WEEKLY NOTEBOOK: No. 11 (w/stats)
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- And then there were none. South Dakota made sure that no Summit League teams would escape week No. 3 of #SummitMBB play unbeaten as the Coyotes dealt Purdue Fort Wayne its first league loss Sunday in Vermillion. The Mastodons' loss kept them atop the standings, but now they have company at 4-1 after South Dakota State has reeled off three straight victories to improve to that mark as well.
Week No. 4 sets up to be another week full of teams jostling up and down the standings with a pair of league tilts scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
FIVE THINGS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED...
• The league's sophomore class is starting to announce its presence in a variety of different ways. WIU's Kobe Webster leads that crop of players and ranks fifth in the league in scoring (17.7 ppg). Omaha's Matt Pile is piling up the double-doubles, recording six of those -- a figure that is fourth most in the league and South Dakota State's David Jenkins leads the Summit League and ranks in the top five nationally in 3-pointers made (5th; 65) and 3-point field goal percentage (4th; 49.6).
• Through 17 games, the Coyotes have scored and given up the same amount of points (1137) -- ranking first in the league in scoring defense (66.9 ppg) while ranking last in scoring offense (66.9 ppg).
• Western Illinois senior Brandon Gilbeck continues to be a dominant defensive force. The reigning Summit League Defensive Player of the Year leads the DI ranks with 70 blocks, which is nine more than the players ranked second through fourth in the league have combined for so far this season (61).
• SDSU senior Mike Daum got back to producing Mike Daum-like performances Sunday when he scored 37 points in the Jacks' win 84-65 win over Oral Roberts. It was Daum's fifth 30-plus point scoring game of the season and he moved into the Top 25 on the NCAA's Division I all-time scoring charts. Daum along Jenkins and Purdue Fort Wayne's John Konchar were all recently named to the Lou Henson Award Watch List, which recognizes the nation's best Mid-Major Player.
• North Dakota senior Conner Avants owns the top field goal percentage in both overall games (63.3) and league games (69.8) so far in 2018-19. Avants and the Fighting Hawks will play at North Dakota State Saturday, marking the first time these two in-state rivals have met as conference foes since the 2004 season.
UPCOMING SCHEDULE (TV/Stream; all times local to site)
Wednesday, January 16
North Dakota State at Denver* (Altitude2) 7 p.m.
South Dakota State at North Dakota* (MSN/E+) 7 p.m.
Thursday, January 17
Omaha at Western Illinois* 7 p.m.
South Dakota at Oral Roberts* (KGEB/E+) 7 p.m.
Saturday, January 19
North Dakota at North Dakota State* (MSN/E3) 2 p.m.
Purdue Fort Wayne at Western Illinois* 7 p.m.
Sunday, January 20
Oral Roberts at Denver* 4 p.m.
South Dakota at Omaha* (MSN2/COX/E+) 6 p.m.
Thursday, January 10
South Dakota State 78, Denver 66*
Omaha 92, North Dakota 91*
Purdue Fort Wayne 94, Oral Roberts 69*
North Dakota State 85, Western Illinois 69*
Saturday, January 12
North Dakota 71, Western Illinois 65*
South Dakota State 84, Oral Roberts 65*
Sunday, January 13
South Dakota 87, Purdue Fort Wayne 73*
*Summit League contest
NOTING THE PIONEERS...
• The Pioneers have a pair of home games this week as they look to break into the win column in league play after an 0-5 start.
• Senior Joe Rosga is shooting 85 percent from the foul stripe this season (17-for-20) and continues to sit a top The Summit League's all-time list for that category with a career clip of 87.9.
• Rosga paces DU in scoring in Summit League action, averaging 13.4 ppg. He had 16 in the 78-66 loss at South Dakota (Jan. 10).
• Creighton transfer Ronnie Harrell, Jr., is not far behind Rosga's average. He's chipping in 13.2 ppg and returned to the starting lineup against SDSU after coming off the bench for the first time this season in the previous two games.
NOTING THE FIGHTING HAWKS...
• The Fighting Hawks play host to league-leader South Dakota State Wednesday before traveling to North Dakota State Saturday for what will be the first conference matchup between those two in-state foes since a 2004 North Central Conference tilt.
• The UND-NDSU clash will be the 296th in the all-time series.
• Senior Conner Avants leads The Summit League in field goal percentage in both overall games (63.3) and league games (68.9).
• In two games last week, Avants went 15-for-23 (65.2) from the field and averaged 22.5 ppg.
• In UND's 71-65 win over Western Illinois, junior Marlon Stewart scored a season-high 21 points and share team-high honors with Avants. Stewart made his first three 3-point attempts and went 9-for-15 from the field.
NOTING THE BISON...
• North Dakota State has won six of its last nine after starting season 2-7.
• The latest victory was an 85-69 win over Western Illinois that evened the Bison's league mark at 2-2.
• Junior Tyson Ward led the way with a 17-point, 13-rebound double-double. Ward has reached double figures in seven straight and is averaging 15.6 ppg during that stretch.
• NDSU opens the week at Denver Wednesday before its in-state clash with North Dakota in Fargo Saturday. The road team has won the last five in the series, including a home-and-home split last season.
NOTING THE MAVERICKS...
• The Mavericks trailed by as many as 14 points at North Dakota last Thursday but rallied for a 92-91 victory thanks to Mitch Hahn's triple with seven ticks remaining.
• Hahn (17 pts-11 rebs) and sophomore Matt Pile (20 pts-10 rebs) both registered double-doubles in the victory.
• For Pile, it was his sixth of the season and second straight in league play. He's averaging 16.3 ppg and 8.0 rpg in Summit League play.
• Omaha is averaging 91.0 ppg in its three league victories and has scored 80-plus points in seven-straight games.
• The Mavs have won six of those contests and will look to take that momentum into Western Illinois Thursday before returning home to take on South Dakota Sunday.
NOTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES...
• Oral Roberts will look to regroup after dropping its first two Summit League games of the season last week at league-leaders Purdue Fort Wayne and South Dakota State.
• Through five #SummitMBB games, it would be hard to argue any Summit League player is performing better than junior Emmanuel Nzekwesi. He leads the league with four double-doubles and ranks second in scoring (21.6 ppg) and first in rebounding (12.0 rpg) during league play.
• In his last outing, Nzekwesi scored 14 points and pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds against South Dakota State.
NOTING THE MASTODONS...
• The Mastodons suffered their first loss of #SummitMBB play Sunday, falling at South Dakota 87-73.
• The high-scoring senior duo of Kason Harrell and John Konchar came in averaging 40.0 ppg between them, but were held to 13 points a piece in the loss to the Coyotes.
• Konchar enters the week still leading the way in league action in scoring (22.6 ppg) and assists (5.6 apg) while ranking third in rebounding (8.6 rpg). He is also second in steals (11; 2.2/g).
• The 'Dons lead the Division I rankings in 3-pointers made (218) and have five players with at least 26 makes from distance on the season.
• Harrell paces the team and ranks seventh in The Summit League with 42 makes on the season.
NOTING THE COYOTES...
• Sophomore Stanley Umude has reached double figures in nine of the team's last 11 games (16.5 ppg) after not getting to that plateau in USD's first seven contests (5.6 ppg).
• Umude scored 26 points in leading South Dakota to an 87-73 win over Purdue Fort Wayne, which was the Mastodons first league loss.
• It was his second straight 26-point outing and he ranks third in scoring during Summit League games (20.5 ppg).
• Four other Coyotes reached double figures against the Mastodons, including Triston Simpson who finished with 19 points thanks to a 10-for-10 effort from the foul stripe.
• Through 17 games, the Coyotes have scored and given up the same amount of points (1137) -- ranking first in the league in scoring defense (66.9 ppg), but last in scoring offense (66.9 ppg).
NOTING THE JACKRABBITS...
• Senior Mike Daum busted out of a mini-scoring slump to pile up 37 points in SDSU's 84-65 win over Oral Roberts. Daum, who had scored just 7.0 ppg in the Jacks' previous two wins, put together his fifth 30-plus point scoring game of the season.
• Daum also moved into the Top 25 on the NCAA's all-time Division I scoring list with 2,706 points. He enters the week tied with Campbell's Chris Clemons, who is the only other active player currently on the list.
• Sophomore David Jenkins, Jr., continued his torrid start from beyond the arc. He leads The Summit League with 65 makes from deep (t5th nationally) and his 49.6 percent clip is fourth nationally.
NOTING THE FIGHTING LEATHERNECKS...
• The Fighting Leathernecks will look to snap a three-game skid at home vs. Omaha Thursday.
• Those three losses all came on the road as WIU could not hold off a UND rally the latest setback -- a 71-65 defeat Saturday.
• Sophomore Kobe Webster has only been held below double figures once in 18 games this season and ranks fifth in The Summit League in scoring (17.7 ppg). That figure has dipped a bit in league play (16.6 ppg), but only slightly.
• Isaac Johnson returned to the startling lineup last week and averaged 15.5 ppg in losses at NDSU and UND.
• Johnson had a team-high 16 points at UND in a game WIU led by as many as 10 points in the first half.
• Senior Brandon Gilbeck continues to be a dominant defensive force. His 70 blocks are more than the players ranked second through fourth in the league have combined (61).