Saturday, the Mavericks will have two separate senior days for men’s and women’s basketball. Both games we get to say goodbye to some truly great players. Whether it is on or off the court, these six seniors are going to go on to do tremendous things.
Not going to get too much into Erickson as we went through this last season.
Before being sidelined with an injury, he was expected to see a loss in playing time due to the returns of JT Gibson and Marcus Tyus, and the addition of Daniel Norl. The Mavericks really could have used Erickson’s energy in a few games where they seemed completely flat, as well as his scrappy defense. Mavs also missed his ability to take changes and get up and turn that momentum into nuclear energy.
Possibly, the most all-around basketball player that the Mavericks have ever had. His court awareness on defense and his ability to steal the ball in passing lanes, and on double teams changed the way offenses played against Omaha. It only took Hollins a year and a half to break the school record for career steals. He ranks in the top-10 in all time career assists and has the most career assists since the transition.
Hollins’ game against South Dakota State in Baxter Arena his junior year will go down as one of the greatest single game performances in Maverick history. The Jackrabbits were the top team in the Summit League at the time, and Hollins scored 28 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, dished 8 assists, recorded 4 steals, and had a huge block in the final seconds to help secure a 96-92 Maverick win.
He led the NCAA in steals in his junior year, and is currently 3nd in the NCAA in steals per game his senior year. His 93 steals on the season is tied for the most total on the year so far. Hollins is also currently tied in 3rd in Division 1 in assists per game, and is tied in 4th in total assists.
Hollins has potential to play basketball in Europe or the NBDL, but it is unclear if either of those possibilities truly interest him. Either way, Hollins is going to find himself in a fantastic situation and be very successful.
One of the most efficient and explosive players the Mavericks have ever had. When you first see Tyus, it is probably easy to think he is just a one dimensional player that hangs out behind the 3 point line and waits for guys to pass to him. He is far more than that. Tyus is great at finding space and blowing by his defender to get to the basket for points in the paint, and he has a deadly mid-range game as well.
All the time in athletics, we see players get injured and end up seeing the unexpected teammate come in and fill the shoes to be a catalyst for the team’s confidence in that time of need. Tyus’ coming out party, may have been in his sophomore season when senior Justin Simmons sat down with an injury just one minute into the game against South Carolina State. Tyus was only averaging 7 points per game on the season at that point, but he came in when the Mavericks needed him most and scored 24 points off the bench on 8-of-13 shooting.
There is no doubt that the Mavericks missed Tyus in 2015-2016. Without his shooting, the Mavericks were one of the worst three point shooting teams in the Summit League last year, but are 1st in three point field goal percentage in conference play in 2016-2017. The Mavericks struggled to score the ball at times with him on the bench as a senior. There was no player more important to their offense in 2016-2017…maybe his back court senior teammate Hollins. They probably tie actually.
Over time, Tyus has improved as a defender, and part of that came with having a bigger players on the court so he wasn’t always forced to defend guys that were 4+ inches taller than him.
He’s proven to be one of the best scoring guards in the history of the Mavericks. With at least 2 games to go in his senior season, Tyus is 2 three point field goals away from tying the 5th most threes in a season by a Maverick, this is the most threes made by a Maverick in a season since transition. He’s also 38 points away from being in the top 10 all time for Mavericks in scoring.
Your first thoughts when you heard Michaela Dapprich was transferring to UNO from Wichita State were most likely positive. Probably the same excitement you get every time Christopher Nolan released a trailer for a new Batman film.
A Missouri Valley Conference Honorable Mention Player wants to come play basketball at UNO? Sweet.
It was like over night there was hope that Mikaela Shaw and Remy Davenport would have a consistent third threat on offense. In 2013-2014, the Mavericks had Paige Frauendorfer, Jamie Nash, and Carolyn Blair-Mobley as a dangerous Big 3. Now, Maverick fans had a feeling that we could have that same type of threat in 2016-2017.
It seemed to take Dapprich a bit to find her stride with the Mavericks. She struggled as the Mavericks struggled with their difficult non-conference schedule, but came around to find consistency on offense when the team got to conference play, in a competitive year for the Summit League.
In conference play, Dapprich is currently 6th in points per game, 5th in 3 point field goals made and 3 point field goal percentage, and 5th in overall field goal percentage.
You would never expect her teammate Mikaela Shaw to take a possession off, but you could feel comfortable as a Maverick fan that if Shaw was struggling, that Dapprich could take over. Dapprich is also not afraid of the big shot and looks to score in clutch moments when the Mavericks need the ball the most.
The only thing you regret about Michaela Dapprich joining the Mavericks is that it makes you really wish we had more time with her.
Lujan is one of those special players that does not need stats to make a difference in a basketball game. Her will and hustle is enough to swing possessions in the Mavericks favor. When the Mavericks needed a spark off the bench in her senior season, Lujan was not shy to provide such a spark. She was one of the best Mavericks in her junior and senior years with the team at boxing out and taking away rebounds when needed.
Plain and simple, the Mavericks will never have a player like Shaw ever again. As a true all around talent, she will leave a legacy at UNO as arguably the greatest women’s basketball the university has ever seen.
Shaw came to Omaha during a difficult time for the Mavericks. They were already in transition and moving through a coaching change in her freshman season with an entirely new roster. She has seen a revolving door of teammates on her rosters and she remained with the program.
Her freshman season was filled with moments that had you thinking she was going to be an all time great.
A rare talent on offense, Shaw has probably spent some time at every single position for the Mavericks. She’s one of the best players you’ve probably ever seen at picking her spots and playing with or without the ball. Watching her on offense is similar to watching Batman in The Dark Knight secretly tying up all of the SWAT team members so he can push them over the ledge to go get a one-on-one with the Joker. She systematically runs through every member of the defense to find her spots for open shots.
Shaw will leave UNO as the greatest.
A nerdy thing I like to do is keep track of the career and class rankings for the era after transitioning. Though a young history, here are where these seniors rank respectively.
2nd Marcus Tyus 1272
7th Tra-Deon Hollins 753
20th Kyler Erickson 198
7th Marcus Tyus 313
9th Tra-Deon Hollins 283
20th Kyler Erickson 97
1st Tra-Deon Hollins 385
6th Marcus Tyus 158
14th Kyler Erickson 43
1st Tra-Deon Hollins 220
4th Marcus Tyus 117
18th Kyler Erickson 24
9th Tra-Deon Hollins 20
15th Marcus Tyus 12
21st Kyler Erickson 5
3 Point Field Goals
1st Marcus Tyus 161
8th Tra-Deon Hollins 54
15th Kyler Erickson 27
1st Mikaela Shaw 1731
7th Michaela Dapprich 376
22nd Abi Lujan 182
1st Mikaela Shaw 880
4th Abi Lujan 290
17th Michaela Dapprich 119
2nd Mikaela Shaw 303
10th Abi Lujan 59
13th Michaela Dapprich 49
2nd Mikaela Shaw 136
9th Abi Lujan 42
12th Michaela Dapprich 37
4th Mikaela Shaw 49
9th Abi Lujan 14
12th Michaela Dapprich 11
3 Point Field Goals
7th Michaela Dapprich 49
9th Mikaela Shaw 42
17th Abi Lujan 19