Wednesday, Jan. 3
*WESTERN ILLINOIS at SOUTH DAKOTA 8 p.m.
*SOUTH DAKOTA STATE at NORTH DAKOTA STATE 8 p.m. (ESPN3 / MidcoSN)
Thursday, Jan. 4
*FORT WAYNE at ORAL ROBERTS 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 6
*NORTH DAKOTA STATE at SOUTH DAKOTA 2 p.m. (ESPN3 / MidcoSN)
*FORT WAYNE at DENVER 3 p.m.
*SOUTH DAKOTA STATE at OMAHA 8 p.m.
*WESTERN ILLINOIS at ORAL ROBERTS 8 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 11
*SOUTH DAKOTA at FORT WAYNE 7 p.m.
*OMAHA at WESTERN ILLINOIS 8 p.m.
*DENVER at NORTH DAKOTA STATE 8 p.m.(ESPN3 / MidcoSN)
*ORAL ROBERTS at SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 8 p.m. (ESPN3)
All times Eastern
* Summit League game
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
EMMANUEL NZEKWESI, ORAL ROBERTS
So. // F // Trophy Club, Texas
Garnered his second career Player of the Week award, each coming in a three-week span ... Scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in victory over Omaha ... Shot 70 percent (7-of-10) from the field and added five assists and a steal in the win ... Led ORU to its first 1-0 start in league play since 2013-14
RANK AND FILE
The Summit League's (Jan. 3) position in national ranking metrics ...
RPI (rpiratings.com) 12
Sagarin Ratings 14
The Summit League was No. 12 in the Jan. 3 RPI rankings (RPIratings.com) as it seeks a seventh consecutive season with a top-20 finish. That position also marks the league's best since ending the 2015-16 campaign at No. 12.
PROTECT THIS HOUSE
Summit League teams have combined for a 47-6 (.887) home record this season with all eight teams above .500, including three undefeated squads. South Dakota State is 8-0, South Dakota 7-0, and Omaha 5-0 on their home court.
PACING THE NATION
The Summit League currently (Jan. 3) leads the nation in a pair of KenPom.com statistical measures: Efficiency (111.0) and Offensive Rebound Pct. (36.7). Last season, the Summit topped six categories, including all three shooting measures (FG%, 3P%, FT%) and efficiency, turnover pct., and tempo.
With a 20-point road win at Indiana on Dec. 18, Fort Wayne became the first Summit League team since 2011, and third overall, to defeat the same "power five" opponent in consecutive. The Mastodon victory margin was the largest against a Big Ten opponent since 1994.
B1G STAGE, B1G WINS
The Summit League has defeated Big Ten opponents in three consecutive seasons, dating back to the 2015-16 campaign. With South Dakota State's Nov. 21 victory over Iowa and Fort Wayne's Dec. 18 rout at Indiana, The Summit League notched multiple B1G victories for the second straight year.
TWO FROM THE FIVE
One week after its Big Ten victory, South Dakota State claimed a 99-97 overtime win at Mississippi Nov. 28. The Jackrabbits became the fifth Summit League team with victories over separate power five conferences in the same regular season and first since 2009. The seven-day duration between power five wins was the shortest for a Summit squad since 1998.
HE STOLE WHAT?
Oral Roberts' R.J. Fuqua totaled a school-record nine steals, tied for the NCAA season-high to date and fourth-most in Summit League history, in the season-opening victory.
BEST MID-MAJOR TOURNAMENT ATTENDANCE
The 2017 Summit League's Men's Basketball Tournament ranked seventh overall, best among traditional mid-major leagues, and increased its regular season average and ranking in the NCAA's 2017 attendance report. With an average attendance of 9,978 fans per session at its 2017 tournament, The Summit League's figure was best among the 22 traditional mid-major conferences. Overall, The Summit League moved up one spot from the previous year and trailed only the Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Big 12, Big East, and Pac-12.
TAKING ON THE BLUEBLOODS
A number of traditional powers and prominent teams are on The Summit League schedule this season. Eight games against preseason top-16 teams, including No. 1 and four of the top five, occur during a five-week stretch from Nov. 13-Dec. 21. Below is a list of the big names and big games (with preseason AP ranking).
Nov. 13: North Dakota State at (10) USC
Nov. 17: Omaha at (16) Louisville
South Dakota State at (4) Kansas
Nov. 22: Fort Wayne at (5) Kentucky
Dec. 2: South Dakota at (1) Duke
Dec. 5: South Dakota State at (7) Wichita State
Dec. 18: Omaha at (4) Kansas
North Dakota State at (3) Arizona
Dec. 19: South Dakota at (21) UCLA
Dec. 21: Oral Roberts at (15) Minnesota
KARL MALONE AWARD WATCH LIST
South Dakota State's Mike Daum was named to the 2018 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award Preseason Watch List, announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Named after Hall of Famer and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Karl Malone, the annual honor in its fourth year recognizes the top power forwards in Division I men's college basketball.
The Summit League announced the addition of the University of North Dakota as its 10th member last season. The Fighting Hawks will begin league play across 17 league-sponsored sports in 2018-19.
Oral Roberts achieved a "doubles" in its Dec. 16 win at FGCU. The Golden Eagles notched their second consecutive win against Mid-Majors Top-25 squads, besting the No. 12 Eagles after topping No. 12 Missouri State. Individually, ORU had a pair of players record double-doubles in the same game (Emmanuel Nzekwesi 's 24 pts/11 reb and Javan White's 25 pts/11 reb) for the first time since 2012-13.
RISE OF THE SUMMIT
As the college basketball world's best-kept secret the past few seasons, The Summit League enjoyed a historic 2015-16 campaign and continued its ascent last season. Recent achievements place it firmly among the top mid-majors ...
> RPI GAINS
• Currently holds highest position (No. 12) since end of the 2015-16 season
• Owns nation's best RPI gain (+8) from 2010-17
• Achieved 6 consecutive top 20 league RPI finishes ('12-17)
• Finished '15-16 at record-high No. 12 in RPI after peaking at No. 8 in Dec.
• Occupied 3rd-best mid-major RPI and had 8 of 9 teams in top 200 in '15-16
> MEASURING UP AGAINST ITS PEERS
• Owns a .575 winning pct. vs. mid-majors since 2010-11 season
• 8 consecutive years ('10-17) with .500+ winning pct. vs. mid-majors
• .716 win clip vs. mid-majors in '15-16 was a record by nearly 100 pct points
• Defeated multiple Big Ten teams in consecutive seasons (2016-17, '17-18)
• Has 3 teams receiving votes in current Mid-Major Top 25, including No. 10 & 15
• Currently No. 14 in Sagarin after all-time best No. 15 in final '16-17 ratings
• Led the nation in six statistical metrics in '16-17, according to KenPom.com
• Record two different teams received votes in national polls in '15-16
• Advanced teams in national postseason tournaments in 3 of past 4 seasons
• Won games across each of 4 tourneys (NCAA, NIT, CIT, CBI) over past 4 years
• Sent all-time high four teams to postseason 4 straight years ('12-15)
Everyone loves a success story and The Summit League Basketball Championships in Sioux Falls, called "March's best-kept secret" by USA Today in 2014, is one of the best in college basketball. Take a look at some of the numbers generated at what has become one of the nation's premier tournaments:
• Ranked 8th nationally with 9,165 fans per session in 2016 after placing 9th previous year
• Set 11 attendance marks in 2015 and broke 10 of those again in 2016
• Drew league record 11,235 fans at 2017 men's semifinal session
• Set league championship game attendance record with 10,188 in 2016
• Eclipsed previous all-time attendance record by 30% at new arena in 2015
• 4th highest mid-major tournament attendance average in '14
• 4th best net gain in tournament attendance average over past 5 years ('11-15)
• Played league-record 9th consecutive tourney in Sioux Falls in '17
• Exercised contract option to remain in Sioux Falls through 2022
• Average combined M/W total attendance in Sioux Falls era is 42,384 (5,298 per session)
• Top 3, and 4 of top 6, men's tournament figures have come in Sioux Falls
• Record run of 14 straight years in Sioux Falls ('09-22) tops previous high of 5
SIOUX FALLS ATTENDANCE FIGURES
2009-14 at Sioux Falls Arena
2015-pres. at Denny Sanford Premier Center
Session Avg High Champ Game Total
2009 4,421 5,986 3,804 17,682
2010 3,574 6,285 3,122 14,294
2011 4,483 6,436 2,105 17,931
2012 5,606 6,614 6,526 22,423
2013 5,928 6,704 6,544 23,710
2014 5,208 6,769 4,263 20,832
2015 8,903 10,153 9,033 35,612
2016 9,165 10,306 10,188 36,661
2017 9,978 11,235 9,441 39,912
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
The Summit League features the NCAA's most unique collection of one-of-a-kind nicknames among its member institutions. Within U.S. college athletics, three names are exclusively held by Summit League schools: Mastodons (Fort Wayne), Jackrabbits (South Dakota State) and Leathernecks (Western Illinois). In addition, the name Coyotes (South Dakota) is unique to NCAA Division I.
IN THE NBA
2008 #SummitMBB POY
Nate Wolters (South Dakota State)
2013 #SummitMBB POY
IN THE NBA G LEAGUE
Jalen Bradley (Oral Roberts)
Sioux Falls Skyforce
Taylor Braun (North Dakota State)
Salt Lake City Stars
2014 #SummitMBB POY
Tra-Deon Hollins (Omaha)
Fort Wayne Mad Ants