game is noon, though, so maybe Western Illinois will just be excited to get out of Indianapolis as soon as possible to head back to Macomb.
South Dakota @ South Dakota State on ESPN3
The Jackrabbits opening up the Summit League with two straight home losses…have I gone mad?
This game is incredibly important to both teams, but the Coyotes have been thinking of this game far longer than the Jackrabbits. I mean, probably, right?
South Dakota has shown to be good enough at defense to keep themselves in games.
The Coyotes really don’t have anyone who can keep up with Mike Daum, and especially for 40 minutes. Daum may have 40 points in this game, but maybe only one other guy can crack double figures.
The Coyotes may just let Mike Daum try to beat them on his own, which is a strategy other teams have gone with and been successful with.
Oral Roberts @ Fort Wayne
What a rough start to the conference for Oral Roberts, travel wise. They start out at Denver, and then head to Fort Wayne to play the Mastodons after the Mastodons pretty much get an open practice against Western Illinois.
Omaha @ North Dakota State
The Bison could be seeking a little revenge after Omaha came in last season and ended North Dakota State’s home winning streak. The Bison are one of the better defensive teams in the Summit League this season, and their style of play is one that has bothered the Mavericks over the last couple of seasons.
Omaha did sweep the Bison last season, but if you recall: The Bison were playing without their leading scorer, Paul Miller, in Omaha and AJ Jacobson was in foul trouble for most of the game.
The Tre’Shawn Thurman versus AJ Jacobson has been fun to watch over the last couple of years, but the match up to see this year could be Zach Jackson versus Paul Miller.