#SummitWBB Weekly Notebook (Jan. 10)

Omaha women's basketball team
Omaha women's basketball team

Weekly Release (PDF)


UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Wednesday, Jan. 10
Mount Marty at SOUTH DAKOTA 7 p.m.
 
Thursday, Jan. 11
* NORTH DAKOTA STATE at ORAL ROBERTS 7 p.m.
* SOUTH DAKOTA STATE at DENVER 8 p.m.
 
Saturday, Jan. 13
* FORT WAYNE at SOUTH DAKOTA 1 p.m.
* WESTERN ILLINOIS at OMAHA 1 p.m.
* SOUTH DAKOTA STATE at ORAL ROBERTS 2 p.m.
* NORTH DAKOTA STATE at DENVER 2 p.m.
 
Tuesday, Jan. 16
Dakota Wesleyan at SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 7 p.m.
 
KEY
* Summit League game
All times Central

SCHEDULE SPOTLIGHT
Key contests this week center around one of the unbeaten teams in league play -- South Dakota State (2-0). The Jackrabbits have a tough road trip this weekend with contests at Denver (1-1) on Thursday and in Tulsa against Oral Roberts (2-1) on Saturday. The other league unbeaten team, South Dakota (3-0), hosts Fort Wayne (1-3) in its lone league tilt, while Western Illinois (2-1) travels to Omaha (0-3).

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ciara Duffy, South Dakota
So. // G // Rapid City, S.D.

Earned her second career Player of the Week honor after leading South Dakota to a pair of huge road wins ... Scored 21 points, grabbed nine rebounds (four offensive) and dished out five assists in the win at Western Illinois ... Tallied 16 points with four assists and two steals in a victory at North Dakota State ... For the week, averaged 18.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists per game, while shooting 61 percent (14-of-23) from the field and 60 percent (6-of-10) from three-point range ... The Coyotes sit atop the league standings with a 3-0 record


RISE OF THE SUMMIT

> POSTSEASON
• 3 national postseason tournament qualifiers for 9 straight years
• League teams have a 18-13 (.581) combined record the last 4 seasons 
• 3 national postseason tournament semifinal appearances the last 4 years
• USD became the first league team, men or women, in any sport to capture a national postseason tournament title (WNIT, 2016)

> RANKINGS
• Nation's 4th-best home attendance improvement (+9) since 2009-10
• Recorded a .559 (38-30) non-league mid-major win percentage in 2016-17
• Nation's best D-I win percentage improvement (+16) since 2009-10
• 2 teams finished 2016-17 year ranked in the Mid-Major Poll top-15

> RPI GAINS
• Nation's best RPI ranking improvement (+19) since 2009-10
• 3 top-20 RPI finishes in the last 4 years
• Four teams ranked in the Top-80 at end of 2016-17 season, an all-time league high

> MEASURING UP AGAINST ITS PEERS
• Owns a .500 winning percentage vs. traditional mid-majors since '11
• .500+ winning percentage vs. mid-majors 3 out of the last 6 years

PRESEASON POLLING

Rank    School (1st-place votes)    Pts.

    1.     South Dakota State (16)       380
    2.     Western Illinois (12)             372
    3.     South Dakota                       307
    4.     Oral Roberts                        238
    5.     Omaha                                185
    6.     North Dakota State               150
    7.     Denver                                143
    8.     Fort Wayne                          60

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
    Emily Clemens (G), Western Illinois

FIRST TEAM
   Allison Arens (G), South Dakota
   Morgan Blumer (G), Western Illinois 
   Emily Clemens (G), Western Illinois
   Madison Guebert (G), South Dakota State
   Macy Miller (G), South Dakota State
   Ellie Thompson (F), South Dakota State

SECOND TEAM
   Ciara Duffy (G), South Dakota
   Taylor Higginbotham (G), Western Illinois
   Faith Ihim (F), Oral Roberts
   Maria Martianez (F), Oral Roberts
   Taylor Thunstedt (G), North Dakota State

#MARCH2THESUMMIT

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:
 
• Set second-highest total attendance in '17 at 21,092
• The second quarterfinal session attendance of 9,419 in '17 was the second-higest all-time
• Set league single-session records in every round in '16 (QF, SF, Championship)
• Nation's highest session attendance in '15 (8,171 -- QF1)
• Average combined M/W total attendance in Sioux Falls era is 42,384 (5,298 per session)
• 8 best league tournament attendance figures all came in Sioux Falls
• Eclipsed previous all-time attendance record by 13% at new arena in 2015
• Played league-record 9th consecutive tourney in Sioux Falls in '17
• Average combined M/W total attendance in Sioux Falls era is 43,251
• Exercised contract option to remain in Sioux Falls through 2022

SUMMIT POINTS (NEWS AND NOTES)

NATIONAL RECOGNITION
A trio of Summit League standouts -- South Dakota's Ciara Duffy, South Dakota State's Madison Guebert and Western Illinois' Emily Clemens -- have been recognized on the national scene. All were named to the NCAA Team of the Week on separate occassions this season. Guebert was selected for the team on Nov. 29, Clemens on Jan. 3 and Duffy most recently on Jan. 10.
 
In addition, Clemens was named the National Player of the Week by ESPNW on Dec. 26.
 
NATIONALLY-RANKED? NO PROBLEM
Since the 2007-08 season, Summit League teams have pulled off 12 victories over Top 25 teams, including nine in the last five years. Below is the breakdown...
Team Date Rank Opponent
OU 12/2/07 21 Florida State
SDSU 12/9/08 25 Minnesota
OU 1/5/09 21 South Dakota State
SDSU 11/18/12 15 Nebraska
FW 12/1/13 18 Michigan State
SDSU 12/11/13 12 Penn State
SDSU 12/4/14 25 Arkansas
SDSU 12/15/15 15 DePaul
SDSU 3/19/16 19 Miami
ORU 12/4/16 12 Oklahoma
SDSU 11/24/17 23 North Carolina State
WIU 12/18/17 17 Stanford
 
WELCOME ABOARD
On Jan. 26, The Summit League officially announced the addition of the University of North Dakota as its 10th member. The Fighting Hawks will begin league play across 17 league-sponsored sports beginning with the 2018-19 academic year.
 
POSTSEASON SUCCESS
Summit League teams have a combined .581 (18-13) winning percentage in national postseason tournaments the last four years. This includes South Dakota's WNIT Championship title in 2016, South Dakota State's WNIT semifinal appearance (2014) and SDSU's NCAA Tournament win (2016). The Summit League has sent at least three teams to postseason play the last eight years. In 2015-16, each team representing the league in a postseason tournament won its first round game for the first time ever.
 
FAN FEST
Once again, the Fan Fest will return for the second consecutive season at The Summit League Championships in Sioux Falls this March. The Fan Fest will run March 3-4 (10 a.m.-9 p.m.) with free admission. It will include interactive games, band, cheer and dance performances, mascot appearances, merchandise and concession sales and much more.

FOOD FIGHT
The Summit League Food Fight, a league-wide community service initiative by the SAAC, continues for its 10th year in 2017-18. Each school is challenged to hold a food drive at designated games and the school that raises the most amount of food (measured in pounds) will be deemed the winner. Below are the designated women's basketball Food Fight games at each campus.
11/30 Omaha vs. Graceland
1/25 South Dakota State vs. South Dakota
2/3 South Dakota vs. North Dakota State
2/10 Omaha vs. Fort Wayne
2/24 Fort Wayne vs. South Dakota State
 
POWER FIVE WINS
Summit League teams have totaled four wins against 'Power 5' conference members this season. Those four, along with 13 the previous two seasons, have given the league 17 in the last three years.
 
RANKINGS, RANKINGS AND MORE RANKINGS
For the first time in Summit League history, three teams were ranked in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Preseason Top 25 Poll. Currently, South Dakota State sits in the No. 3 position followed by South Dakota at No. 24, while Western Illinois is receiving votes.

NANCY LIEBERMAN WATCH LIST
Western Illinois' Emily Clemens was named one-of-20 players on the initial Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List. It is awarded to the top point guard in the nation.
 
MYERS DRYSDALE AWARD WATCH LIST
South Dakota junior guard Jaycee Bradley was selected as one-of-20 players named to the preseason watch list for the Ann Myers Drysdale Award, presented to the nation's top shooting guard. 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

.576    Overall winning percentage for #SummitWBB teams against traditional mid-major programs

.590    Overall winning percentage for #SummitWBB teams in non-league games this season

3         Teams ranked in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll

14       The Summit League's current RPI according to RPIRatings.com


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.


ABOUT SUMMIT LEAGUE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League features men's basketball teams from eight member institutions: Denver, Fort Wayne, North Dakota State, Omaha, Oral Roberts, South Dakota, South Dakota State and Western Illinois with North Dakota becoming an official member for the 2018-19 season. In 2016-17, The Summit League raised its RPI for the third consecutive year, finishing with an all-time best No. 11 ranking. The Summit League has sent at least three teams to the postseason nine straight years with three postseason tournament semifinal appearances the last four years, while recording the nation's best Division I winning percentage improvement since 2009-10. Called "March's Best-Kept Secret" by USA Today, The Summit League Basketball Championships annually ranks as one of the most attended Division I conference tournaments. This season's event returns to the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., March 3-6, 2018. For more information about the league, "See The Summit" by visiting www.thesummitleague.org and following Summit League Basketball on Twitter @summithoops.

#SummitWBB