WEEKLY NOTEBOOK: No. 2
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The first week of the college basketball season saw a Summit League program win a regular-season tournament title and the league's two new head coaches survive unscathed with more daunting opponents on the horizon. South Dakota went out to Honolulu and swept the competition at the Outriggers Rainbow Classic to win that tournament while South Dakota State opened the Eric Henderson era with a 3-0 record and North Dakota won its first contest for Division I rookie head coach Paul Sather. All in all, the Summit League went 9-4 against Mid-Major competition and a bevy of newcomers showed they are going to be tough to handle when the calendar flips over in January and league play commences.
One of those newcomers, JUCO All-American, captured the first Player of the Week award of the season after averaging 21.0 ppg and 9.0 rpg for Henderson's club that picked up two wins at home and a road win in the Summit League/WAC Challenge.
SDSU PUTS THE SUMMIT LEAGUE UP 1-0 IN CHALLENGE WITH THE WAC
For the second-straight year, SDSU won its matchup in The Summit League/WAC Challenge. This time, it took double-overtime, but the Jackrabbits prevailed with a 93-91 victory over CSU Bakersfield. JUCO All-American Douglas Wilson scored a game-high 26 points and added 13 rebounds to lead the Jacks.
BRINGING BACK MOMENTUM TO THE MAINLAND
The 2019-20 Coyotes already achieved something they did not do during head coach Todd Lee's first season at the helm of the program and that is win three-straight games. Those three victories to open the season also netted USD the Outriggers Rainbow Classic championship as the Yotes defeated Pacific (72-62), host Hawai'i (81-75) and Florida A&M (85-82) over a four-day stretch. The regular-season tournament title is the first for a Summit League program since NDSU won the Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational in December of 2017.
CLOSING IN ON A CENTURY
A pair of Summit League coaches are closing on career win No. 100 at their current schools. North Dakota State's Dave Richman picked up win No. 98 on Monday as the Bison defeated Cal Poly. Purdue Fort Wayne's Jon Coffman picked up win No. 96 when the Mastodons defeated Manchester for their first win of the season.
KONCHAR MAKES NBA DEBUT
Former Purdue Fort Wayne standout John Konchar made his NBA debut for the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, Nov. 9. Konchar, who was a four-time, All-Summit League first team performer, played seven minutes off the bench, but did not record any statistics. Konchar is on a two-way deal with the Grizzlies and also plays for the Memphis Hustle in the NBA G League.
Before Kansas City officially rejoins The Summit League as a full-time member for the 2020-21 season, the men's basketball team will have matchups with a pair of current league members this season. Kansas City will entertain Western Illinois on Nov. 30 before traveling to South Dakota on Dec. 22 for the team's final non-conference matchup before embarking on its WAC schedule.
Kansas City athletics department officials announced in June of 2019 that this will be their final season in the Western Athletic Conference before returning to The Summit League where they were a member from 1994-2013.
UPCOMING IN THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Tuesday, November 12
North Dakota at Gonzaga 7:00 PM
Oral Roberts at Tulsa 7:00 PM
Denver at Utah State 8:00 PM
SDSU at USC (Pac-12) 9:00 PM
Wednesday, November 13
Miami (Ohio) at Purdue Fort Wayne 6:00 PM Tennessee-Martin at Western Illinois (E+) 7:00 PM
Omaha at Colorado State^ (MWC) 8:00 PM
Friday, November 15
NDSU at UTRGV$ (IDN) 5:00 PM
Oral Roberts at Iowa (BTN+) 7:00 PM
Texas Southern at South Dakota 7:00 PM
SDSU at Nebraska (BTN) 8:00 PM
Saturday, November 16
Western Colorado at Denver 2:00 PM
Stetson at Purdue Fort Wayne 6:00 PM
NDSU at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi$ (IDN) 6:30 PM
Sunday, November 17
NDSU vs. Stony Brook$ (IDN) 1:00 PM
North Dakota at Valparaiso 1:30 PM
Monday, November 18
SIUE at South Dakota 7:00 PM
All times local to site
NOTING THE PIONEERS
• The Pioneers split their opening two games of the season, falling 74-63 at Colorado State before posting a 74-62 win over Utah Valley in their home opener.
• Ade Murkey, the lone senior on the squad, opened the season with 18 points against CSU. It was the 36th double-figure scoring game of his career.
• Sophomore Joseph Lanzi scored a career-high 20 points in the win over the Wolverines. Lanzi went 8-for-9 from the floor and 4-for-4 from beyond the arc.
• DU travels next to No. 17 Utah State to face the Aggies on Tuesday night.
NOTING THE FIGHTING HAWKS
• The Fighting Hawks opened the Paul Sather era with an 86-61 victory over Crown College. Redshirt freshman De'Sean Allen-Eikens had 22 points in his debut and Filip Rebraca registered a double-double with 20 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. It was third of Rebraca's career.
• Allen-Eikens also added eight rebounds and six assists in the win over Crown.
• UND's next opponent will be a little tougher as the Fighting Hawks take on No. 8 Gonzaga Tuesday night in "The Kennell".
• In their last visit to Spokane two years ago, UND nearly pulled off the biggest upset in program history, taking the 12th-ranked Bulldogs to overtime before Gonzaga prevailed 89-83.
NOTING THE BISON
• After falling at Kansas State in the season opener, the Bison have picked up back-to-back wins, including a 74-67 victory in a Veterans Day matinee in Fargo.
• Senior Tyson Ward eclipsed the 1,000-career point plateau during a 21-point outing in the win over Mayville State. He became the 35th Bison to reach that mileston.
• Ward is averaging a team-best 15.7 ppg in the early going and is also pulling down 6.3 rpg.
• Classmate Vinnie Shahid scored a season-high 21 points to lead NDSU to a 74-67 win over Cal Poly on Veterans Day. The Bison trailed by three at the break, but outscored the Mustangs 44-34 in the second half.
• The Bison travel next to Corpus Christi, Texas where they will play three games in the Islander Invitational. The action starts Friday against UTRGV.
NOTING THE MAVERICKS
• The Mavericks have won back-to-back games after falling to Wichita State 68-54 on the road to open the campaign.
• Junior Matt Pile is averaging a double-double in the opening stretch of the season. He's scoring 14.3 ppg adding 10.3 rpg to pace the Mavericks in the latter category.
• Senior J.T. Gibson is leading a quartet of Mavericks averaging in double figures as he is scoring at 16.0 ppg clip. Junior Ayo Akinwole is chipping in 13.0 ppg and 6.0 apg while newcomer Zach Thornhill is adding 11.3 ppg.
• Omaha is off to play in the Cayman Islands Classic where the Mavericks will face Colorado State, Dayton and Washington State.
NOTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES
• The Golden Eagles made things interesting against in-state foe Oklahoma State before the Cowboys held on for an 80-75 victory on opening night.
• Newcomer Deondre Burns scored 21 points to pace ORU and matched that total with 21 more in the home win over Houston Baptist. The Little Rock transfer went 8-for-16 from the floor in both of those contests.
• True freshman Max Abmas has buried a league-high nine 3-pointers so far and is averaging 17.0 ppg for ORU.
• Senior Emmanuel Nzekwesi is also averaging 17.0 ppg in the eary going and had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds against the Cowboys.
• ORU is at cross-town rival Tulsa on Tuesday before traveling to Iowa to face the Hawkeyes on Friday.
NOTING THE MASTODONS
• The Mastodons are off to a 1-2 start, sandwiching losses at UNLV and Southeast Missouri State between a win over Manchester in their home opener.
• Sophomore Jarred Godfrey opened the campaign with back-to-back, 20-point performances. He scored 24 against the Rebels and added 20 in the win over Manchester, but was limited to just two points in a 79-78 loss to SEMO.
• Preseason All-League team member Matt Holba has reached double figures in all three contests and has made eight 3-pointers on 19 attempts so far. His 81 makes last season were tops among Summit League returners.
• The Mastodons have back-to-back home games this week against Miami (Ohio) and Stetson.
NOTING THE COYOTES
• The Coyotes won the Outriggers Rainbow Classic, picking up wins over Pacific, Hawai'i and Florida A&M.
• Preseason Player of the Stanley Umude paced USD in scoring at 18.7 ppg while fellow preseason all-league team members Triston Simpson and Tyler Hagedorn both averaged 17.0 ppg in Honolulu.
• Those three combined to go 18-for-29 (62.1) from beyond the arc in the three games and the Coyotes as a team finished at a 50-percent clip (26-for-52).
• Hagedorn, who missed all of last year with an injury, had 24 in the opening win against Pacific and added 23 in the win over Florida A&M.
• The Yotes return home for their next two games against Texas Southern and SIUE.
NOTING THE JACKRABBITS
• The Jackrabbits opened the Eric Henderson era with three-consecutive victories.
• The first two came at home as SDSU defeated UTRGV 70-57 in the opener and routed Peru State 86-58.
• Sophomore Matt Dentlinger posted career-highs in points (17) and rebounds (14) in the opener to register the first double-double of his career.
• JUCO All-American Douglas Wilson reached double figures in all three contests en route to earning Summit League Player of the Week honors.
• Senior Brandon Key, who did not play last season, had 15 points and six assists against UTRGV and 18 points and five assists against CSU Bakersfield. He averaged 6.3 ppg in a reserve role as a junior in 2017-18.
NOTING THE LEATHERNECKS
• The Leathernecks dropped their season opener at Indiana, falling to the Hoosiers 98-65. WIU led 15-14 midway through the first half, but IU closed out the final 10 minutes of the stanza 32-10 to put the game out of reach.
• Junior Kobe Webster led WIU with 18 points.
• Zion Young scored a career-high 24 points in a 77-75 setback to Stetson. Western Illinois led by six at the break, but the Hatters outscored the Leathernecks 51-44 in the second half.
• Young is the only Leatherneck to reach double figures in both early contests. He also had 12 against the Hoosiers.
• Western Illinois will go for its first win of the season Wednesday against UT Martin as the Leathernecks continue a four-game homestand.