Men's Basketball Weekly Notebook (March 19 / Postseason Edition)

Men's Championship Game: (1) South Dakota State vs. (3) North Dakota State - Photo by Inertia Sports Media
Men's Championship Game: (1) South Dakota State vs. (3) North Dakota State - Photo by Inertia Sports Media

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South Region - Auburn Hills, Mich.

Thursday, March 21
  (13) South Dakota State vs. (4) Michigan    7:15 p.m.  [CBS]


Wednesday, March 20
    North Dakota State at Western Michigan    7 p.m.
    Western Illinois at Purdue    7 p.m.


Tuesday, March 19
      Oakland at Youngstown State    7 p.m.

All times are local


Thu., March 21    NCAA Tournament 2nd Round: (13) South Dakota State vs. (4) Michigan    7:15 p.m. ET    CBS


Sioux Falls, S.D.

Saturday, March 9
  QF #1: (1) South Dakota State 66, (8) IUPUI 49
  QF #2: (2) Western Illinois 54, (7) South Dakota 53
Sunday, March 10
  QF #3: (5) Fort Wayne 91, (4) Oakland 72
  QF #4: (3) North Dakota State 69, (6) Kansas City 58
Monday, March 11
  SF #1: (1) South Dakota State 72, (5) Fort Wayne 56
  SF #2: (3) North Dakota State 55, (2) Western Illinois 43
Tuesday, March 12
  Champ: (1) South Dakota State 73, (3) North Dakota State 67

All-Tournament Team
Taylor Braun, North Dakota State; Jordan Dykstra, South Dakota State; Tony Fiegen, South Dakota State; Frank Gaines, Fort Wayne; Nate Wolters, South Dakota State (MVP).

The Summit League Basketball Championships continued to add to its reputation as one of the nation's best mid-major tournament environments by shattering several attendance records at the March 9-12 event in Sioux Falls, S.D. New Attendance Records set during the 2013 Summit League Championships included:
    • Total (men's and women's): 44,868 (previously 40,269 in 2012)
    • Men's Tournament: 23,710 (previously 23,073 in 1987)
    • Women's Tournament: 21,158 (previously 17,867 in 2012)
    • Women's Championship: 6,153 (previously 5,580 in 2009)
    • Over 2,500 all-session tickets for 2014 sold in the initial five days after the March 8 sale launch

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 March 18) with last year's final statistics:

Efficiency    106.0 (107.3 in '11-12)    1st    3P%    37.4 (37.9 in '11-12)    1st
Effective FG%    53.1 (52.9 in '11-12)    1st    2P%    51.5 (51.1 in '11-12)    1st

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).

South Dakota State's Nate Wolters will 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    22.7 ppg    5.8 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 March 12

2,000-600-600 CLUB
South Dakota State's Nate Wolters enters the NCAA Tournament needing three rebounds to become just the third  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 four players have reached 2,000 points, 600 rebounds and 500 assists in a career: Vasquez, Duke's Danny Ferry, Penn State's Talor Battle and Ohio's D.J. Cooper. Of that elite group, Wolters has scored the most career points.  

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.
*D.J. Cooper (Ohio), 2009-pres.    2,056 pts.    617 reb.    924 ast.
*Nate Wolters (South Dakota State), 2009-pres.    2,353 pts.    597 reb.    663 ast.
*through March 17

When Nate Wolters led South Dakota State to victory in The Summit League Championship Game, he compiled a stat line rarely seen in the postseason. Wolters scored 27 points and recorded six rebounds, six assists and four steals in his MVP performance. That line has been achieved only three times previously in a conference tournament game since the turn of the century. Only one other player in the last 15 years has had as many as 25 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals in a conference championship game (Dashaun Wood of Wright State in 2007).

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. He owns the longest active streak in NCAA Division I for games with at least one made three-pointer (52). Oakland has made a three-pointer in 769 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 for 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.

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 .464 career three-point percentage while North Dakota State's Marshall Bjorklund is second among active players on the career field goal percentage list at .667. SDSU's Nate Wolters ranks among the top five active leaders in seven categories: first in free thows made (623) and assist turnover ratio (2.36), second in points (2,277)  and free throws attempted (780), third in field goals attempted (1,659), fourth in field goals made (750) and fifth in assists (640). Oakland's Travis Bader ranks third in three-point field goals per game (3.42), and fourth in both three-point field goals made (349) and three-point field goals attempted (863).  

A new floor and court design debuted at the 2013 Summit League Basketball Championships. The court features The Summit League logo stained at center court with the words "Sioux Falls" at each baseline. The court will be used at next year's tournament 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-five all-time total attendance figures (men's and women's) have been  achieved in the four seasons in Sioux Falls (2009-13)
    •    2013 overall attendance (men's and women's) and men's total attendance were new records
    •    2013 men's championship game attendance was fourth-best and highest in nearly two decades
    •    The Summit League ranked No. 12 nationally, fourth among traditional mid-majors, for overall men's tournament attendance in 2012

Oakland's Greg Kampe joined the exclusive "500 Club" this season, 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 88-42 (.677) record. Both Drew and McDermott are coaching in the NCAA Tournament.

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 marked the largest offering in league history. At least 40 games appeared on national television with dozens more available via Internet, regional television and satellite packages. A landmark agreement with Fox College Sports provided 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 were nationally-televised for the second
        consecutive season.
    •    The ESPN Family of Networks aired both championship games with the women's on ESPNU and the men's title game on ESPN2.
    •    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 additional 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

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 Reggie Hamilton (Oakland/Kansas City, 2007-12) of the Idaho Stampede, 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