Men's Basketball Weekly Notebook (Feb. 26)

Men's Basketball Weekly Notebook (Feb. 26)

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Tuesday, Feb. 26
    Utah Valley at North Dakota State    7 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 28
    * South Dakota at IUPUI    7:30 p.m.
    * South Dakota State at Omaha    7 p.m.   [Midco Sports Net]
    * Kansas City at Western Illinois    7 p.m.

Saturday, March 2
    * North Dakota State at Omaha    4 p.m.   [Fox College Sports/Midco Sports Net]
    * Fort Wayne at Oakland    6 p.m.
    * Kansas City at IUPUI    7:30 p.m.
    * South Dakota at Western Illinois    7 p.m.

*Summit League game
All times are local

Upcoming national broadcast appearances
March 2    North Dakota State at Omaha    5 p.m. ET    Fox College Sports (Midco Sports Net)
March 9    Summit League Quarterfinal #1 (1 vs. 8)    7 p.m. ET    Fox College Sports (Midco Sports Net)
March 9    Summit League Quarterfinal #2 (2 vs. 7)    9:30 p.m. ET    Fox College Sports (Midco Sports Net)

Feb. 25: Nate Wolters, South Dakota State (25.0 ppg, 7.0 apg, 6.0 rpg, 1.5 spg, 2.3 ast/to ratio)

Tuesday, Feb. 19
Omaha 79, Chicago State 75

Wednesday, Feb. 20
* Fort Wayne 77, Oakland 71
Cal State Bakersfield 79, South Dakota State 78 (2OT)

Friday, Feb. 22
Akron 68, North Dakota State 53

Saturday, Feb. 23
Omaha 83, North Dakota 75
Milwaukee 95, IUPUI 88 (2OT)
Oakland 82, Morehead State 79 (OT)
Fort Wayne 88, Bowling Green 75
Tennessee Tech 68, Kansas City 62
Cleveland State 60, Western Illinois 54
Murray State 73, South Dakota State 62

Sunday, Feb. 24
South Dakota 85, Montana State 74

* denotes Summit League game

The final week of the regular season will provide suspense when it comes to Summit League Tournament seeds. Only IUPUI (8) is locked into position. South Dakota State can clinch the top seed with a victory or a Western Illinois loss. The  Fighting Leathernecks need two wins and a Jackrabbits loss to claim the No. 1 seed. Both SDSU and WIU are seeking the first No. 1 seed in school history.

Oakland's Travis Bader and South Dakota State's Nate Wolters are among 25 finalists for the Lou Henson Award, presented annually to the top mid-major player in college basketball. The duo ranks 1-2 in the NCAA for single-game scoring performances this season after Wolters poured in 53 at Fort Wayne on Feb. 7 and Bader tallied 47 vs. IUPUI on Jan. 24. Each received the Capital One Impact Performance of the Week following their respective scoring outbursts.

South Dakota State owns the nation's longest home court win streak with 30 consecutive victories. The Jackrabbits set a Summit League record earlier this season by surpassing the previous mark of 27 (Cleveland State, 1984-85 to 1986-87) and have won 20 consecutive league home games, tying the league mark held by Oakland (2009-11).

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 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. 25) with last year's final statistics:

Efficiency    106.6 (107.3 in '11-12)    1st    3P%    37.8 (37.9 in '11-12)    1st
Effective FG%    53.4 (52.9 in '11-12)    1st    2P%    51.6 (51.1 in '11-12)    1st

The league's "Summit Saturdays", four weeks of nationally-televised Saturday doubleheaders on Fox College Sports, continues on March 9 in primetime with quarterfinal games featuring the top two seeds at The Summit League Basketball Championship. The top-seed faces the No. 8 seed to open the evening at 7 p.m. ET followed by the No. 2  seed versus the No. 7 seed at 9:30 p.m. ET.

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    22.9 ppg    5.5 apg    5.6 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. 25

2,000-600-600 CLUB
South Dakota State's Nate Wolters enters the week needing 24 rebounds to become just the second  NCAA Division I player to reach 2,000 points, 600 rebounds and 600 assists in his career. Maryland's Greivis Vasquez is the only player to achieve the rare trifecta. Only three players have reached 2,000 points, 600 rebounds and 500 assists in a career: Vasquez, Duke's Danny Ferry and Penn State's Talor Battle.  

NCAA players who have achieved 2,000 points, 600 rebounds and 500 assists in a career

Greivis Vasquez (Maryland), 2006-10    2,171 pts.    647 reb.    772 ast
Danny Ferry (Duke), 1985-89    2,155 pts.    1,003 reb.    506 ast.
Talor Battle (Penn State), 2007-11    2,213 pts.    625 reb.    517 ast.
*Nate Wolters (South Dakota State), 2012-13    2,270 pts.    576 reb.    631 ast.
*through Feb. 25

South Dakota State's Nate Wolters scored an NCAA season-best 53 points, a school-record and the most ever in a Summit League regulation game, on Feb. 7. His performance topped the previous NCAA season-high by Oakland's Travis Bader set two weeks prior. Both Wolters and Bader received National Player of the Week from ESPN's Dick Vitale and Capital One Impact Performance of the Week accolades for their efforts. Both players are among 25 finalists for the Lou Henson Award (nation's top Mid-Major player).

Oakland's Travis Bader is part of a pair of impressive three-point streaks. Entering the week, Bader has made at least one three-pointer in 50 consecutive games for the second-longest active streak in NCAA Division I. Oakland has made a three-pointer in 766 consecutive games dating back to 1987-88. The Golden Grizzlies' streak ranks seventh in the nation behind UNLV, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Duke, Western Kentucky and Arkansas.

Three Summit League men's basketball student-athletes were selected as Capital One Academic All-District honorees:  Brayden Carlson, South Dakota State (District 6), 3.92 GPA in economics; Jordan Dykstra, South Dakota State (District 6), 3.68 GPA in biology/pre-dentistry; and John Karhoff, Omaha (District 7), 3.64 GPA in journalism.

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.

The Summit League features two of the NCAA's top marksmen with the No. 1 and No. 2 active career leaders in three-point field goal percentage and field goal percentage. South Dakota State's Jordan Dykstra is the NCAA active leader with a .473 career three-point percentage while North Dakota State's Marshall Bjorklund is second among active players on the career field goal percentage list at .671. SDSU's Nate Wolters ranks among the top five active leader in seven categories: second in points (2,209), assist turnover ratio (2.34), free throws made (609) and free throws attempted (759), third in field goals attempted (1,612), fourth in field goals made (725) and fifth in assists (616). Oakland's Travis Bader ranks third in three point field goals per game (3.44), and fourth in both three point field goals made (341) and three point field goals attempted (834).  

A new floor and court design will debut at the 2013 Summit League Basketball Championships. The court will have The Summit League logo stained at center court with the words "Sioux Falls" at each baseline. The court will be used each of the next two tournaments at the Sioux Falls Arena and transition to the new Denny Sanford PREMIER Center for the 2015  event.

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

Oakland's Greg Kampe recently joined the exclusive "500 Club", becoming the 21st active Division I coach to reach 500 career victories. Kampe, the dean of Summit League coaches in his 29th season, is just the fifth active coach to win 500 games at one school (Mike Krzyzewski, Duke; Jim Boeheim, Syracuse; Rick Byrd, Belmont; Dave Bike, Sacred Heart).

Forbes compiled a January 2013 list ranking the best college basketball coaches for the money. The lists, broken into "High-Major" and "Mid-Major" categories, were based off the coaches "cost-per-win" and calculated by dividing the total number of wins against Division I opponents during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons by their respective schools basketball budget for each year. South Dakota State's Scott Nagy earned the No. 1 spot as "best coach for the money" in the Mid-Major rankings while Oakland's Greg Kampe was No. 17.

Four former Summit League men's basketball standouts are currently serving as Division I head coaches: 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, enters the  week with a combined 75-36 (.676) record.

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.

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.
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 match-ups 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 televised 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 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

bold indicates national best

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 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 are current players Fred House (Southern Utah, 1999-2001) of the Texas Legends and Ron Howard (Valparaiso, 2003-06) of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. 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 notable 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

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.

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