WEEKLY NOTEBOOK: No. 5
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Summit League teams capped November by going 12-3 against fellow Mid-Major programs during the final week of the month. Those dozen victories were highlight by Omaha capturing the Caymans Classic Mainland Tournament to improve its homecourt-winning streak to 10 going back to last year along with UND taking two of three at the FGCU Hilton Garden Inn Classic with double-figure victories over the host and Georgia Southern. Purdue Fort Wayne punctuated the impressive week by taking a 71-60 decision from Grand Canyon to give The Summit League back a 3-2 advantage so far in year two of the challenge series with the Western Athletic Conference.
SUMMIT LEAGUE MOVES AHEAD IN CHALLENGE SERIES WITH WAC
With Purdue Fort Wayne's 71-60 victory over Grand Canyon last Saturday, The Summit League moved ahead of the WAC 3-2 in year two of a challenge series created between the two leagues. The road team owns a 4-1 record with Kansas City, a team destined for Summit League membership next season, picking up the only home win with a 68-67 victory over Western Illinois. If anything, these first five games have been entertaining as two have been decided by a single point and another went into double-overtime. The Mastodons win over the Lopes was the only challenge-series game decided by double figures so far this season.
CLOSING IN ON A CENTURY
With a 77-54 victory over Niagara last week, Purdue Fort Wayne's Jon Coffman became the second Summit League coach this season to reach the century mark in career victories. Earlier this season, NDSU went 2-1 at the Islander Invitational and the Bison's second victory in Corpus Christi provided head coach Dave Richman with his 100th career victory at the school. The only other coach with at least 100 wins with his current team is Omaha's Derrin Hansen, who has reeled off 229 career wins at the helm of the Mavericks.
OMAHA NETS ELUSIVE WIN
It had been nearly two years since a Summit League team had defeated a program from a power conference, but Omaha changed that with an 85-77 victory at Washington State last Thursday. Purdue Fort Wayne was the last league team to accomplish the feat, knocking off Indiana on Dec. 18, 2017. Before the Mavericks win over the Cougars, almost eight years had passed since a Pac-12 team fell victim to a Summit League foe. SDSU got that win in December of 2011 when the Jackrabbits defeated Washington in Seattle.
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 edge Western Illinois 68-67 on Nov. 30 and also plays at South Dakota on Dec. 22 for the team's final non-conference matchup before embarking on its WAC schedule.
UPCOMING IN THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Tuesday, December 3
NDSU at Indiana State 4:30 PM
Omaha at Arkansas State 7:00 PM
Oral Roberts at Creighton (FS1) 7:30 PM
Jackson State at Denver 8:00 PM
Wednesday, December 4
Eastern Illinois at Purdue Fort Wayne 6:00 PM
Western Illinois at Evansville 6:00 PM
Thursday, December 5
SDSU at Montana State (PLUTO) 9:00 PM
Friday, December 6
Mount Marty at South Dakota 7:00 PM
North Dakota at Montana (PLUTO) 8:00 PM
Saturday, December 7
Purdue Fort Wayne at Illinois-Chicago 2:10 PM
NDSU vs East Tennessee State (MSN/E+) 7:00 PM
Sunday, December 8
Oral Roberts vs Haskell 2:00 PM
Omaha at Northern Arizona (PLUTO) 4:00 PM
Denver at UCLA (Pac-12) 4:00 PM North Dakota at Eastern Washington (PLUTO) 5:30 PM
Monday, December 9
Alabama State at South Dakota 7:00 PM
All times local to site
NOTING THE PIONEERS
• The Pioneers were out in California for just over a week and went a combined 1-3 in The Golden State.
• DU's victory was a 65-62 triumph over Cal State Fullerton.
• Freshman Robert Jones reached double figures in all three games of the Cable Car Classic hosted by Santa Clara, including a season-best, 16-point outing in the win over the Titans.
• Jones came off the bench in the Pios' first six games of the season but started the final two in Santa Clara. His 9.1 ppg average so far this season ranks third among league rookies.
• Senior Ade Murkey continues to lead Denver in scoring at 11.6 ppg and sophomore Jase Townsend is also chipping in with double-digit scoring at 11.1 ppg.
NOTING THE FIGHTING HAWKS
• UND snapped a four-game losing skid with an emphatic 115-50 victory over North Central College, then went on to take two of three contests at the FGCU Hilton Garden Inn Classic in Fort Meyers, Fla.
• The first of those victories in the Sunshine State was a 78-63 win over host FGCU that saw Filip Rebraca post first of two double-doubles in the tournament. He went for 17 points and 12 rebounds while adding five assists in the win.
• Rebraca picked up his league-leading fifth double-double of the season (16 pts, 14 rebs) in an 80-68 win over Georgia Southern.
• Senior Marlon Stewart also had a solid showing in Florida, posting back-to-back 20-point outings in the win over Georgia Southern and a 58-56 loss to Campbell on Sunday.
NOTING THE BISON
• The Bison went on the road for their only tilt last week, picking up a 70-53 win at Idaho.
• Cameron Hunter led a trio of NDSU scorers in double figures with 13 points off the bench.
• Senior Vinnie Shahid reached double figures for the fifth time in eight games, adding 12 points while sophomore Sam Griesel chipped in with 11.
• NDSU has a Tuesday afternoon affair at Indiana State before returning home to face East Tennessee State on Saturday. The Bucs are ranked No. 3 in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll.
• The Bison are one of two Summit League teams still receiving votes in that poll.
• NDSU played its last two games without Rocky Kreuser, who was averaging 8.0 ppg and 6.0 rpg through the first six games.
NOTING THE MAVERICKS
• The Mavericks opened last week by winning the Cayman Islands Classic Mainland Tournament with wins over Southern and Loyola (Md.).
• Senior J.T. Gibson surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career in the win over the Greyhounds becoming the 40th Maverick in school history to accomplish that feat.
• Junior Matt Pile posted double-doubles (his first two of the season) in those victories that saw Omaha extend its homecourt winning streak to 10 going back to last season.
• The Mavericks latest action came Sunday night at St. Mary's where the fourth-ranked team in the CollegeInsider.com poll pulled away for a 75-66 victory.
NOTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES
• The Golden Eagles had the week off and will get a boost tonight as Emmanuel Nzekwesi is expected to return against Creighton.
• The preseason all-league selection has missed the last three games after starting the season with four-straight, double-figure scoring contests (14.5 ppg; 7.8 rpg).
• In their last action, the Golden Eagles routed Southwestern Christian behind a 31-point, 10-rebound effort off the bench from reigning Newcomer and Freshman of the Year Kevin Obanor.
• Obanor, Nzekwesi, and newcomer Elijah Lufile are all averaging better than 7.0 rpg and the Golden Eagles are the top offensive rebounding unit in the league and rank fifth in the country in that category at 15.9 ppg.
• Freshman Max Abmas continues to pace all Summit League rookies in scoring at 14.4 ppg.
NOTING THE MASTODONS
• After a 2-5 start to the season, the Mastodons have reeled off three consecutive victories to get to the .500 mark in non-conference play.
• The second of those victories -- a 77-54 home win over Niagara -- secured head coach Jon Coffman his 100th victory at the helm of the program.
• Sophomore Jarred Godfrey averaged 22.5 ppg last week en route to capturing his first #SummitMBB weekly honors.
• Godfrey poured in a career-high 28 points in the Mastodons' 71-60 victory over Grand Canyon on the Lopes' home court.
• Brian Patrick (21) and Matt Holba (20) make up half of The Summit League players with 20 or trifectas this season.
NOTING THE COYOTES
• The Coyotes have dropped three of four after their 5-0 start.
• The lone victory in that four-game roadswing that went from Arkansas-to-California-to-Arizona-to-Washington came at Cal Baptist.
• The Coyotes gave up a 19-point, second-half advantage, but senior Tyler Hagedorn scored seven of his game-high 29 points in the closing four minutes as USD prevailed over the Lancers.
• USD nearly pulled off an upset at No. 22 Washington Sunday, but the Huskies closed the game on a 19-3 run over the final 5:39 to win by 20.
• Preseason Player of the Year Stanley Umude led the Yotes with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
• For Umude, it was his second-straight, double-double performance after going for 18 points and 14 rebounds in a 76-72 loss at Northern Arizona.
NOTING THE JACKRABBITS
• The Jackrabbits moved to 5-0 at Frost Arena with an 86-77 victory over Samford, pulling away late from the visiting Bulldogs thanks to a game-closing 7-0 run.
• JUCO All-American Douglas Wilson scored a season-high 30 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the victory to post his second double-double of the campaign.
• True freshman Noah Weidel added a season-best 20 points on 5-of-9 shooting to help dispatch the Bulldogs.
• SDSU closed the week at historic Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., but the Hoosiers were not kind hosts, holding the Jackrabbits to a season-low in points as Indiana posted a 64-50 win.
• Reserve guard Tray Buchanan was the only Jack to reach double figures in the contest, scoring 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
NOTING THE LEATHERNECKS
• The Leathernecks picked up a nice road win at Ball State, defeating the Cardinals 69-62 on Tuesday.
• Sophomore Zion Young had 15 points and 10 rebounds in the victory to register the first double-double of his career. He's averaging a career-best 15.4 ppg and is the only Leatherneck to reach double figures in all seven games this season.
• Classmate Ben Pyle scored a career-high 21 points in the team's next contest, but Kansas City edged the Leathernecks 68-67 thanks to a pair of late free throws.
• Pyle went 6-for-6 from the stripe in the contest and the Leathernecks were the top shooting free-throw team in the country entering the week.
• Pyle hasn't missed from the stripe this season (18-for-18) and WIU is 89-for-103 as a team (86.4). Young is second on the team with a 93.9 percent clip and has made 31-of-33 attempts.