THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Wednesday, Nov. 28
Fort Wayne at Navy................................ 7 p.m.
North Dakota at South Dakota State. 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 29
* Omaha at North Dakota State.............. 7 p.m.
* IUPUI at Kansas City............................ 7 p.m.
* Western Illinois at South Dakota........ 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 1
Oakland at Western Michigan............... 2 p.m.
* Western Illinois at Kansas City........... 4 p.m.
Miami (Ohio) at Fort Wayne.................. 7 p.m.
* Omaha at South Dakota State......... 6:30 p.m.
* IUPUI at South Dakota.......................... 7 p.m.
* denotes Summit League game
WHERE TO SEE THE SUMMIT
Upcoming national and regional broadcast appearances
*Western Illinois at South Dakota....... Thu., Nov. 29 8 p.m. ET........... Fox College Sports (Atlantic)
*IUPUI at Kansas City........................... Thu., Nov. 29 8 p.m. ET........... KSMO
*Western Illinois at Kansas City......... Sat., Dec. 1.... 5 p.m. ET........... KSMO
South Dakota at Iowa........................... Tue., Dec. 4... 8 p.m. ET........... BTN.com
South Dakota State at 21/RVMinnesota. Tue., Dec. 4... 8 p.m. ET........... ESPN3
Omaha at Wisconsin........................... Tue., Dec. 4... 8 p.m. ET........... ESPN3
* denotes Summit League game
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Taylor Braun, G, North Dakota State
11.5 ppg, 5.0 apg, Progressive Legends Classic Subregional MVP
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
Tuesday, Nov. 20
 Lamar 86, IUPUI 82
 North Dakota State 57, Duquesne 43
Fort Wayne 92, Judson 22
Oakland 71, Texas Southern 69
Wednesday, Nov. 21
 North Dakota State 66, James Madison 44
South Dakota State 81, Southwest Minnesota State 72
Friday, Nov. 23
 Bethune-Cookman 93, Omaha 81
4/3Ohio State 91, Kansas City 45
South Dakota 81, Culver-Stockton 73
21/19Michigan State 70, Oakland 52
Saturday, Nov. 24
 Omaha 68, Chicago State 66
Savannah State 39, Western Illinois 38
Fort Wayne 70, Dartmouth 66
South Dakota 84, Waldorf 59
Green Bay 74, North Dakota State 59
Monday, Nov. 26
Tennessee 77, Oakland 50
IUPUI 87, Indiana-East 54
 Legends Classic (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
 NIT Season Tip-Off (Charlottesville, Va.)
 at Valparaiso, Ind.
SUMMIT LEAGUE PLAY BEGINS THIS WEEK
Less than three weeks after the 2012-13 college basketball season tipped-off, The Summit League jumps into league play with six games this week, three each on Thursday and Saturday. The Nov. 29 date marks the earliest league opener since 1998-99, and earliest in history for multiple games. The Summit League is one of four Division I leagues to open their league schedules in November and has the third-earliest opener (two conferences begin Nov. 28 and one another on Nov. 29). A trio of Summit League games are on tap Thursday night including Omaha's league debut at North Dakota State, IUPUI at Kansas City, and a nationally-televised tilt featuring 2012 tournament runner-up Western Illinois at South Dakota on Fox College Sports (8 p.m. ET).
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.
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.
South Dakota State's Nate Wolters finished the 2011-12 campaign averaging 21.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game to join an exclusive group. He became just the fifth player in NCAA history to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in a season. Wolters was one assist shy of reaching an even more select group with a 20-points, six-assist and five-rebound average, a feat 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), 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
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
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.
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 season titled the 2012-13 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.
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 three 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 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
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
Three of the past four Summit League Players of the Year were on NBA training camp rosters this season. George Hill (IUPUI), the 2008 Player of the Year, remains 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 seasons. Keith Benson (Oakland), the 2010 and 2011 Player of the Year, was on the Atlanta Hawks roster after the team drafted him in the second round in 2011. Dominique Morrison (Oral Roberts), the 2012 Player of the Year, was on the New Orleans Hornets roster. 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 current 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. Among the most notable 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