The 2020-2021 college basketball season could be the weirdest in the history of weird seasons. I know you’ve been looking around for that analysis, and I’m glad you stopped here for it. This might be the season the Mavericks have been waiting for, though.
As the Mavericks first became eligible for the post season back in 2015, Derrin Hansen was asked what the future looked like for the Mavericks. To paraphrase, Hansen said they’d look about the same as they did but longer and more athletic, since their recruiting was getting stronger with the hopes of playing for post season play. They’re longer, more athletic, deeper, and more versatile, and the roster Hansen has been pining for.
Perfect roster for…well a year that is the opposite of perfect.
Typically, once the Summit League conference schedule is released, I go through the entire schedule and simulate games over and over again based on different scenarios and factors to come up with a Summit League rankings. That’s fairly pointless, but I’ve got spare time. This seemed like it would have been more pointless this season, as there is going to be so many distractions for college basketball teams. Games will get canceled, players will be placed on an injured list for being sick, and other 2020 hijinks. Box scores will be filled with sad and weird Did Not Plays.
Marco Smith DNP – Sneezed
It’s going to be wild, it’s going to be wacky. Teams might not really have a home court advantage without a crowd. Just ask Scott Frost about home field advantage. Actually, no, ask Lovie Smith about playing on the road. He’ll be in higher spirits about being questioned.
At the end of the last season, I was feeling confident about the Mavericks run at a 2021 season title. At the beginning of this season I’m not even confident there will be a conference tournament.
So here, I’ve decided to list a bunch of things the Homer in me wants to say about the Mavericks being a contender for the Summit League title this season. You know, like when you watch a basketball game and the homer commentators always jabber on how their dude is the best in the conference at some random thing. “That dude is the best in the conference in eating sandwiches.”
- With more consistency out of Wanjang Tut, the Mavericks could have best post presence in the Summit League…up there with Oral Roberts and South Dakota State
- Marlon Ruffin and Zach Thornhill make up one of the most athletic wing combos in the conference. A lot of them slashing and drawing help defense to find open shots for others.
- Omaha might have a problem finding “The Guy” on the team, but North Dakota State keeps finding success in the conference without having “The Guy”
- Omaha has the deepest roster in the Summit League. This will help them with the back-to-backs and if players get placed on inactive lists.
- Baxter Arena has been practicing social distancing at basketball games since before it was cool.
- The Mavericks last 10 games will be against South Dakota, Western Illinois, Kansas City, North Dakota, and Denver. That’s the bottom half of the league, if there is a Summit League tournament they could pick up momentum heading into the tournament.
- The Mavericks still have the most experienced coaching staff in the Summit League.
- Last season, freshman Darrius Hughes and Nathan Brusseau both probably should have redshirted but did not because of the departures of Brent Barney and Logan Strom. Hopefully they have both developed more and will be more basketball ready for their sophomore season.
- The Mavericks had no scholarship players leave the team from last season, other than obviously JT Gibson and KJ Robinson. Attrition and cohesion are important in a season like this. I assume, I mean, a season like this has never happened.
- The Mavericks have the 2nd most upperclassmen on their roster in the Summit League. Western Illinois has the most, and I dare you to look at the Leathernecks’ roster and not be confused.