My trivial Summit League rankings: Jan 21 (also some interesting stats)

So I didn’t do this last week as I felt there really wasn’t much of a change in the rankings, but last week was a big week for the Summit League. I know you missed it last week.

1st – North Dakota State, 13-6 (4-1)

My last ranking: 2nd

Huge week for the Bison last week. They picked up 2 home wins, they beat South Dakota at home with a last second shot by Tyson Ward after drawing up an amazing play to get him a free lane to the basket for an easy layup.  Then they were able to bring back senior Jared Samuelson back into the lineup to help beat their in-state rival North Dakota.

Interesting stat: Vinnie Shahid has not missed a free throw in over a month.

2nd – Oral Roberts, 11-8 (4-2)

My last ranking: 6th

After dropping their two first conference games on the road, the Golden Eagles have won 4 in a row.  Including two beat downs on the road over Western Illinois and Fort Wayne.

Interesting stat: In non-conference games, Oral Roberts had the worst assist-to-turnover ratio in the Summit League. In conference games, Oral Roberts has the best assist-to-turnover ratio.

3rd – South Dakota, 12-8 (3-3)

My last ranking: 5th

The Coyotes came close to picking up a win in Fargo. With the game tied, Cody Kelley drove into the lane late in the game, but was called for a charge in just an awkward call. The play was awkward, he ran into a Bison player and fell to the ground while trying to make a pass to an open teammate.  The official seemed to even take a second to process what happened before making the call.

The Coyotes picked up a win against their in-state rival on Sunday, and shot 64% from the field. Holy schnitzels.

South Dakota has been struggling lately as they’ve been waiting for Triston Simpson to get back to playing at full strength.  Simpson was 8-of-9 from the floor against South Dakota State, so yeah, I’m thinking he’s back.

Interesting stat: Tyler Hagedorn is currently 3rd in division one in three point field goal percentage, shooting 55% on threes.

4th – South Dakota State, 14-8 (5-2)

My last ranking: 3rd

Their star player Douglas Wilson did not play against South Dakota. That won’t turn out well if he is out for an extended period of time. Senior point guard Brandon Key did come back in limited minutes against the Coyotes.

Interesting stat: The Jackrabbits have the most players averaging at least 10 points per game in Summit League play with 5 players at with least 11 points per game.

5th – Omaha, 10-10 (3-2)

My last ranking: 1st

Oh boy. A 3-of-17 performance from JT Gibson in a 15 point loss to Denver. The Mavericks are a young team, and typically young teams don’t do well on the road, so it’s a good thing the Mavericks will have 4 games in a row at home.  Unfortunately, 5 of their last 7 games will be on the road, and I’ve said it before, it is extremely important for the Mavericks to be in first place in the conference when they head to South Dakota State on February 8th.

Interesting stat: With 3 blocks at Denver, Matt Pile passed Tre’Shawn Thurman with the most career blocks since the Mavericks transitioned to Division 1.  Matt Pile, as of Tuesday, is currently tied for 20th in Division 1 in rebounds averaging 10.3 per game.

6th – North Dakota, 8-12 (2-4)

My last ranking: 4th

The Fighting Hawks have dropped 4 in a row, three of those games were on the road at Oral Roberts, Denver, and Western Illinois.  Now, they’ll have a chance to get back on the right track with home games against Western Illinois and Denver this week.

Interesting stat: North Dakota averages the most turnovers in the conference.  They are also ranked behind North Dakota State in every single statistical category except for rebounds…but the Bison do average a better rebounding margin.

7th – Fort Wayne, 9-11 (2-3)

My last ranking: 7th

The Mastodons’ two conference wins are against Western Illinois and South Dakota, who was inserting Triston Simpson back into the lineup after an injury.  The Dons are also the only team in the conference who haven’t really faced an injury issue this season.

Interesting stat: Usually one of the highest scoring offenses in the Summit League, the Mastodons are currently 9th in points per game, nearly 4 points less per game than Western Illinois.  The Mastodons are also last in field goal percentage, three point field goal percentage, and free throw percentage.  So it actually should not shock you that they average the most offensive rebounds in the conference play.

8th – Western Illinois, 5-11 (2-4)

My last ranking: 8th

I guess the Leathernecks have also yet to face a real injury to any of their players.

Interesting stat: Someone recently was telling me Brandon Gilbeck got so many blocks last season because he had so many opportunities as the Leathernecks were so bad at defense he had to erase all of their mistakes.  Currently in conference play, the Leathernecks give up the most points per game, have the worst defensive field goal percentage, and the worst rebounding margin.  It’s probably not good they also shoot the 8th worst field goal percentage on the offensive end.

9th – Denver, 5-15 (1-5)

My last ranking: 9th

Denver beat Omaha and I’m so furious I’m going to throw my laptop at someone!

There is chatter among Pioneer fans debating if Denver should let Rodney Billups ride out his contract through next season, or fire him at the end of this season.  I don’t think beating Omaha should help the argument for him not being fired, but it certainly doesn’t hurt it.

Interesting stat: Denver actually averages the 2nd least amount of turnovers in the Summit League, which is pretty remarkable for such a young team.  They do average the most fouls and send their opposition to the line more than anyone, though.

 

My trivial Summit League rankings – Dec 4

1. South Dakota State

The Jackrabbits have beaten two big conference teams, so it would be difficult to put them any lower than first right now.  They did play a horrendous game on Saturday against Missouri State.  Mike Daum was 3-of-14 from the floor, and it was one of the worst team performances I’ve ever seen out of the Jackrabbits.  At one point, I was wondering if the entire team was hungover.

2. South Dakota

The Coyotes really are a complete team.  They can play big, they can play small, they can defend, they can shoot.  Tyler Hagedorn has played extremely well to start the season averaging 13.5 points and 5 rebounds.  He’s outplayed Nebraska transfer Nick Fuller, which should show Nebraska fans how good they are at recruiting.  I’m being mean to Fuller, and I don’t like it.  I’ve always liked Fuller, he’s a smart player and does have some moves.  40 minutes of Hagedorn and Fuller won’t be fun for Summit League teams.  Hagedorn did have an embarrassing missed dunk against Duke, but oh well.

If I were a Coyote fan, I would just be worried how the team plays on offense when their point guard Triston Simpson goes to the bench.

3. North Dakota State

The Bison are 3-4, but their strength of schedule in RPI is ranked 42, at this point.  AJ Jacobson has been playing through injuries, but sophomore Tyson Ward and freshman Cameron Hunter have stepped up to make up the ground – which is just kind of North Dakota State’s thing.

The Bison really don’t have a point guard on the team, so they have been playing with Paul Miller at the point guard spot.  This could turn out really swell, or it could be a bad thing.  Miller may not be as comfortable in that spot as the Bison need him to be.  He is shooting 37% from the field, which is down from last season when he shot 45% from the floor.

4. Fort Wayne

The ‘Dons are beating the teams they’re supposed to beat, and keeping close against teams that are considered toss up games.  They arguably have the best back court in the league as Bryson Scott is efficiently scoring 23 points per game and John Konchar is still proving that he’s the best all around player in the Summit League.

Their front court, though.  I mean, they’re their.  Actually, maybe that’s why John Konchar averages 10 rebounds per game.

5. Denver

The Pioneers schedule hasn’t been overly difficult in comparison to other Summit League teams, but they did earn an impressive win over Wyoming.

Not much has changed in the Pioneers from last season.  They’ll play just a little bit smaller than last year, but not by much.  Their non-conference season has mostly been a Look At What Daniel Amigo Can Do theme.  Daniel Amigo has had 4 double-doubles in 8 games so far.

6. Western Illinois

Sure, the Leathernecks are 5-2, but they’ve played two non-D1 opponents, and they’ve only left the state of Illinois once so far.  They did shoot 60% against former Summit League team IUPUI, so that’s kind of cool.

While this team has had a few players really step up their games, it is hard to really gauge how good (or bad) this team is at this point.  The Leathernecks have a serious lack of depth with 5 players averaging more than 28 minutes per game.  Billy Wright played senior Dalan Ancrum every single minute of their double overtime loss to Miami (Oh), and he even played Ancrum in every single minute of a 70-45 loss to Iowa State.

Freshman Kobe Webster is fun to watch and can handle the basketball tremendously.

There, I said something nice about the Leathernecks.  I think this is the first time in 3 years.

7. Omaha

The non-conference season for the Mavericks could be summed up with one of these: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Mavericks have played in incredibly difficult schedule mostly on the road while trying to mold together so many new faces, as well as deal with injuries to Mitch Hahn and Renard Suggs, who has yet to play a game this season.

With no players receiving any preseason awards, Zach Jackson is putting together a case to make an All Conference team in the post season, and Lamar Wofford-Humphrey could be a candidate for Newcomer of the Year.  Is there a Most Improved Player Award?  I’m not sure and I’m not ambitious enough to look it up, but if there is one, KJ Robinson could be handed that award.

8. Oral Roberts

The Golden Eagles earned their first win of the season over a division one opponent on Saturday when they defeated 2-6 Arkansas-Little Rock on the road in double overtime.  The Golden Eagles have faced injuries and inconsistent play from newcomers while trying to figure out their newly assembled roster.

They have started playing with a bigger lineup with a starting front line of 6’9″ Albert Owens, 6’10” Javan White, and 6’8″ Emmanuel Nzekwesi.  In the win over Arkansas-Little Rock, White had 18 points and 20 rebounds.