#SummitMBB Weekly Notebook (Feb. 10)

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Full Weekly Release (PDF) | Watch The Summit League on ESPN3 | #March2TheSummit


THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

Wednesday, Feb. 11
    * Fort Wayne at IUPUI    7 p.m. (ESPN3)
Thursday, Feb. 12
    * South Dakota at Omaha    7 p.m.
    * Western Illinois at Oral Roberts    7 p.m. (ESPN3)
    * North Dakota State at Denver    7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 14
    * Western Illinois at Omaha    1 p.m.
    * North Dakota State at South Dakota State    4 p.m. (MidcoSN/ESPN3)
    * IUPUI at Denver    4 p.m.
    * South Dakota at Oral Roberts    7 p.m. (ESPN3)

UPCOMING GAMES

Wednesday, Feb. 11
    * Fort Wayne at IUPUI    7 p.m. (ESPN3)
Thursday, Feb. 12
    * South Dakota at Omaha    7 p.m.
    * Western Illinois at Oral Roberts    7 p.m. (ESPN3)
    * North Dakota State at Denver    7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 14
    * Western Illinois at Omaha    1 p.m.
    * North Dakota State at South Dakota State    4 p.m. (ESPN3/MidcoSN)
    * IUPUI at Denver    4 p.m.
    * South Dakota at Oral Roberts    7 p.m.

* Summit League game
All times local


LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
Thursday, Feb. 5
* Fort Wayne 84, South Dakota State 74
* Oral Roberts 78, IUPUI 68
* North Dakota State 64, Omaha 57
* South Dakota 75, Western Illinois 61

Saturday, Feb. 7
* South Dakota State 63, IUPUI 56
* North Dakota State 71, South Dakota 47
* Denver 88, Omaha 74
* Fort Wayne 75, Oral Roberts 69

* League game


PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Lawrence Alexander, North Dakota State
   24.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.5 spg, 62% FG, 58% 3FG
Max Landis, Fort Wayne
   23.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.5 spg, 72% FG, 50% 3FG, 94% FT


PRESEASON POLLING

Selected in voting by coaches, SIDs and media

Rank    School (1st-place votes)    Pts.
    1.    Fort Wayne (13)    450
    2.    Denver (12)    437
    3.    Oral Roberts    400
    4.    South Dakota State (1)    345
    5.    North Dakota State (4)    313
    6.    Omaha    245
    7.    Western Illinois    151
    8.    South Dakota    148
    9.    IUPUI    75

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
    Brett Olson (G), Denver
FIRST TEAM
    Lawrence Alexander (G), North Dakota State
    Garret Covington (G), Western Illinois
    Obi Emegano (G), Oral Roberts
    Steve Forbes (F), Fort Wayne
    Cody Larson (F), South Dakota State
    Brett Olson (G), Denver
SECOND TEAM
    Korey Billbury (G), Oral Roberts
    Brandon Bos (G), South Dakota
    Kory Brown (G), North Dakota State
    CJ Carter (G),Omaha
    Mo Evans (G), Fort Wayne


.550     The Summit League's winning percentage against traditional mid-major teams, 2010-11 to present

3          NBA Draft picks produced by The Summit League since 2008

9          National-best RPI gain in the past five seasons (2010-14)

16       All-time best final Summit League ranking in the USA Today Sagarin Ratings (2013-14)

23       North Dakota State's current home win streak, seventh-best among active NCAA streaks

21       Current (2/10) Summit League position in RPIRatings.com league rankings

84        Summit League Men's Basketball Graduation Success Rate (GSR) released by the NCAA for the 6-year period beginning 2007, a 17% increase since the 2004-10 data period

144      Total number of Summit League games in 2015, beginning Jan. 2, during the March to The Summit

5,208   Average session attendance at the 2014 Summit League Men's Basketball Tournament, a figure that ranked 14th nationally and fourth among traditional mid-majors


CAPITAL ONE ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT
Brandon Bos, South Dakota
Chris Kading, North Dakota State

#MARCH2THESUMMIT
"March to The Summit" was unveiled as the 2015 Summit League Basketball Championships slogan. The slogan is also incorporated into the official tournament website portal and as a Twitter hashtag. Since Jan. 21, all 18 Summit League men's and women's basketball teams have been wearing "March to The Summit" shirts in their colors prior to games through the remainder of the season.

Full tournament information can be accessed by using the following url:
summitleague.org/March2TheSummit. Followers of The Summit League's official Twitter sites  – @thesummitleague, @summithoops, and @summitchamps – are encouraged to use the hashtag #March2TheSummit.

FOOD FIGHT
he Summit League's Food Fight is in its seventh season and each institution has again designated a home game to collect food and/or cash donations. During the first six years, over 139,000 tons was raised. South Dakota State is the two-time defending champion for annual collections. The event will extend to The Summit League Tournament for the fifth-straight year. Upcoming games include:
    Feb. 7    North Dakota State (vs. South Dakota)
    Feb. 12    Denver (vs. South Dakota State)
    Feb. 14    South Dakota State (vs. North Dakota State)

NATIONAL AWARD WATCH

• Khufu Najee, IUPUI
Senior CLASS Award
FINALIST

• Lawrence Alexander, N. Dakota St.
Lou Henson Award (Mid-Major POY)
Watch List

THIS AND THAT
Two Denver players, Nate Engesser (2nd at .453) and Brett Olson (6th at .443), rank among the NCAA's top-six active career leaders in three-point field goal percentage ...  IUPUI head coach Jason Gardner was the 2002-03 Naismith National Player of the Year while at Arizona ... Omaha's CJ Carter scored 45 points Jan. 18 vs. IUPUI, the NCAA's second-highest season total and fourth-most of any intraleague game in Summit history ... Oral Roberts' 6'7" forward Denell Henderson also competes in rodeo.

POSTSEASON
The Summit League sent an all-time high four teams to the postseason in each of the past three seasons. In 2014, the league had a record three teams advance in the postseason: North Dakota State (NCAA), Fort Wayne and Omaha (CIT).

IN THE ASSOCIATION
A record 10 former Summit Leaguers were on NBA or D-League rosters last 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.

INSIDE THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Hosted by Tom Nieman, "Inside The Summit League" is a 30-minute weekly sports television magazine that includes highlights, news and features from The Summit League and its nine member institutions. 
   For listings in your area: thesummitleague.org/itsl
   To watch online: thesummitleague.org/itsl/watch

EXPONENTIAL GROWTH
The Summit League tripled its national game schedule and nearly doubled its audience reach with more than 60 games available on ESPN3 this season. View at www.thesummitleague.org/espn

CONSTRUCTION ZONE
Four of nine Summit League men's basketball teams, plus the league tournament, will open new or drastically renovated facilities over the next few seasons:
    IUPUI    '14-15  //  Summit    '14-15  //  UNO    '15-16  //  USD    '15-16  //  NDSU   '16-17

FINAL FOUR CO-HOST
IUPUI is serving as a co-host for the 2015 Final Four, April 4/6 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

WELCOME, COACH
The Summit League features five first-year head coaches, the highest total of any Division I league:
    Fort Wayne - Jon Coffman
    IUPUI - Jason Gardner
    North Dakota State - David Richman
    South Dakota - Craig Smith
    Western Illinois - Billy Wright

CRADLE OF COACHES
Four Division I coaches played in The Summit League while it was known as the Mid-Continent Conference:
    Tony Bennett, Virginia (Green Bay)
    Bryce Drew, Valparaiso (Valparaiso)
    Greg McDermott, Creighton (UNI)
    Jim Les, UC Davis (Cleveland State)

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.

THIRD TIME'S A CHARM
• The Summit had its third consecutive top-20 RPI finish (RPIRankings.com)
• Three straight top-20 finishes is the longest streak in Summit history

NOTABLE NAMES FROM SUMMIT LEAGUE BASKETBALL
• Dick Bennett: Former head coach at Green Bay, Wisconsin & Washington State
• Tony Bennett: Former NBA player & current Virginia head coach
• Keith Benson: Mid-Major Player of the Year & NBA Draft pick
• Bryce Drew: "The Shot", former NBA player & current Valparaiso head coach
• Homer Drew: Legendary head coach at Valparaiso & former Director of Athletics
• Kevin Duckworth: 11-year NBA center & two-time all-star selection
• Winston Garland: Seven-year NBA point guard for five different teams
• Jim Les: 7-year NBA sharpshooter, former Bradley & current UC Davis head coach
• Ken "Mouse" McFadden: All-America guard led Cleveland State to Sweet 16
• Charlie Spoonhour: Colorful former head coach at Missouri State, Saint Louis & UNLV