4-4 again last week. This is actually a lot harder than it looks with everyone in the conference being so close. The Tuesday to Thursday games always kill me.
South Dakota (7-4) @ Fort Wayne (5-5)
The Coyotes defense held the high scoring Fort Wayne offense to 63 points last month, and most notably held John Konchar to 4-0f-12 shooting. The game was a offensive struggle for both teams, and Tyler Flack was not playing in that game for South Dakota. Can the ‘Dons have such an offensive struggle at home on a Wednesday night?
IUPUI (4-6) @ Omaha (6-5)
First off, if South Dakota loses and Omaha wins on Wednesday, they will be in a tie for third place.
Second off, IUPUI is so hit or miss this season, it’s hard to get a feel for them. The Jaguars are also 0-3 in Wednesday/Thursday conference road games.
Third, the Mavericks had 10 blocks against the Jaguars in Indianapolis?
Fourth, there are going to be like 40 turnovers in this game, right?
Fifth, if you love half court offense, you should probably find a seventh grade YMCA game to attend tonight instead of this.
Western Illinois (4-7) @ Oral Roberts (3-8) on ESPN3
This loser of this game may very well be the team that does not make it into the Summit League tournament, so this game could sadly have a decent amount of intensity. Intense like Luke Wilson and Will Ferrell chasing Jeremy Piven at the end of “Old School” intense but not that intense.
Western Illinois didn’t have a great rebounding advantage in Macomb, and each team had the same amount of turnovers, and made the exact same number of free throws, but Western Illinois made 7 more threes than Oral Roberts. That game was the 5th game in a row that Western Illinois had made at least 10 three point field goals, and since then they haven’t made more than 8 since or shot better than 35 percent on threes. The difference in the game might not be the threes this time.
South Dakota State (5-6) @ North Dakota State (7-3) on ESPN3
It’s always fun when these two square off. South Dakota State is on a three game winning streak with the last two wins against the two teams playing for last place. North Dakota State has lost two in a row against South Dakota and IUPUI.
The Jackrabbits are not nearly as good on defense as the Coyotes or the Jaguars, and they don’t really match up that well against AJ Jacobson and Paul Miller. If the Jackrabbits can play defense against Paul Miller, usually the Bison as a team do not play well. Reed Tellinghuisen is just kind of a bad defender…
I also don’think it’s possible for North Dakota State to lose twice in a row at home. I’m pretty sure the state has laws against this, so this is a safety thing for the Jackrabbits.
South Dakota State (5-6) @ South Dakota (7-4) on ESPN3
What a tough week for the Jackrabbits. Going from the bottom two teams in the Summit League at home to the top two teams in the Summit League on the road has to be a weird feeling.
The Coyotes are out for revenge after losing by 1 in Brookings on New Year’s Eve.
Seriously, are we not worried about the Jackrabbits’ safety this week?
Denver (7-4) @ North Dakota State (7-3) on ESPN3
Boring But Good meets Odd and Somehow Good. You would think we should apply revenge factor to the Bison, and they probably will be out for revenge, but they were embarrassed in Denver. That game probably led to the Pioneers to roll around the rest of the Summit League with a load of confidence.
Also, Denver is coming to Fargo with a week of rest.
Oral Roberts (3-6) @ IUPUI (4-6) on ESPN3
Prove that you can win on the road Oral Roberts. I dare you.
Omaha (6-5) @ Fort Wayne (5-5) on, oh wait, it’s not on anything.
And I’ve just reached full on homer status.
I just want to start off saying that I’ve come to actually appreciate Fort Wayne fans. They have a heart beat in them, and they engage in fun banter online against other Summit League fan bases. They typically always back up their talk with an actual frame of reference. If you point out something that their team is bad at, they see your point-of-view and can agree with your claim if factual. They don’t take you saying that they’re team is bad at defense, for example, as a personal attack and wish death upon your entire family like another fan base we know.
Now, the second half of conference play is a lot about revenge factor, intangibles, depth, and how you’re getting shafted on your schedule. Sure, Fort Wayne is a better rebounding team. Yes, John Konchar is unstoppable against the Mavericks. Of course, Omaha has only beat Fort Wayne twice since transitioning to division 1.
Every game between these two teams has come down to the wire. Omaha has been rebounding and playing better defensively ever since it was made obvious that they were a terrible rebounding team at home against South Dakota State. Well that’s only two games, but you get it. Daniel Meyer has played in the last two games like he has something to prove on the boards, so perhaps the Mavericks can actually defend Brent Calhoun for once.
John Konchar may be unstoppable against the Mavericks, but Derrin Hansen has been playing Daniel Norl off the bench more lately. If you remember in the home game against the ‘Dons, and I’m going to throw out a guess that you don’t, Norl was the only Maverick that could stay in front of Konchar and keep the ball out of his hands. Expect Norl to get more minutes against Konchar on Saturday. I’m not claiming Norl is going to stop Konchar, the freaking guy shoots 64 percent from the field, but Norl defending Konchar for a few more possessions in Omaha could have made the difference.
Oddly, as much as the Mavs haven’t been able to stop Konchar and Calhoun, they have kept Mo Evans down in their meetings. Evans has shot 37 percent in his career against Omaha, and he has shot 46 percent from the field during his career.
So if you’re wondering if the Mavericks are thinking revenge factor, and that they love playing on the road in big environments (in their minds) and haven’t been thinking about winning in the same building that Indiana lost in for a few months now…we’re wondering the same thing.