WEEKLY NOTEBOOK: No. 11
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The Summit League men's basketball season is in full swing and South Dakota State has moved to the top of the standings thanks to a four-game winning streak. The Jackrabbits dropped their opener, but have reeled off four in a row, including back-to-back road games last week at Denver and Purdue Fort Wayne. Omaha was the last to fall from the ranks of the unbeaten as the Mavericks fell to South Dakota this past Saturday.
JUCO All-American Douglas Wilson has been a driving force behind the Jacks' early success in league play. He's averaging 19.6 ppg in five league contests and his 31-point outing at Denver was a career-high and tops the single-game high for points scored in league play. Oral Roberts rebounded from an 0-2 start to pull even in league play with wins over NDSU and UND. Grad transfer Deondre Burns was the catalyst for the Golden Eagles, earning #SummitMBB Player of the Week honors after averaging 20.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, and 5.0 apg in those two wins.
Eight of the league's nine teams already have two wins to their credit and will look for more this week that is once again full of enticing matchups, including in-state rivalry matchups for the Dakota programs.
HIGH-POINT GAMES BY CLASS
Senior: Tyler Hagedorn, South Dakota (33 vs. Texas Southern, Nov. 15)
Junior: Douglas Wilson, SDSU (31 at Denver; Jan. 8)
Sophomore: Kevin Obanor, Oral Roberts (31 vs. Rogers State; Nov. 19)
Freshman: Noah Freidel, SDSU (28 vs. Omaha; Dec. 29)
HIGHEST SCORING AVERAGE BY CLASS
Senior: Tyler Hagedorn, South Dakota (18.2/g)
Junior: Douglas Wilson, SDSU (17.4/g)
Sophomore: Jase Townsend, DU (16.5/g)
Freshman: Max Abmas, ORU (14.5/g)
PROTECT OUR HOUSES
There are three Summit League teams that are currently unbeaten at home. Eight of South Dakota State's nine non-conference wins came at Frost Arena where the Jackrabbits have won 18 straight dating back to last season. The Jacks' current home winning streak is tied for the third-longest in NCAA Division I. Omaha also has a double-digit homecourt winning streak dating back to last season as the Mavericks have won 12 straight at Baxter Arena. Oral Roberts remained unblemished at home, improving to 8-0 this season after picking up back-to-back wins at the Mabee Center last week. In total, Summit League teams combined to go 43-10 on their home courts during non-conference play and four teams went undefeated. North Dakota rounded out the quartet with a 3-0 mark.
With a 77-54 victory over Niagara (Nov. 27), 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 (Nov. 16) 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, NORTH DAKOTA NET POWER-5 WINS
It had been nearly two years since a Summit League team had defeated a program from a "Power 5" conference, but Omaha and North Dakota both changed that during non-conference play. The Mavericks picked up the first one with an 85-77 victory at Washington State (Nov. 21). UND followed suit a month later, defeating Nebraska 75-74 (Dec. 21).
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.
AROUND THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Wednesday, January 8
Purdue Fort Wayne 77, Western Illinois 69*
Omaha 66, North Dakota 62*
SDSU 80, Denver 68*
Thursday, January 9
Oral Roberts 79, NDSU 73*
Saturday, January 11
Western Illinois 86, Denver 80*
South Dakota 91, Omaha 81*
SDSU 70, Purdue Fort Wayne 61*
Oral Roberts 88, North Dakota 73*
Wednesday, January 15
North Dakota at SDSU* (MSN2) 7:00 PM
South Dakota at NDSU* (MSN/E+) 7:00 PM
Thursday, January 16
Oral Roberts at Western Illinois* (E3) 7:00 PM
Saturday, January 18
Oral Roberts at Purdue Fort Wayne* 1:00 PM
Omaha at Denver* 1:00 PM
North Dakota at NDSU* (MSN2/E3) 2:00 PM
Sunday, January 19
SDSU at South Dakota* (MSN/E+) 3:30 PM
All times local to site | *Summit League game
NOTING THE PIONEERS
• The Pioneers dropped to 0-5 in league play after falling to South Dakota State at home on Wednesday and Western Illinois on the road Saturday.
• In Saturday's loss to the Leathernecks, a late 3-pointer by the home team stretched open what was a one-point deficit in the final minute.
• Sophomore Jase Townsend dropped a career-high 28 points in the loss at WIU, shooting 11-of-19 from the floor.
• For Townsend, it was his 12th-straight double-figuring scoring game and he now leads all Summit League sophomore in scoring at 16.5 ppg (fifth overall). He's upped that average to 21.8 ppg in league play (third overall).
• Senior Ade Murkey has a double-figure scoring streak one longer than Townsend at 13 games and is averaging 14.8 ppg this season and 15.0 ppg in league play.
NOTING THE FIGHTING HAWKS
• The Fighting Hawks continue a three-game road trip that will take them to Brookings on Wednesday to play SDSU and Fargo on Saturday to take on their in-state rivals.
• Senior guard Marlon Stewart enters the week as the top scorer in league play, averaging 22.3 ppg. He is averaging a league-best seven free throws made per game in league play.
• Stewart was held below 20 points for the first time in league play during an 88-73 loss at Oral Roberts on Saturday when he finished with 16 points.
• Sophomore Filip Rebraca posted his 11th double-digit rebounding game in a home loss to Omaha last Wednesday. He finished with nine points and 12 boards, falling a point shy of his 11th double-double.
NOTING THE BISON
• The Bison saw a three-game winning streak come to a close at Oral Roberts last Thursday, falling 79-73 to the Golden Eagles.
• NDSU starters scored 70 of those points as a late charge led by seniors Vinnie Shahid (25) and Tyson Ward (19) fell short.
• Shahid has scored 19 or more points in all three league games so far as the Bison prepare for home games vs. South Dakota (Wed.) and North Dakota (Sat.) this week.
• The preseason all-league pick is averaging 22.0 ppg in league play, which is up nearly six points from his overall average of 16.2 ppg.
• Ward has reached double figures in a season-high, eight-straight games and the Bison are 6-2 in those contests. He is averaging 20.7 ppg, giving NDSU two of the six players averaging 20-plus points in league action.
NOTING THE MAVERICKS
• The Mavericks saw a four-game winning streak and 3-0 start in league play come to a close Saturday at South Dakota, falling 91-81 to the Coyotes.
• Senior K.J. Robinson led the Mavericks with 20 points off the bench and also added 17 in a 66-62 road win at North Dakota on Wednesday.
• Omaha has one more road game in league play at Denver Saturday before it can return to Baxter Arena to a start a four-game homestand.
• The Mavericks are 8-0 at home this season and have won 14-straight at Baxter Arena dating back to the 2018-19 campaign.
• Junior Matt Pile is the only Summit League player currently averaging a double-double (11.5 ppg/10.4 rpg).
NOTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES
• The Golden Eagles pulled even at 2-2 in Summit League play with wins over North Dakota State (79-73) and North Dakota (88-73) last week.
• Grad transfer Deondre Burns earned his first #SummitMBB Player of the Week award (20.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 5.0 apg) for his play in those two victories.
• Burns shares the league lead (UND's Marlon Stewart) in assists during Summit League play at 5.3/g. He had a season-high nine in the win over UND.
• The Golden Eagles also got a boost from freshman Max Abmas, who averaged a team-best 24.0 ppg in those wins. He went 9-for-16 from beyond the arc and leads the league with 47 total makes from distance this season.
• ORU opens a three-game road swing in league play at Western Illinois on Thursday.
NOTING THE MASTODONS
• The Mastodons picked up a road win at Western Illinois on Wednesday before falling to SDSU at home on Saturday.
• Sophomore Jarred Godfrey went for 26 in the road win over the Leathernecks, but was held to 13 in the loss to the Jackrabbits. Godfrey is averaging 24.0 ppg in the Mastodons' two league wins so far.
• Purdue Fort Wayne made 11 3-pointers in its Summit League-opener -- a win over South Dakota, but the Mastodons have combined for just 15 in their last three contests, including a 4-for-26 effort against SDSU.
• The Mastodons have just one game this week -- a Saturday matchup with Oral Roberts in Fort Wayne.
NOTING THE COYOTES
• The Coyotes snapped a four-game losing streak by holding off Denver in its Summit League home opener last Sunday, then dispatched Omaha 91-81 on Saturday to leave no more unbeatens in league play.
• Preseason Player of the Year Stanley Umude took over the Omaha contest, scoring 14-straight points during one stretch in the second half, finishing with 27 points and seven rebounds.
• Senior Tyler Hagedorn carried the team in the win over Denver, finishing with 26 points. He added 19 against the Mavericks and finished the week 7-for-11 from beyond the arc (63.6 percent).
• Hagedorn (21.0 ppg) and Umude (20.0 ppg) join NDSU's Vinnie Shahid and Tyson Ward as the only teammates averaging 20-plus points in league play.
NOTING THE JACKRABBITS
• The Jackrabbits have reeled off four-straight wins since dropping their league opener at Omaha on Dec. 29.
• SDSU began its week with a 80-68 victory over Denver last Wednesday and got a career-high 31 points from JUCO All-American Douglas Wilson. The 31 points are the most by a player in a Summit League game this season.
• In their 70-61 win at Purdue Fort Wayne on Saturday, it was the sharpshooting of redshirt freshman David Wingett that led the Jacks to their second road victory in league play.
• Wingett went 6-for-9 from beyond the arc and scored 20-plus points for the first time in his career, finishing with 24.
• The Jackrabbits continue to pace all NCAA Division I schools in total rebounds with 792. SDSU is averaging a league-best 30.1/g on the defensive end.
NOTING THE LEATHERNECKS
• The Leathernecks snapped a three-game skid with an 86-80 victory over Denver on Saturday. • Sophomore Ben Pyle made a clutch 3-pointer in the final minute to secure the win and finished with a team-best 21 points -- a total that equaled his career-high.
• After going 1-for-10 from distance in his first two league games, Pyle went 9-for-16 last week and leads the league's qualified shooters in 3-point field goal percentage with a 46.7 clip.
• Pyle is one of three Leathernecks averaging double figures at 13.5 ppg.
• Junior Kobe Webster is leading that trio, scoring at 15.9 ppg clip. Webster has reached double figures in all five league games and had 17 in the win over the Pioneers.
• WIU continues to be one of the top teams in the country at protecting the basketball. The Leathernecks are only averaging 10.6 turnovers per game, which is sixth among NCAA Division I teams.
• Webster's 2.1 assist/turnover ratio is second-best among league players as he only has 27 miscues in 15 contests.