Here is how we see it in Summit League men's basketball as we hit the halfway point of the league season. 
Our panel is: Greg Stemen, Brad Newitt, Jay Elsen, Brian Shawn, Kelly Stewart and Tom Nieman.


For the Week of January 22

1. South Dakota State (5-0)  SAME AS LAST WEEK

          Won at Western Illinois  98-70


SDSU is on an 8-game win streak

Mike Daum was the 5th leading scorer at Western Illinois and SDSU won by 28

The Jacks still lead the league in shooting (51% FG), 3-point shooting (44%), FT shooting (89%) and scoring (92 PPG).

Captain Obvious says:  Big test on the road on Wednesday at South Dakota


“Offense continues to roll, even when the All-American has an off night. If you’re gonna try to slow them down, pack a lunch.” – Greg Stemen
“Best offensive team I have seen in my 7 years around the Summit League.  Scored 98 with Daum only having 11 points.” – Brad Newitt
“The Jacks are rolling and have a lot of weapons offensively. They proved they can defend this past weekend as well.” – Brian Shawn
“Showed they can still score even when Daum doesn’t have a huge night.” – Jay Elsen



2. South Dakota (5-1)  SAME

          Beat Oral Roberts  82-70          Won at Omaha  85-71


Still playing without starting guard Carlton Hurst (injured hand)

The Yotes only allowed a combined 25 points to the 4 ORU big guys

Matt Mooney (19 vs ORU) and Tyler Hagedorn (25 at Omaha) are taking turns pumping in points

Big man Nick Fuller is 10/15 FG in last two and scored 16 at Omaha

USD D is forcing more turnovers than anybody in the league

Captain Obvious says:  Big test at home on Wednesday against South Dakota State


“Depth of the roster is showing. Have the ability to be shut teams down with the right mentality on defense.” – Shawn
“Playing great team defense.  Watch out if their post players start scoring like they did at Omaha.” – Newitt
“Put together their best offensive week in a while against ORU and Omaha.” - Elsen
“Continuing impressive defensive play and adapting to loss of Hurst. Epic showdown in Vermillion this week.” – Stemen


3. Fort Wayne (3-3)  UP 2 SPOTS

          Lost at Western Illinois  75-74 in OT          Beat North Dakota State  92-88


Mastodons move up two spots this week despite the road loss (cred to WIU)

Got down 15 in first half against NDSU and didn’t gain the lead until less than 3:00 to play but got the win at home

Kason Harrell had 26, the most for him this season since 28 in the win at Indiana


“Jekyll & Hyde like most every other team not located in South Dakota. Scott, Konchar and Harrell all capable of big nights.” – Shawn
“Will that comeback win over NDSU be a turning point?” - Elsen
“Depends on which team shows up, but they can be really dangerous.” – Kelly Stewart
“They are going to win their fair share at home, can they win on the road?” – Newitt
“6-4 over their last 10. Key home win v NDSU. Have talent to compete with anyone.” - Stemen


4. North Dakota State (2-3)  DOWN 1

          Lost to North Dakota  86-77          Lost at Fort Wayne  92-88


Paul Miller had 27 in the non-con loss to UND and then 21/9/5 at Fort Wayne, but the Bison are 2-4 so far in January

Good chance to get well with two home games this week

A.J. Jacobson has had his two best scoring games of the season in the last two (18, 21)


“Have lost three of last four. Most alarming thing for Dave Richman has to be the amount of points the Bison have allowed the past two games.” – Shawn
“Let one slip through their fingers at Fort Wayne.  Really searching for consistency, driving their fan base crazy.” – Newitt
“Struggling but still in the top half.” – Stewart


5. Denver (2-4)  UP 1

          Lost at Omaha  86-80 in 2OT          Won at Oral Roberts  73-64


They were a banked-in three away from the win at Omaha (props to Daniel Norl)

They shoot 57% in the win at Oral Roberts behind 20 from Daniel Amigo (9/12 FG)

They get two games at home this week after 4 in a row on the road


“Better road team than they are at home, that's not normal.” – Newitt
“Two quality road wins at NDSU and Oral Roberts can’t be overlooked.” – Shawn
“Earned a split on 4-game road trip…6 of next 7 at home.” – Elsen
“Win at ORU puts them above the Golden Eagles. Team can be versatile and hard to guard at times.” – Stemen


6. Oral Roberts (3-4)  DOWN 2

          Lost at South Dakota  82-70          Lost to Denver  73-64


4 league losses in a row now after that 3-0 start

Thought the home floor might straighten things out but ORU allows Denver to shoot 57%

Austin Ruder has picked it up since returning from injury by hitting 9/18 threes in last 2 games (34 of his 37 attempts in the last 4 games are 3s)

ORU fills the schedule gap this week with a Division Three team and an NCCAA opponent


"Starting five underclassmen. Golden Eagles need outside shooting desperately” – Shawn
“Opponents are figuring out how to attack their zone.  Sell, sell, sell! Their stock is plummeting after losing 4 straight.” - Newitt
“That 3-0 start seems like a long time ago.” – Elsen
“Still a big and capable front line. Guard play will be key for them down the stretch.” – Stemen


7. Omaha (2-4)  SAME

          Beat Denver  86-80 in 2OT          Lost to South Dakota  85-71


L – W – L – W – L so far in the Summit season for the Mavs

Home or road has not seemed to make much of a difference so far

The Mavs are scoring (second to SDSU at 81 PPG) but still being scored upon too frequently (league-last 84 PPG allowed)

Daniel Norl, who hit the buzzer 3 in the first OT in the win over Denver, is averaging 15 PPG in league play

Omaha finished the first go-around in league play at North Dakota State on Thursday


“Need to get opponents to turn the ball over, when that happens, watch out.” – Newitt
“Hard fought win at home over Denver and can usually score with anyone. Stopping them?? Not so sure.” – Stemen
“USD’s big guys killed them.” – Elsen


8. Western Illinois (1-4)  SAME

          Beat Fort Wayne  75-74 in OT          Lost to South Dakota State  98-70


Freshman Kobe Webster was clutch in the final second of OT to get a huge win at home

Dalan Ancrum has been all or nothing all season but had 23/12 in the win over the Dons

The Leathernecks are still struggling to score (65 PPG in league) but can grind it out with the best of ‘em


“Gutted out an OT win over Fort Wayne and can usually compete when they control tempo.” – Stemen
“Tough to win when it’s a struggle to score, also giving up over 80 ppg in league play.  Not a good combo.” - Newitt
“Stole one at home against Fort Wayne. Guessing they get someone else soon.” – Elsen
“Leathernecks have ability to knock off anyone.” – Shawn


South Dakota State at South Dakota on Wednesday

      Coyotes won 91-89 last year in Vermillion

      SDSU top offense (92 PPG in league) vs USD best defense (67 PPG in league)