Men's Basketball Weekly Notebook (Feb. 5)

Men's Basketball Weekly Notebook (Feb. 5)

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THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

Wednesday, Feb. 6
Kansas City at Houston Baptist    7 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 7
* North Dakota State at Oakland    7 p.m.
* South Dakota State at Fort Wayne    7 p.m.
* Omaha at Western Illinois    7 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 9
* Omaha at IUPUI    3 p.m.
* South Dakota State at Oakland    5 p.m.     [Fox College Sports / FS Detroit]
* South Dakota at Kansas City    5:15 p.m.     [KSMO]
* North Dakota State at Fort Wayne    7 p.m.

*Summit League game
All times are local

SEE THE SUMMIT  
#summitsaturdays (Jan. 26, Feb. 2, Feb. 16 & March 9 on Fox College Sports)
Upcoming national broadcast appearances
Feb. 9    South Dakota State at Oakland    5 p.m. ET    Fox College Sports (FS Detroit)
Feb. 14    IUPUI at South Dakota State    8 p.m. ET    Fox College Sports (Midco Sports Net)  
Feb. 16    Western Illinois at South Dakota State    5 p.m. ET    Fox College Sports (Midco Sports Net)   
                Oakland at Kansas City    7:15 p.m. ET    Fox College Sports (FS Detroit)     

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Feb. 4
Frank Gaines, Fort Wayne (32.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 3.0 spg, 2.0 apg, .579 FG%)
Drew Valentine, Oakland (14.0 ppg, 16.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.0 spg, .625 FG%)

LAST WEEK'S RESULTS

Thursday, Jan. 31
* South Dakota State 67, South Dakota 54
* Omaha 86, Fort Wayne 79
* North Dakota State 71, Kansas City 34

Saturday, Feb. 2
* Oakland 96, Omaha 81
* Western Illinois 68, IUPUI 59
* South Dakota State 88, Kansas City 57
* North Dakota State 65, South Dakota 46

* denotes Summit League game

TRIO IN MID-MAJOR TOP 25
For the fifth consecutive week, three Summit League teams are ranked in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll. North Dakota State and South Dakota State, ranked the entire 2012-13 campaign, occupy the No. 17 and 18 positions while league leader Western Illinois is up one spot to No. 20. The three ranked teams puts The Summit League in a tie for the most representation in the Mid-Major Poll.

SUMMIT POINTS
The Summit League enters the week at No. 18 in the Feb. 5 RPI (rpiratings.com) with four teams among the top 150 - North Dakota State (64), South Dakota State (66), Western Illinois  (133) and Oakland (146) ... Three student-athletes (South Dakota State's Brayden Carlson and Jordan Dykstra and Omaha's John Karhoff) were named Capital One Academic All-District honorees last week ... Forbes recently ranked the best college basketball coaches for the money and South Dakota State's Scott Nagy topped the Mid-Major list while Oakland's Greg Kampe was No. 17.

SUMMIT LEAGUE DRAWS PAIR OF BRACKETBUSTER TV GAMES FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR
For the second consecutive season, two Summit League teams will play nationally-televised games as part of the Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters series. North Dakota State travels to MAC leader Akron on Friday, Feb. 22 (7 p.m. ET on ESPN2) while South Dakota State plays at the OVC's Murray State Saturday, Feb. 23 (8 p.m. ET on ESPN2). The Summit League, which went 2-0 in TV games in last year's BracketBusters, is the lone league with televised primetime match-ups on consecutive nights.

SUMMIT LEAGUE FEATURES PAIR OF NCAA'S TOP MARKSMEN
The Summit League features two of the NCAA's top marksmen with the No. 2 active career leaders in both field goal percentage and three-point field goal percentage. North Dakota State's Marshall Bjorklund, the current national leader in field goal percentage (.707) this season, is second in career field goal percentage list at .675. South Dakota State's Jordan Dykstra owns a .479 career three-point percentage, also ranking second. Fellow Jackrabbit Nate Wolters ranks second in assist turnover ratio (2.35), free throws made (577), while placing third in points (2,056) and free throws attempted (720), fourth in field goals attempted (1,529) and fifth in assists (592). Oakland's Travis Bader ranks second in three point field goals per game (3.37), fourth in three point field goals made (317) and three point field goals attempted (774).  

MODEL OF EFFICIENCY
The Summit League holds the top spot in overall statistical efficiency, effective field goal percentage, three-point percentage and two-point percentage according to the KenPom.com 2012-13 rankings for league games. Last season, The Summit League also finished first in all four categories. Below is a comparison of current KenPom ranks (as of Feb. 4) with last year's final statistics:

Efficiency    107.0 (107.3 in '11-12)    1st    3P%    38.1 (37.9 in '11-12)    1st
Effective FG%    53.8 (52.9 in '11-12)    1st    2P%    52.1 (51.1 in '11-12)    1st

ELITE COMPANY
South Dakota State's Nate Wolters enters the week on pace to become the first player since the NCAA began keeping assists as an official statistic (1983-84) 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 could 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    20.8 ppg    5.6 apg    5.9 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 Feb. 4

WOLTERS WATCH
South Dakota State's Nate Wolters represents The Summit League on three prestigious national award lists. The senior made the midseason Top 25 list for the John Wooden Award and is among 20 finalists 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.

HOME COOKIN'
South Dakota State set a Summit League record with its 28th consecutive home victory on Feb. 2, surpassing Cleveland State's 27 from 1984-85 to 1986-87. The Jackrabbits trail only Syracuse (36) for longest current home-court winning streak in NCAA Division I.

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.

SIGNIFICANT GAINS
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.

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.

A WINNING TOURNAMENT
The Summit League extended its contract with Sioux Falls, S.D., during the fall and will continue its Basketball Championships there 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 Premier 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
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.
    •    ESPN2 will televise two Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters games with North Dakota State at Akron on Feb. 22 and South Dakota State at Murray State on Feb. 23, making The Summit League the only conference with nationally-televised prime time games on consecutive nights.        
•    ESPNU televised four prime time games with appearances by South Dakota State (at Alabama), IUPUI (at Michigan), Fort Wayne (at Notre Dame) and Oakland (at West Virginia).

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

THE ASSOCIATION AND D-LEAGUE
Three of the past four Summit League Players of the Year have spent time 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, played for the D-League's Erie BayHawks while Dominique Morrison (Oral Roberts), the 2012 Player of the Year, was 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.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS
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