Summit League predictions: Jan 17-20

January 17

Fort Wayne @ Western Illinois

I’m probably, definitely wrong.

The Mastodons are 0-2 in the Summit League on weeknights so far, which is the dumbest stat you will ever see.  However, the length of Brandon Gilbeck can really keep John Konchar off the glass, and the Leathernecks might actually have a chance to play their own pace and tempo, which is much slower than how the Mastodons like to play.

Oral Roberts @ South Dakota on ESPN3

The defense of the Coyotes should really bother the guards of Oral Roberts, who all shoot less than 40%.

January 18

Denver @ Omaha

This is a real battle for 6th place.  That’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever said.

Even though Denver has Daniel Amigo, neither team really has much of a threatening interior game.  Omaha has been playing better defense lately and taking care of the basketball on offense.

It’s also High School Night at the Baxter Arena, so clearly that is an advantage for the Mavericks.

January 20

North Dakota State @ Fort Wayne

Why am I being so mean to Fort Wayne this week?  The Bison have not won in Fort Wayne since 2013, but they have also been one of few teams that have slowed down John Konchar over his career.

The bad Mastodon defense may not be able to contain the weaving offense of the Bison to let Paul Miller take control of the game.  We often forget that Paul Miller is one of the best players in the league.  By “we” I am mainly talking about myself.

South Dakota State @ Western Illinois

I mean, it would be hilarious if the Jackrabbits’ first conference loss was to Western Illinois.

South Dakota @ Omaha

This should be one of the bigger crowds of the season for the Mavericks, as Vermillion people typically travel well to Omaha, and what else is there to do in Vermillion on a Saturday night?

I’m trying to picture the South Dakota defense up against a youthful Omaha back court of JT Gibson, KJ Robinson, and Ayo Akinwole, and it feels like Zach Jackson and Daniel Norl might have to do too much in this game.

Denver @ Oral Roberts on ESPN3

Denver is a bad defensive team, and Oral Roberts is a good defensive team.  The bigs of Oral Roberts should really be able to control the tempo of the game and not let Denver play to their advantage of running the floor.



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