THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Wednesday, Jan. 2
Navy at Fort Wayne 7 p.m.
Savannah State at Western Illinois 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 3
* Omaha at Oakland 7 p.m.
* North Dakota State at South Dakota 7 p.m. (Midco Sports Net)
* South Dakota State at Kansas City 7 p.m. (KSMO)
Saturday, Jan. 5
* Omaha at Fort Wayne 2 p.m.
Oakland at Alabama 3 p.m. (ESPN3/CSS)
* South Dakota State at South Dakota 4 p.m. (Midco Sports Net)
* North Dakota State at Kansas City 5:15 p.m. (KSMO)
* IUPUI at Western Illinois 7 p.m.
* denotes Summit League game
SEE THE SUMMIT
Upcoming national and regional broadcast appearances
Thu., Jan. 3: North Dakota State at South Dakota (8 p.m. ET, Midco Sports Net)
Sat., Jan. 5: Oakland at Alabama (4 p.m. ET, ESPN3/CSS)
South Dakota State at South Dakota (5 p.m. ET, Midco Sports Net)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Lawrence Alexander, North Dakota State
18.0 ppg, 6.0 apg, 2.0 rpg, 1.0 spg, .600 FG%
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
Thursday, Dec. 27
* IUPUI 88, Fort Wayne 74
* Western Illinois 73, Oakland 63
Saturday, Dec. 29
* South Dakota 95, Omaha 72
* Oakland 84, IUPUI 62
25/NR Kansas State 52, Kansas City 44
* Western Illinois 62, Fort Wayne 50
* North Dakota State 65, South Dakota State 62
Monday, Dec. 31
25/NR Kansas State 70, South Dakota 50
* Omaha 77, Kansas City 65
Tuesday, Jan. 1
Maryland 81, IUPUI 63
* denotes Summit League game
Three Summit League teams are among the top 125 in RPI (rpiratings.com as of Jan. 2) - North Dakota State at No. 40, South Dakota State at 88 and Oakland at 125 ... North Dakota State's Marshall Bjorklund leads the nation in field goal percentage (69.6) in this week's NCAA statistical rankings ... Omaha closed out 2012 by notching its first Summit League victory, a 12-point victory over Kansas City on New Year's Eve ... Western Illinois is riding a seven-game win streak and is off to its best start in Division I (dating back to 1982-83).
PAIR OF TEAMS RANKED IN MID-MAJOR TOP 25
For the fourth consecutive week, two Summit League teams are ranked in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll. North Dakota State vaulted eight spots in this week's rankings to a season-best No. 14 position. South Dakota State, who has been ranked in the top 16 the entire 2012-13 campaign, dropped to a season-low No. 16 spot. Western Illinois is on the cusp of breaking into the top 25 rankings and leads teams who are also receiving votes.
South Dakota State's victory at previously unbeaten and No. 16 ranked New Mexico on Dec. 22 was significant in a number of ways. It marked SDSU's first victory over a ranked opponent at the Division I level and gave The Summit League its first win over a ranked team this season. The Jackrabbits jumped to No. 86 in the Dec. 24 RPI ratings (rpiratings.com) after a No. 157 ranking one week earlier. The Summit League also benefitted by moving up four spots, from No. 23 to No. 19 in the RPI ratings.
ICONIC SUMMIT LEAGUE UPSET AMONG NCAA'S ALL-TIME MADNESS MOMENTS
Bryce Drew's 1998 game-winning shot as time expired that lifted Valparaiso to a first round upset of Mississippi has been selected as one of 35 All-Time Madness Moments by the NCAA. Fans can vote for the iconic Summit League upset to help determine the top moment in the 75 Years of March Madness.
DENVER BECOMES NEWEST SUMMIT LEAGUE MEMBER
The University of Denver accepted an invitation to become The Summit League's newest member institution, the university and league announced on Nov. 27. Denver will join The Summit League during the 2013-14 academic year after its membership takes effect on July 1, 2013. The Pioneers, who compete in men's and women's basketball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's tennis, and women's volleyball, will be immediately eligible for all Summit League Championships during the 2013-14 season.
SUMMIT LEAGUE BASKETBALL eSOURCE
The Summit League rolled out a new comprehensive electronic resource that contains all the necessary men's and women's basketball information for the 2012-13 season titled The Summit League Basketball eSource. Intended as an all-in-one season-long reference, the eSource enables media and fans access to information formerly housed in the league's media guide and almanac publications with easily navigable links to updated links to current information such as statistics, standings, schedules/results and The Summit League's weekly release. Be sure to view the eSource by clicking on the button on thesummitleague.org.
South Dakota State's Nate Wolters enters the week on pace to become the first player in NCAA history to average 20 points, five assists and five rebounds in two separate seasons. In 2011-12, he averaged 21.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game and was the fifth to achieve a 20-5-5 season. Wolters' 2012-13 pace would allow him to reach an elite group with a 20-points, six-assist and five-rebound average, a feat he missed by just one assist in 2011-12 and has been 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), 2012-13 20.5 ppg 5.6 apg 6.2 rpg
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
*through Jan. 1
A pair of Summit League teams own significant active streaks through Jan. 1. South Dakota State has won 26 consecutive home games, one shy of equaling The Summit League record held by Cleveland State from 1984-85 to 1986-87. The Jackrabbits trail only Syracuse (32) and Kansas (29) for longest current home-court winning streak. Oakland has made at least one three-pointer in 751 consecutive games (dating back to 1987-88), a streak that ranks seventh in the nation behind UNLV, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Duke, Western Kentucky and Arkansas.
South Dakota State's Nate Wolters represents The Summit League on three prominent national award lists. The senior is included among candidates for two most prestigious honors, the John Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy. He is also one of 30 national candidates on the men's basketball Senior CLASS Award list, honoring student-athletes who have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
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
The Summit League has nine foreign players on team rosters as the 2012-13 season begins. South Dakota leads the way with three players while South Dakota State and Western Illinois each have two and Kansas City and Oakland one. Canada has the highest representation with three players on followed by England with two. Australia, Bahamas, Kosovo and Portugal are also represented.
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
• 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 four 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, Fort Wayne at Notre Dame on Dec. 17 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
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.
Recent Summit League ranking improvements
Net gain over previous season '10-11 '11-12 3-Year Change RPI +5 +5 +10
D-I Winning Percentage +9 +4 +13
Average Attendance E +4 +4
Tournanment Attendance +5 +2 +7
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
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
THE ASSOCIATION AND D-LEAGUE
Three of the past four Summit League Players of the Year are currently playing in the NBA or D-League this season. George Hill (IUPUI), the 2008 Player of the Year, is 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 years. Keith Benson (Oakland), the 2010 and 2011 Player of the Year and former second round pick, plays for the D-League's Erie BayHawks while Dominique Morrison (Oral Roberts), the 2012 Player of the Year, is with the Iowa Energy. Both Benson and Morrison were on NBA training camp rosters. Rounding out The Summit League's D-League contingent is Ron Howard, who played three seasons at Valparaiso from 2003-04 through 2005-06. 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 former 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. Other notables 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