THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Friday, Nov. 9
Utah Valley State at IUPUI 2 p.m.
Albion at Oakland 5 p.m.
Kansas City at Seton Hall 7:30 p.m.
Fort Wayne at Auburn 7 p.m.
Northern Illinois at Omaha 7 p.m.
Valley City State at North Dakota State 7 p.m.
South Dakota State at Alabama 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 10
Wabash at Western Illinois 7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 11
Oakland at Louisiana-Lafayette 4 p.m.
Saint Mary at Omaha 6 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 12
# North Dakota State at 1/1 Indiana 7 p.m.
% IUPUI at 5/5 Michigan 9 p.m.
# Legends Classic
% NIT Season Tip-Off
WHERE TO SEE THE SUMMIT
Upcoming national television appearances
South Dakota State at Alabama Fri., Nov. 9 9 p.m. ET ESPNU
IUPUI at 5/5 Michigan Mon., Nov. 12 9 p.m. ET ESPNU
THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN COLLEGE BASKETBALL
The college basketball world's best kept secret the past few seasons, The Summit League has been flying "under the radar" when it comes to achievements that place it firmly among the most-discussed "Mid-Major" conferences. The Summit League is a national pace-setter for improved performance and attendance over the past three seasons. Of the 31 Division I conferences from 2010-12, The Summit League boasts the nation's largest ranking improvement in D-I winning percentage (+13 positions), RPI (+10) and average attendance (+4) and the third-highest average tournament attendance increase (+7). The Summit League is the ONLY conference in the nation to record top-three improvements in each category.
Those staggering numbers illustrate the recent rise of The Summit League, which finished the 2011-12 campaign 12th in average tournament attendance, 16th in both RPI and winning percentage and 17th in average attendance. Since 2009-10, The Summit League is the lone conference to improve its RPI by five spots in consecutive seasons and move up at least four positions each year in winning percentage.
South Dakota State's Nate Wolters finished the 2011-12 campaign averaging 21.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game to join an exclusive group. He became just the fifth player in NCAA history to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in a season. Wolters was one assist shy of reaching an even more select group with a 20-points, six-assist and five-rebound average, a feat achieved by only two players in NCAA history.
NCAA players who have averaged 20 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds in a season
Nate Wolters (South Dakota State), 2011-12 21.2 ppg 5.9 apg 5.1 rpg
Norris Cole (Cleveland State), 2010-11 21.7 ppg 5.3 apg 5.8 rpg
Evan Turner (Ohio State), 2009-10 20.4 ppg 6.0 apg 9.2 rpg
Ricky Minard (Morehead State), 2003-04 21.8 ppg 5.1 apg 7.3 rpg
Speedy Claxton (Hofstra), 1999-2000 22.8 ppg 6.0 apg 5.4 rpg
MODEL OF EFFICIENCY
The Summit League held the top spot in overall statistical efficiency, placed first in three additional categories and second in another according to the KenPom.com final 2011-12 rankings for league games. Overall, The Summit League ranked among the nation's top half in seven categories.
Efficiency 107.3 1st Tempo 65.5 15th
Effective FG% 52.9 1st Turnover % 18.6 28th
Off. Reb % 29.1 28th FTA/FGA 30.0 15th
Block % 6.9 32nd Steal % 9.3 19th
3PA/FGA 30.8 30th A/FM 53.0 22nd
3P% 37.9 1st 2P% 51.1 1st
FT% 73.3 2nd
South Dakota State's Nate Wolters represents The Summit League as one of 30 national candidates on the men's basketball Senior CLASS Award list. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
PUNDITS' PRESEASON PLAUDITS
The national media has made several Summit League mentions in preseason rankings and lists. A sampling of the recognition ...
• CollegeBasketballTalk.com placed South Dakota State No. 4 in its Mid-Major Power Rankings
• Athlon Sports placed SDSU's Nate Wolters fifth in its list of the nation's top scorers
• Athlon Sports ranked Oakland's Greg Kampe No. 20 in its ranking of best mid-major coaches
• ESPN.com included Wolters in its Top 10 "Best of the Best" point guard ranking
• CBS Sports Line ranked Wolters at No. 71 in its list of Top 100 players
• Lindy's Sports listed Wolters as the nation's No. 10 point guard and as an "off the beaten path" player who may catch fans' eyes this season
Summit League teams will take on four of the top five teams in the both the USA Today/ESPN Coaches and Associated Press preseason polls. North Dakota State plays top-ranked Indiana, Kansas City faces both No. 2 Louisville and No. 4 Ohio State, and IUPUI meets No. 5 Michigan. In total, Summit League teams will see seven different teams in the USA Today Preseason Coaches Top 25. NDSU's game at Indiana marks the eighth time, and first since 2009-10, that The Summit League has faced an AP No. 1.
WHO'S WHO OF WHO'S BACK
The Summit League returns several top talents in 2012-13, led by South Dakota State's Nate Wolters, who last season became just the fifth player in NCAA history to average 20 points, five assists and five rebounds per game in a season. Also of note ...
• Wolters and Fort Wayne's Frank Gaines (both at 21.2 ppg) rank as the NCAA's fourth and fifth returning scoring leaders, giving The Summit League the only duo among the top six
• Oakland's Travis Bader returns the NCAA's top three-point field goals made per game figure (3.44)
• Western Illinois' Ceola Clark III owns the No. 2 three-point field goal pct. (46.2) among returnees
A WINNING TOURNAMENT
The Summit League recently announced a contract extension that will keep its Basketball Championships in Sioux Falls, S.D., through 2017 with an option for another five years thereafter. During that time, Sioux Falls will become the longest consecutive single-site location in league history (six years). In 2015, The Summit League Basketball Championships will move into the city's brand-new 12,000-seat Denny Sanford Events Center. In its initial four years in South Dakota's largest city, The Summit League's marquee event has been ultra-successful. Below is a snapshot of the record-breaking figures.
• The Summit League's top-four all-time total attendance figures (men's and women's) have been achieved in the four seasons in Sioux Falls (2009-12)
• 2012 men's total attendance was third-highest all-time and the best total in two decades
• 2012 men's championship game attendance was fourth-best and highest in 18 years
• The Summit League ranked No. 12 nationally, fourth among traditional mid-majors, for overall men's tournament attendance in 2012
RECORD-SETTING NATIONAL EXPOSURE ON TAP
The Summit League's list of 2012-13 men's basketball broadcasts marks the largest offering in league history. At least 40 games will appear on national television with dozens more available via Internet, regional television and satellite packages. A landmark agreement with Fox College Sports providing 26 Summit League matchups to a national cable audience buoys the television offerings, which include:
• All 14 men's and women's tournament games will be nationally-televised for the second consecutive season
• The ESPN Family of Networks will air both championship games with the women's set for 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU and the men's title game on either ESPN or ESPN2 at 9 p.m. ET
• ESPNU will televise three prime time games beginning with defending tournament champion South Dakota State at Alabama on opening night (Nov. 9) and including IUPUI at Michigan on Nov. 12 and Oakland at West Virginia on Dec. 19
• ESPN3 will feature an additional five games against ACC, Big East and Big Ten opponents. As many as five more contests will air on the Big Ten Network
2011-12: A SEASON FOR THE AGES
Just how good a year was it for The Summit League in 2011-12? Consider the following …
• An all-time best final RPI ranking (No. 16), peaking as high as No. 11 mid-season
• Highest home attendance in league history (350,653) and record tournament attendance (40,290)
• Most teams (five) in postseason play and deepest run in national postseason tournament
• One of only two leagues with multiple participating teams to post perfect records in nationally-televised BracketBuster games
• Winning percentage of .500 or better against 15 of the 17 mid-major conferences
• Most season victories and highest winning percentage on record against both Division I and all non-league competition
• Record two teams among the top 19 in the season's final Mid-Major Top 25 poll
• First NCAA scoring champion (Oakland's Reggie Hamilton)
• National-best three Lou Henson Award (Mid-Major Player of the Year) finalists
• Accounted for 31 percent of the NCAA's top 13 scoring leaders and 27 percent of players averaging 20 or more points/game
• Responsible for 16 percent of the NCAA's top 31 individual game scoring totals
• Record four first team NABC All-District selections and three Academic All-District honorees along with the most AP Honorable Mention All-America selections in nearly two decades
Three of the past four Summit League Players of the Year were on NBA training camp rosters this season. George Hill (IUPUI), the 2008 Player of the Year, remains a key member of the Indiana Pacers and is in his fifth NBA season. Hill started his NBA career as a first-round draft choice of the San Antonio Spurs in 2008, where he spent his first three seasons. Keith Benson (Oakland), the 2010 and 2011 Player of the Year, was on the Atlanta Hawks roster after the team drafted him in the second round in 2011. Dominique Morrison (Oral Roberts), the 2012 Player of the Year, was on the New Orleans Hornets roster. Historically speaking, The Summit League has produced several NBA players in its history ...
• A trio of former Summit Leaguers competed in the NBA during 2011-12 including: Benson (Warriors), Hill (Pacers) and Larry Owens (Nets)
• The league's most famous player was Kevin Duckworth, who was a two-time All-Star (1989, 1991)and the NBA's Most Improved Player (1988), during his 11-season career
THE NAME GAME
In three decades of Division I basketball, The Summit League has produced several recognizable names through its history. Among them are ...
• Dick Bennett: Successful head coach at Wisconsin-Green Bay, Wisconsin and Washington State
• Tony Bennett: Academic All-American of the Year, former NBA player, current Virginia head coach
• Bryce Drew: Synonymous with "The Shot" in the 1998 NCAA Tournament, former NBA player and current Valparaiso head coach
• Homer Drew: Legendary head coach at Valparaiso and current Director of Athletics
• Kevin Duckworth: 11-year NBA center and two-time all-star selection
• Winston Garland: Seven-year NBA point guard for five different teams
• Jim Les: Seven-year NBA sharpshooter, former Bradley head coach and current UC Davis head coach
• Ken "Mouse" McFadden: All-America guard led "Cinderella" Cleveland State to Sweet 16 in 1986
• Charlie Spoonhour: Colorful former head coach at Missouri State, Saint Louis and UNLV
Tony Bennett, Bryce and Homer Drew, and Kevin Duckworth joined Keith Benson, Caleb Green and George Hill on The Summit League's list of Top 30 Distinguished Contributors as selected during the 30th Anniversary season in 2011-12.
The 2013 NCAA Tournament marks the 15th anniversary of The Summit League's most iconic moment and one of the most famous in history. Valparaiso's Bryce Drew hit the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer to upset Mississippi in the first round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament and propel his team to a "Sweet 16" run. Since then "the shot" has been a fixture on annual tournament coverage. There have been several memorable moments in Summit League history before and since. Among the most notable are ...
• Cleveland State shocking Indiana in the 1986 NCAA Tournament en route to a Sweet 16 run
• Missouri State upsetting Clemson in the first round of the 1987 NCAA Tournament
• Northern Iowa eliminates Missouri on a three-pointer in final second of 1990 NCAA Tournament
• Green Bay topples Jason Kidd and Cal in the 1994 NCAA Tournament
• Oral Roberts knocks off No. 3 Kansas in an early-season upset to open the 2006-07 season
• Oakland hands No. 7 Tennessee its first loss of the 2010-11 season and wins rematch in 2011-12