Men's Basketball Notebook (Final Edition)

North Dakota State 80, Oklahoma 75 (OT)  - March 20, 2014 (NCAA Tournament First Round)
North Dakota State 80, Oklahoma 75 (OT) - March 20, 2014 (NCAA Tournament First Round)

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POSTSEASON RESULTS
Summit League Championship (Sioux Falls, S.D.)

Saturday, March 8 (Quarterfinal)
    (2) Fort Wayne 85, (7) IUPUI 47
Sunday, March 9 (Quarterfinals)
    (4) Denver 71, (5) South Dakota 55
    (3) South Dakota State 71, (6) Western Illinois 50
Monday, March 10 (Semifinals)
    (1) North Dakota State 83, (4) Denver 48
    (2) Fort Wayne 64, (3) South Dakota State 60
Tuesday, March 11 (Championship Game)
    (1) North Dakota State 60, (2) Fort Wayne 57

All-Tournament Team: Marshall Bjorklund, North Dakota State; Pierre Bland, Fort Wayne; Taylor Braun, North Dakota State (MVP); Luis Jacobo, Fort Wayne; TrayVonn Wright, North Dakota State.

NCAA Tournament
West Region (Spokane, Wash.)
Thursday, March 20 (Round of 64)
    (12) North Dakota State 80, (5) Oklahoma 75 (OT)
Saturday, March 22 (Round of 32)
    (4) San Diego State 63, (12) North Dakota State 44

College Basketball Invitational
Wednesday, March 19 (1st Round)
    Old Dominion 72 South Dakota State 65

CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament
Wednesday, March 19 (1st Round)
    Fort Wayne 97, Akron 91
    Omaha 91, North Dakota 75
Saturday, March 22 (2nd Round)
    VMI 106, Fort Wayne 95
Monday, March 24 (2nd Round)
    Murray State 86, Omaha 62


POSTSEASON AWARDS

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
    Taylor Braun, North Dakota State
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
    Garret Covington, Western Illinois
SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR
    Mo Evans, Fort Wayne
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
    Chris Udofia, Denver
COACH OF THE YEAR
    Saul Phillips, North Dakota State

FIRST TEAM ALL-SUMMIT
    Marshall Bjorklund (F), North Dakota State; Taylor Braun (G), North Dakota State; Jordan Dykstra (F), South Dakota State; Luis Jacobo (F), Fort Wayne; Brett Olson (G), Denver; Chris Udofia (F), Denver
SECOND TEAM ALL-SUMMIT
    Brayden Carlson (G), South Dakota State; Garret Covington (G), Western Illinois; Steve Forbes (F), Fort Wayne; Cody Larson (F), South Dakota State; TrayVonn Wright (F), North Dakota State
HONORABLE MENTION ALL-SUMMIT
    Lawrence Alexander (G), North Dakota State; Brandon Bos (G), South Dakota; CJ Carter (G), Omaha; Trevor Gruis (C), South Dakota; John Karhoff (C), Omaha
ALL-NEWCOMER
    Garret Covington (G), Western Illinois; Mo Evans (G), Fort Wayne; Steve Forbes (F), Fort Wayne; Cody Larson (F), South Dakota State; Khufu Najee (G), IUPUI
ACADEMIC ALL-LEAGUE
    Brandon Bos, South Dakota; Brayden Carlson, South Dakota State; Jordan Dykstra, South Dakota State; Marcus Heemstra, South Dakota State; Chris Kading, North Dakota State; John Karhoff, Omaha


NATIONAL HONOR ROLL

ASSOCIATED PRESS ALL-AMERICA
Taylor Braun, North Dakota State    hm

SENIOR CLASS ALL-AMERICA
Jordan Dykstra, South Dakota State    2nd

CAPITAL ONE ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA
Brayden Carlson, South Dakota State    1st
Jordan Dykstra, South Dakota State    2nd

COLLEGEINSIDER.COM HUGH DURHAM AWARD
Mid-Major Coach of the Year
Tony Jasick, Fort Wayne

COLLEGEINSIDER.COM LOU HENSON AWARD
All-America Team/Finalists
Taylor Braun, North Dakota State

Mid-Major Player of the Week
Dec. 16    Marshall Bjorklund, F    North Dakota State

SENIOR CLASS ALL-AMERICA
Jordan Dykstra, South Dakota State    2nd

SAMARITAN'S FEET BAREFOOT COACH OF THE YEAR
Saul Phillips, North Dakota State

NABC ALL-DISTRICT
District 12
Taylor Braun, North Dakota State    1st
Marshall Bjorklund, North Dakota State    2nd
Jordan Dykstra, South Dakota State    2nd



2013-14 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Nov. 11    CJ Carter, G    Omaha
                Mitch Patton, C    IUPUI
Nov. 18    Luis Jacobo, F    Fort Wayne
Nov. 25    Taylor Braun, G    North Dakota State
Dec.   2     Jordan Dykstra, F     South Dakota State
Dec.   9     Chris Udofia, F,     Denver
Dec. 16     Marshall Bjorklund, F    North Dakota State
                 Brett Olson, G    Denver
Dec. 23     Taylor Braun, G    North Dakota State
Dec. 30     John Karhoff, F     Omaha
Jan. 6       Garret Covington, F      Western Illinois
Jan. 13     Luis Jacobo, F     Fort Wayne
Jan. 21     Taylor Braun, G     North Dakota State
Jan. 27     Pierre Bland, G    Fort Wayne
                Taylor Braun, G     North Dakota State
Feb. 3      Jordan Dykstra, F    South Dakota State
Feb. 10    Brett Olson, G    Denver
Feb. 17    Taylor Braun, G     North Dakota State
Feb. 24    Chris Udofia, F    Denver
March 3     Jordan Dykstra, F     South Dakota State

COLLEGEINSIDER.COM LOU HENSON AWARD PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Dec. 16    Marshall Bjorklund, F    North Dakota State


THE SUMMIT LEAGUE BY THE NUMBERS

.559  |  Winning percentage vs. traditional Mid-Major teams '10-11 to present
2  |  Number of starting guards in the NBA during the '13-14 season
3 | All-time highest ranking for a Summit League team in the Mid-Major Top 25
(NDSU, 4/9-Final)
4 | Summit League teams in postseason play, tying all-time high for third consecutive season
10 | Record number of former Summit Leaguers in the NBA or D-League during the 2013-14 season
14  |  All-time best final Summit League ranking on in USA Today Sagarin Ratings
74.9 | National-best combined free throw percentage in league games
(KenPom.com)


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 ...

> RANKINGS
Final rankings and preseason expectations illustrated The Summit League's strength in 2013-14:
    • The Summit League achieved an all-time best position in the USA Today Sagarin Ratings (14th) during the season before finishing 16th. The Summit League also spent most of January occupying a record-high No. 14 spot in RPIratings.com and North Dakota State reached a league high at No. 24 during the first week of January. With a No. 18 final RPI, The Summit League posted a record third consecutive top 20 finishes.
    • At No. 3 in the final Mid-Major Top 25 poll, North Dakota State had the highest ranking in Summit League history. Fort Wayne, which reached an all-time high at No. 19 in the Feb. 3 poll, finished the year at No. 24.
    • The Mid-Major Top 25 preseason poll marked the first time multiple Summit League teams concurrently occupied top-10 positions with North Dakota State's at No. 6, the league's highest spot in 15 years of the poll, and Denver at No. 9, making the league one of three with multiple top-10 squads.
    • Denver (No. 5) and North Dakota State (No. 7) made The Summit League one of two leagues with multiple top-10 teams in NBCSports.com's preseason Mid-Major Power Rankings.
    
> RPI GAINS
    In a "snapshot" of the past six seasons (2009-14), The Summit League has made a +9 net gain in RPI rankings, placing 27-26-21-16-19-18 during that span. The league's RPI accomplishments include:
    • Three consecutive top-20 RPI finishes (2012-14) for the first time
    • The nation's 4th-best RPI ranking improvement (+4) from 2009-13
    • Achieving multiple top-100 teams in consecutive years ('12-13) and in three of the past five seasons

> MEASURING UP AGAINST ITS PEERS
    The Summit League has more than "held its own" against traditional mid-majors in recent history while compiling a(n):
    • .559 winning percentage over the past four seasons (2011-14)
    • League-record .500+ winning percentage for the fifth consecutive season (since 2009-10)
    • All-time best .620 clip during the 2011-12 campaign

> TOURNAMENT SUCCESS
    The Summit League Basketball Championships continue to build a reputation as one of the nation's best mid-major tournament environments with highlights including:
    • Nation's 2nd-highest increase (tie) in average tournament attendance ranking (+7), 2010-13
    • League records for total (m/w) attendance (44,868) and men's attendance (23,710) in 2013
       • Ranked 12th of 31 conference tournaments for average attendance in both 2012 and 2013
       • 3rd among traditional mid-majors and 6th outside "power six" for average attendance in '12 & '13
       • League's top-five total (m/w) attendance figures were achieved in the six seasons in Sioux Falls
      • Playing league-record 6th consecutive tournament in Sioux Falls in 2014
      • Moving into new 12,000-seat, $115 million Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls in '15 


NOTES

BEST IN SAGARIN
The Summit League recorded its best finish in the USA Today Sagarin ratings in 2013-14. The No. 16 ranking was up a remarkable eight places over the previous year and was one better than the all-time previous high set in 2006-07. For much of the 2013-14 season, The Summit League was ranked as high as No. 14.

THIRD TIME'S A CHARM
For the third consecutive season, The Summit League finished in the top 20 of the final RPI by RPIRankings.com, marking the longest streak in history. The final No. 18 position was up one spot over the 2012-13 season. In January 2014, The Summit League reached an all-time high at No. 14 in the RPI.

HISTORIC POSTSEASON
The Summit League tied its all-time high by sending four teams to the postseason with representation in the NCAA Tournament (North Dakota State), College Basketball Invitational (South Dakota State) and CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (Fort Wayne and Omaha). North Dakota State, Fort Wayne and Omaha each recorded victories, marking the first time in league history that three teams advanced in a single postseason. NDSU's win was The Summit League's first NCAA Tournament Round of 64 victory since 1998 while IPFW and UNO each hosted and recorded wins in the school's initial Division I postseason game.

SCHOLAR BALLERS
South Dakota State's Brayden Carlson (first team) and Jordan Dykstra (second team) were named to the Capital One Academic All-American team. The selection of Carlson, who has a 3.94 GPA in economics, and Dykstra, with a 3.71 GPA in biology/pre-dentistry, marks The Summit League's highest multiple player distinction in one season. Carlson is the third student-athlete in league history to earn first team honors. The 1983-84 season is the only other year in which The Summit League received multiple Academic All-American selections.

CLASS ACT
South Dakota State's Jordan Dykstra was named second team Senior CLASS All-American and was one of 10 finalists for the award presented to the top senior student-athlete with notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. He is the first Summit Leaguer named to a men's basketball Senior CLASS All-American.

LINE LEADERS
The Summit League had four of its eight teams ranked among the NCAA's top 33 free throw shooting squads. South Dakota State (11th at 75.6%), North Dakota State (16th at 75.1%) and South Dakota (17th at 75.1%) finished among the nation's top 20 with IUPUI (33rd at 74.2%) following. Omaha (not included because of NCAA reclassification) would have tied for seventh at 76.5% and given the league five teams in the top 35. Individually, Denver's Brett Olson ranked seventh in the NCAA with a 90.2 percent free throw clip and led a trio of Summit Leaguers in the top 50. As a whole, Summit League teams shot a national-best 74.9 percent from the charity stripe in league play this season.

MODEL OF EFFICIENCY
The Summit League ranked among the nation's top four in five KenPom.com statistical categories: free throw percentage (1st at 74.9), effective field goal percentage (3rd at 52.2), two-point field goal percentage (3rd at 50.8), three-point field goal percentage (4th at 36.7) and efficiency (4th at 107.5). The Summit League held the top spot in four KenPom.com statistical categories for league games in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. Below is a comparison of the '11-12 and '12-13 KenPom ranks:
Efficiency    106.0 in '12-13 (107.3 in '11-12)    3P%    37.4 in '12-13 (37.9 in '11-12)
Effective FG%    53.1 in '12-13 (52.9 in '11-12)    2P%    51.5 in '12-13 (51.1 in '11-12)

ACE MARKSMEN
The Summit League featured some of the nation's top marksmen in '13-14. North Dakota State's Marshall Bjorklund was the NCAA's active career leader with a .653 field goal percentage, .020 ahead of second-place. Among active D-I players, Denver's Brett Olson was second with a .910 free throw percentage. South Dakota State's Jordan Dykstra was eighth with a .445 career three-point percentage while Olson was ninth at .443.

THE COMPANY THAT YOU KEEP
North Dakota State's Marshall Bjorklund finished his career ranking fourth on the all-time NCAA Division I field goal percentage list. His 65.3 percent clip placed him ahead of NCAA legends Bill Walton (65.1), Lew Alcindor (63.9) and Akeem Olajuwon (63.9).

RECORD REBOUNDER
Omaha's Mike Rostampour pulled down a CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament record 21 rebounds in the Mavericks' CIT opening round victory over North Dakota. The total also marked a Summit League national postseason tournament record and tied for the seventh-highest figure in any game involving a league team.

COACHING FIRST
Fort Wayne's Tony Jasick was named the Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year, presented by CollegeInsider.com. It marked the first time that a Summit League coach received the honor presented annually to the top Division I mid-major coach in college basketball. The distinction also marked the first national award received by a Summit League coach.

IN THE ASSOCIATION
A record 10 former Summit Leaguers were on NBA or D-League rosters this season, led by the 2008 and 2013 Summit League Players of the Year in the NBA. Former first round pick George Hill (IUPUI '08) completed his third season as a starter for the Indiana Pacers while 2013 second-rounder Nate Wolters (South Dakota State '13) started 31 games played, including seven of his first nine as a pro, for the Milwaukee Bucks before a hand injury ended his rookie campaign. When their teams played Nov. 15, both Hill and Wolters were in the starting lineup and it marked the first NBA meeting of Summit League draft picks since the 1992-93 season. In the D-League, former Fort Wayne standout Frank Gaines, selected with the first pick in the second round of the 2013 Draft, was named Rookie of the Year by D-League Digest after averaging 22.4 points per game. He was joined by Damen Bell-Holter, Moses Ehambe, Ron Howard, Trey McKinney Jones, Larry Owens, and Charlie Westbrook on March active rosters. Reggie Hamilton played in the D-League earlier this season, bringing the Summit total to eight.

CONSTRUCTION BOOM
Half of The Summit League's eight current members will be playing in new or drastically renovated basketball facilities over the next few seasons. The Summit League Basketball Championships will also move into a new venue, Sioux Falls' Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, a $115-million, 12,000-seat facility, beginning in 2015. A snapshot of facility enhancements across the league and scheduled openings:
    •    IUPUI (opening in 2014): Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum, currently undergoing a $63-million renovation that will provide a 6,841-seat facility.
    •    North Dakota State (TBA): Renovation of the Bison Sports Complex site will be replaced by the Sanford Health Athletic Complex including the new 5,945-seat Scheels Center for basketball.
    •    Omaha (2015): The new UNO Community Arena, an $81.3-million project that will result in a 205,000 square foot facility with seating for approximately 7,500 spectators for basketball.   
    •    South Dakota (2016): The new Sports Performance Enhancement Facility includes a 6,000-seat arena for basketball as part of a $58.8-million multiple-building project.

FOOD FIGHT
South Dakota State claimed its second consecutive "Food Fight" title this season by raising over 25,300 pounds of food as part of The Summit League's annual "Food Fight" initiative. Each of the eight member institutions designated a home game to collect food and/or cash donations. For the fourth-straight year, the initiative extended to The Summit League Basketball Championships, where nearly 5,000 pounds were donated. The combined season effort totaled more than 58,800 pounds (over 29 tons) of food bringing the six-year total raised to over 278,000 lbs (139,000 tons).

THIS AND THAT
The Summit League had at least one victory against teams from 18 of 20 traditional mid-majors conferences played this season and a .500+ winning percentage against 13 of those conferences ... Western Illinois finished as national runner-up in the NCAA's 6th Fan contest ... Omaha's Justin Simmons advanced to the finals of the 2014 "State Farm Dark Horse Dunker"competition ... At 5'4", Denver guard Charles Webb was the shortest player in college basketball in '13-14.

GOLDEN WIN
North Dakota State made history with its 73-69 victory at Notre Dame on Dec. 11. The Bison recorded their first victory over a "power conference" team and only the second Summit League road win over an ACC foe. The triumph was the first by any Summit League team (including Mid-Continent Conference era) over Notre Dame.

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
The Summit League Basketball Championships were played at Sioux Falls Arena for the final time in 2014 before moving into the neighboring brand-new Denny Sanford PREMIER Center next season. The venerable arena, called a "classic barn" by ESPN, has been home to the league's record-setting tournaments from 2009-14. Memories from coaches, players, media and fans involved in the event were compiled for a feature story titled "Remembering the Old Barn" and published in this year's tournament program. A sampling of comments about the tournament atmosphere include:
    •    "For one week in Sioux Falls, we take an old-fashioned 50-plus year old arena and turn it into a heart-pounding, memory-making basketball wonderland." – Mike Huether, Sioux Falls Mayor
    •    "Very few mid-majors attract those kind of attendance numbers and excitement." – Terry Vandrovec, Sioux Falls Argus-Leader
    •    "The Sioux Falls Arena has the feel of a 'Hoosiers' movie to me ... When full, it's hard to find a more basketball-thrilling type of atmosphere." – Jeff Kolpack, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead

CLOSE CALLS
While facing the nation's ninth-strongest non-conference schedule (RPIratings.com) this season, Summit League teams were on the short end of numerous close games. Of the league's non-conference losses ...
    •      6 (9.5 percent of league total) were by one point
    •    11 (15.9 percent) by one possession (3 points or less)
    •    17 (27.0 percent) were decided by five points or fewer
    •    17 (27.0 percent) saw league teams leading at halftime
    •    17 (27.0 percent) saw league teams hold leads in the final five minutes
 
ORU RETURNS TO THE SUMMIT
Oral Roberts University becomes The Summit League's ninth full-time member in 2014-15. A member of the Mid-Continent Conference/Summit League from 1997-2012, ORU won six regular season men's basketball championships and three tournament titles. The Golden Eagles most successful run came from 2004-08 when they won four consecutive regular season crowns and three straight tournament titles (2006-08). During its 15 years in The Summit League, ORU won nine Commissioner Cups, awarded to the league's top overall athletics program, 91 league championships and 49 regular season crowns.

CRADLE OF COACHES
Four former Summit League men's basketball standouts served as Division I head coaches this season: Tony Bennett (Virginia), Bryce Drew (Valparaiso), Jim Les (UC Davis) and Greg McDermott (Creighton). The quartet, who all played when the league was known as the Mid-Continent Conference, had a 84-53 (.613) combined record with two regular season league championships and two NCAA berths. In 2012-13, the group posted a 91-45 (.669) record.

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.

POINTS OF PRIDE
The Summit League continues a successful renaissance with unprecedented achievement by its student-athletes, coaches and administrators. Among these recent "points of pride" are:
    • Five NCAA individual National Championships and six NCAA statistical titles in the past two years
    • Student-athletes selected for the NCAA's most prestigious honor, the Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship, and the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association Women's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year award in 2012-13
    • A No. 10 national conference ranking for women's track and field, an all-time best RPI in any sport with a No. 12 volleyball ranking, highest-ever softball RPI ranking (18th) and consecutive men's basketball top-20 RPI finishes for the first time during 2012-13 seasons
    • A total of 50 Academic All-Americans and 39 teams that received NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) honors since 2007
    • Alumni currently competing in MLB, the NBA, MLS and PGA Tour and seven Olympians who competed at the 2012 London Games


THE SUMMIT LEAGUE

In its fourth decade of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 120,000 at eight institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced eight NCAA Champions, 62 All-Americans and 50 Academic All-America selections. For more information about the league and its history, visit www.thesummitleague.org or follow on Twitter @thesummitleague.

REFERENCING THE SUMMIT
Preferred references for each of the eight Summit League institutions are as follows:

DENVER PIONEERS (also: University of Denver, DU)
    unacceptable: Denver University
FORT WAYNE MASTODONS (also: IPFW, Dons)
    unacceptable: Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne
IUPUI JAGUARS (also: Jags)
    unacceptable: Indiana-Purdue-Indianapolis
NORTH DAKOTA STATE BISON (also: NDSU)
    say it: BI-zun
    unacceptable: ND State, N. Dakota St., Bisons
OMAHA MAVERICKS (also: UNO, Mavs)
    unacceptable: Neb.-Omaha, UNOmaha, UN-Omaha
SOUTH DAKOTA COYOTES (also: USD, Yotes)
    say it: KI-yotes
    unacceptable: S. Dakota
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE JACKRABBITS (also: SDSU, Jacks)       
    unacceptable: S.D. State, Rabbits
WESTERN ILLINOIS FIGHTING LEATHERNECKS
(also WIU, Leathernecks)
    unacceptable: W. Illinois, Necks, Westerwinds
THE SUMMIT LEAGUE (also Summit League)
    unacceptable: Summit Conference

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 athletics. The story behind the origin of each member institution's name and its mascot can be found on the "What's in a Name?" section of thesummitleague.org.

TWITTER
Follow The Summit League via its three official Twitter accounts:
@summithoops (men's and women's basketball)
@thesummitleague (general)
@summitchamps (sport championships)