Projected Conference Wins: 4 to 8
Projected Regular Season Finish: 5th to 8th
Key returning players: Dylan Carl (Jr), Marcus DeBarry (Sr), Matt Holba (Sr),
Man, I legitimately don’t know how to feel about this Mastodon team.
I know we’ve talked about how everyone in college basketball has production to make up, but Fort Wayne lost John effing Konchar. I’d argue with anyone that Konchar was better than Mike Daum. I’d get in a bar fight over it.
The Mastodons tied for 3rd in the conference last season and finished at 9-7. There is no way to convince me the ‘Dons would not have been 4-12 without John Konchar. The city of Fort Wayne has a John Konchar Day now he was so good.
With the loss of John Konchar, and other players, Fort Wayne will be returning 43% of their scoring, which is 8th in the conference, only in front of South Dakota State. The ‘Dons will also have 6810 division one minutes on their active roster, 7th in the Summit League.
Fort Wayne has never been a particularly deep, either, and they were extremely fortunate last season to not face any injury problems. They had 9 players play all 33 games. That luck can’t continue. Well, it could, but it’s not likely. Maybe we’re due for a Fort Wayne season where everything goes wrong for them. It seems like everyone has had that season in the last 5 years except for North Dakota State and Fort Wayne.
Senior forward Matt Holba was selected to the Preseason All Conference 2nd team, but if you look at the 11 guys on the 1st and 2nd team, he’s the most likely candidate to not actually be an all conference player at the end of the year. Junior forward Dylan Carl and Kansas State transfer Brian Patrick would be the more likely candidates to take up Konchar’s lost production.
Holba and Carl could make for one of the best front court combos in the league, behind Oral Roberts’ with Kevin Obanor and Emmanuel Nzekwesi, South Dakota’s Tyler Hagedorn and Stanley Umude, and Omaha with Matt Pile’s left arm and Matt Pile’s right arm.
Jon Coffman’s staff was able to pick up 2 junior college All Americans and two redshirt freshmen, and they’ll a decently talented 6 or 7 man rotation, but no one on the roster is a real proven star. There are also a lot of players, who seem like they are the exact same person, so this may be the least versatile roster in the Summit League, but we’ll have to wait and see how all of this comes together.
You just don’t know, there could be another John Konchar on the roster primed and ready to destroy the Summit League in Fort Wayne’s last season in the conference. If I was a Fort Wayne fan, I just wouldn’t be counting on that. I just seriously wouldn’t know what to expect out of the ‘Dons if I was a Fort Wayne fan. Probably a mediocre basketball team, that’s probably the safest thing to expect.
Fort Wayne fans have been telling me Carl has the potential to be The Next Mike Daum, so maybe Carl is ready for a break out season.
I’m also just mad at Fort Wayne for leaving. I totally get it why they’re leaving, but I can still be mad. It’s like when your girlfriend breaks up for you for all the right reasons, and you can’t really argue why you should even be together, but you still get bummed out by it. In reality, the Fort Wayne might actually have a slight edge over the likes of Omaha (as again, I did a bulk of this simulating thinking the Mavericks would have Strom and Barney).
My trivial Preseason Summit League rankings
7th Fort Wayne