Every year we as sports fans analyze teams in college sports in consideration to what players teams lost versus what they have coming back, and what they have potentially coming in. It is the easiest and the laziest way to determine who we think will be the best and worst teams. So before all of that starts, lets take a look at the players the Summit League has lost so far from the 2014-2015 season.
North Dakota State – The Bison won the Summit League championship for the second straight year, and they are only losing one player to graduation. So the lazy man will tell you that with only losing one player, they will probably go on for a three peat. No, no, no, we are talking about a potential eight peat here. That is a Bill Swerski’s Superfans reference. The problem with the They Won the Championship and Are Only Losing One Player argument is that the only player that they are losing was the best player in the entire league.
Lawrence Alexander – there is no doubt that it will be difficult for the Bison to make up for the loss of Alexander, the 2014-2015 Conference Player of the Year. Losing 19 points per game is no easy thing to lose, but we know players cannot stick around forever Senior to be, Kory Brown showed some moments of that he could be the guy to make up that loss, but the Bison won the Summit League the last two years behind a complete team effort, so they will have to band together again to continue their dominant run in the Summit League. They did pick up a commitment from Malik Clements, a 6’3″ junior college guard that will be a sophomore, who did at one time have an offer from the Mavericks. They also have still no player on their roster that is smaller than 6’3″.
Jake Showalter – After only playing 13 games and averaging 1.4 points per game, it is no surprise to see the guard from Wisconsin transfer out after his freshman year. With the addition of above mentioned Clements, Showalter was still probably going to be at the bottom of the rotation for the guards of the Bison.
South Dakota State – A team that only loses 2 players to graduation, but one player was an All Conference player and arguably the best post player in the league.
Zach Horstman – the senior was getting a lot of playing time before getting sidelined with an injury and being forced to miss two games against Omaha and IUPUI, this opened up more room for some of the younger guys to show off what they could do. Before missing those two games, Horstman had 5 (out of 17) games of scoring in double figures and did not have any afterwards. With lack of depth in the front court, the Jackrabbits had Horstman playing most of his time at the 4, but at 6’6″ and 205 pounds he was probably more in line to be playing the 3. The Jackrabbits will have Reed Tellinghuisen and Skyler Flatten to still pick up most of the time for Horstman, and both are very capable players. Not only that, but the Jackrabbits will have Nebraska native, Michael Daum to make up for the lost time at the 4 position, who redshirted in the 2014-2015 season.
Cody Larson – the perennial Lord of Jerkfaces and former First Team All Summit League player will definitely be tough for the Jackrabbits to make up. Sophomore to be Ian Theisen showed some strong moments of what could come in the future for the post game of the Jackrabbits, and the Jackrabbits have some pretty big expectations from Daum, but are they 9 double-doubles good? Are they 14 and 7 good? Yes, I just puked a little. I will be the first to admit it, and I have already mentioned variations of this before though, the Summit League was not stacked with really good post players this season. There was Larson, Steve Forbes, and Mike Rostampour as the top 3, and then a big drop off after that. Where was I going with this? Not entirely sure, I just started saying that and was hoping it would go somewhere. Maybe, just that the loss of Larson is not as big as it seems if no one else in the Summit League has a great post game.
Anders Broman – I remember coming out of high school, the Jackrabbits were incredibly excited about Broman. Every school sounds excited about every player coming out of high school though. It is not like Scott Nagy comes out to announce the players he signed and talks about his expectations of a few of them never developing and transferring out. Either way, Broman is on his way to Winthorp. Not sure his playing time was going to really increase his junior year playing behind Wisconsin transfer George Marshall, Jake Bittle, and Deondre Parks. Seriously, does that guard trio not scare you, especially with Tellinghuisen and Flatten also capable of playing the guard position?
Oral Roberts – The 2015-2016 does not look like anything the Golden Eagles are looking forward to on paper, but Scott Sutton has seen this and done this before.
Denell Henderson – the loss of Henderson will mean Oral Roberts will again not have much of a post game, but they have never been extremely reliable in their post game. Henderson averaged 3.5 points per game his junior year, before moving up to 8.8 points per game his senior year. Albert Owens averaged 3.8 points per game this last season as a freshman, so is it pretty safe to say Owens will just kind of take over that role. Yes, I based that off of very little. No offense to Henderson, but it is not a bunch to make up. Oral Roberts also has two freshman coming in that are taller than 6’7″, so there is really not a ton of fallout here.
Adrion Webber – I think Oral Roberts made the most appearances on ESPN3 out of all the Summit League teams last season. I watched most of their games, and I cannot remember Webber’s name ever being mentioned. He did score 9 on the Mavericks in their game in Tulsa, so it is possible I was too engulfed in anger to take in anyone’s name from the Golden Eagles during that game. Former Creighton guy, Darian Harris did see an increase in minutes toward the end of the year, I assume Harris is a guy that is capable of making up for the loss of Webber.
Korey Billbury – probably the biggest loss in the Summit League in terms of a guy transferring out. It sounded as if Billbury had issues off the court that forced him to leave, which is why it is not really a huge shocker that he transferred out. With Obi Emegano, I really thought these two had the chance to be the greatest guard combination in the Summit League for 2015-2016, but that will never be played out. He shot 13-19 against the Mavericks in Tulsa, that is why I cannot remember Webber’s name. On the court, he also averaged 14.4 points per game and led the Golden Eagles in rebounds with 7.4 per game. Billbury’s game will be a lot for the Golden Eagles to make up, but they did beat North Dakota State, Denver, IUPUI, and a CBI tournament game without him last season.
Dederick Lee – not a shocking loss for the Golden Eagles here. Former Maverick, Jalen Bradley will more than make up the loss for Lee.
Jabarr Singleton – another guy Bradley can make up for. Singleton did score 10 points in the Golden Eagles win over the Mavericks in Tulsa. Seriously, what the hell was going on in that game?
Bobby Word – an incredibly significant loss for the Golden Eagles. Known mostly for being a shooter, Word averaged 8.4 points per game as a sophomore. He also averaged 13.5 points per game after Billbury stopped playing, I cannot see Golden Eagle fans being super excited about losing both of those guys on the court. The Oral Roberts, are going to be a pretty young team this upcoming season.
IPFW – The Mastadons had high expectations at the beginning of the 2014-2015 season, and it was partially because of their senior trio of Joe Edwards, Steve Forbes, and Isaiah McCray, but with first year head coach Jon Coffman never really materializing the roster, and ultimately just seeming somewhat bored on the bench, the Dons fell below expectations. If their expectations were so high because of the players they lost, what are they going to be like next season without those guys? The Dons did sign three junior college players in an attempt to land some guys to be immediate impacts, so they could be the Magic 8 ball of the league in 2015-2016.
Joe Edwards – losing 12 points per game can be made up. The Dons picked up a 6’5″ junior college player, who at one time played at Alabama State, DeAngelo Stewart who averaged nearly 17 points per game and shot 47% from the field his sophomore year. He averaged 2 points per game as a true freshman at Alabama State, yes Alabama State is a real college.
Steve Forbes – some could argue that Forbes was the best post player in the Summit League, and really it was just because of his roundness and overall size. There was not much seen out of him from a leadership standpoint, just a Hey Lets Get Out There and Try Maybe and We Can Still Get Some Nuggets Afterwards Anyway mentality. I would have much rather had Mike Rostampour or Cody Larson as my team’s main post player last year, each guy had that leadership quality you are looking for. The Dons may have fell off the map because of how little Forbes seemed to give a shit. I watched their loss at South Dakota in March, and kept thinking that Forbes should have been dominating the Coyotes post. South Dakota’s James Hunter, who averaged 6 points a game, had 16 points in the game off of 8 of 12 shooting, because he actually cared about the game.
Kevin Harden – Kevin Harden was never the same after missing 21 games in 2012-2013 with an injury. His minutes kept dropping, his scoring kept dropping, he just fell out at IPFW. It is something that you hate watching happen, but it does happen.
Isaiah McCray – McCray was always capable of doing a lot of things at IPFW, he just never did a lot of things at IPFW. As one of the more inconsistent players in the Summit League, McCray may not be dearly missed by the Dons. They still have junior to be, Mo Evans (10.2 ppg), and senior to be Max Landis, who was on the Summit League All Newcomer team, to make McCray a forgettable player. The more I type, the more easy it is to understand why IPFW did not do as well as expected in 2014-2015.
Gage Davis – He did not play in 2014-2015.
Herbert Graham – everyone likes a guy named Herb, well except for the IPFW coaching staff apparently. In 3 years, he only played a total of 195 minutes at IPFW.
Jure Gunjina – he played in 243 minutes in his one year at IPFW before transferring to Division 2 Georgia Southwestern. Seriously, what has IPFW been doing the last couple of years.
South Dakota – I still feel like head coach Craig Smith did the most with the least in the Summit League in 2014-2015. The losses of Brandon Bos and Tyler Larson will be tough tough on the Coyotes, but Smith continues to bring guys in. He will have Iowa transfer Trey Dickerson and Air Force transfer Matt Mooney sitting out in 2015-2016, unless they get some form of waiver, but Smith is quickly turning South Dakota into the Transfer Here school in the Summit League, which instate foe South Dakota State cannot be too excited about.
Brandon Bos – It can be difficult to make up for someone who was a great shooter, but great shooters are all around the Midwest. And again, Craig Smith, he is no idiot. If you watched the game mentioned earlier with Steve Forbes full out not caring against South Dakota, you would have noticed Brandon Bos playing the game of his life scoring 29 points on 7 of 12 shooting, he also had 7 rebounds and 5 assists.
James Hunter – Hunter came into Vermillion from Washington State and did just enough to give South Dakota some form of a post game. He may have only averaged 6 points per game and 3.5 rebounds, but it is not like he was worthless. Without him, the Coyotes could of had Tyler Larson playing center. Smith will have Nebraska native Tyler Hagedorn and Minnesota guy Dan Jech to come in to fill in the post in 2015-2016, along with a core of upperclassmen guards, the Coyotes may actually have some expectations coming their way at the beginning of the year. Thanks a lot, Craig Smith.
Tyler Larson – at 6’3″ Larson averaged nearly 8 rebounds a game, and averaged 14.4 points per game. He could do a little bit of everything, which is what helped him land on First Team All Summit League team. Not to brag, but I think I called that one.
Adam Thoseby – The Coyotes lost one of the greatest beards that the Summit League has ever seen. Thoseby’s minutes were dropped significantly from his sophomore to his junior year, so it was no surprise to see him go.
Denver – Only graduating two players can be a good thing, but only graduating arguably your two best players can prove to be a headache. Losing your two best players and not doing nearly as well as anyone would have thought you would have done, that can lead to a mystery team next season. They will essentially be playing Clue on the court in 2015-2016. Now who scored the shot from the corner last game that started with a pump fake, and can they do it again?
Cam Griffin – Griffin had some off the court issues, which caused his playing time to fluctuate throughout the season. Fans do not miss these guys.
Brett Olson – averaging 14 points per game at a school like Denver, who runs the Princeton offense, is like losing a guy that averages 20 points per game at a different school. One of the best shooters and most disciplined players in the entire league will not be an easy thing to make up. Denver has never been a team for the stars though, they have been successful off of team efforts. Head Coach, Joe Scott, may actually prefer not to have a main scorer on his team. Either way, losing a 2nd team All Summit League player is not anything that anyone should ever be in love with.
Dorian Butler – the 6’6″ California native never played for the Pioneers.
Cameron Delaney – Delaney started to pick up some minutes toward the end of the 2014-2015 season, but it was not enough to convince the Texas native to stay. Delaney and Love could have really been a decent combo for the Pioneers in 2015-2016, but we will never know. Delaney is off to Sam Houston State, which is where all great players go.
Jalen Love – surprised to see him go, I really thought he would have been a guy that would have been used to make up for the loss of Griffin and Olson. But he is off to (Hello,) Newman.
IUPUI – There have been a ton of transfers in and transferred out with the Jaguars since Jason Gardner has taken over at IUPUI, which is not entirely abnormal. I am not really sure they will miss anyone that left, mainly because I doubt the staff has had enough time to learn everyone’s names. They have lost a lot of players, but they have been one of the worst teams in the Summit League, so it is not like the guys they bring in can be any worse. With 5 guys transferring out, you may want to assume that they were leaving because they see the incoming players as guys that are going to be better than them. 6 wins though in 2014-2015 is probably 6 more wins than most people assumed the Jaguars were going to get.
Player name, 2014-2015 stats
Khufu Najee – 6’4″, 190lbs…7.4 ppg, 3,1 rpg, 1.2 apg, 44% FG, 28-35 FTs, 6-22 3pters
DavRon Williams – 6’7″, 225lbs…8.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.7 blg, 57% FG, 58% FT
PJ Boute – 5’9″ , 160lbs, Junior…5.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.0 spg, 30% FG, 32% 3ptFG, 78% FT
Josh James – 6’9″, 225 lbs, Sophomore…3.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.5 bpg, 48% FG, 69% FT
Jalen McCallum – 5’9″, 160lbs, Sophomore…2.3 ppg, 0.1 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.6 spg, 56% FG, 2-3 FT
Elijah Ray – 6’6″, 232lbs, Sophomore…4.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.2 apg, 0.3 spg, 47% FG, 70% FT
Justus Stanback – 6’8″ 220lbs, Sophomore…2.4 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.2 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.2 bpg, 52% FG
Omaha – Another a team only graduating two players, but also losing their two best players. On top of losing their two best players, the Mavs top returning players; Devin Patterson, Marcus Tyus, and Jake White each had a significant number of injuries during the 2014-2015 season. If Jake White can get healthy, he and Tre’Shawn Thurman can hopefully make up for what the Mavs are losing in Rostampour on the court. Neither of them really seem to have the motor and intangibles that Rostampour brought to the Mavs however, not sure anyone does really. It is still possible that the Mavs could lose some players to transfer as they have yet to announce any players leaving. The Mavs will also have to learn to deal with more buzz in 2015-2016 as it is their first year being fully eligible for division one, and they will have a brand new arena. Oh, and we cannot forget the Taco Cannon prestige.
Graduated: – I am not going to talk a lot about them at this point, because I kind of already have…
CJ Carter – 2nd Team All Summit
Mike Rostampour – Honorable Mention All Summit
Western Illinois – Although the Leathernecks only went 3-13 against the Summit League in 2014-2015, they have to be pretty optimistic about 2015-2016, when they return their two top scorers, and one of those players was a 2nd Team All Conference player. Really Western Illinois does not lose much of anything, and a number of players on the team showed some flashes of being quality players. Really, I feel like the Leathernecks spent the entire 2014-2015 campaign as a way of waiting for the summer of 2015.
Mohammed Conde – led the Leathernecks in rebounding at 6 per game. The Leathernecks are bringing in two 6’10 freshman, so it is possible that they will not even notice the loss, or at least will fill in the loss pretty quickly. The Leathernecks really played from the outside-in, rather than the inside-out this season, so the post game was never really anything they relied on.
Remy Roberts-Burnett – I am not sure if he had some injuries or off the court issues, but his time decreased significantly this season and he missed 9 games this last season. I also do not want to be mean, but Western Illinois went 5-4 without him. They ended the season 8-20. Math.
Tyson Reynold – The 6’9″ junior from New York played a total of 14 minutes and scored 2 points for Western Illinois. Remember the fallen.
Kendall Rollins- Never played.