Posted on: December 26, 2012 9:51 pm

Summit League Preseason Predictions

1. South Dakota State

The team that made the dance last year.  The team that returns the best player in the Summit League.  The team that everybody has heard about.  Did I mention they just went into New Mexico and upset the Lobos?  South Dakota State has a three headed monster in Wolters/Dykstra/Fiegen.  Nate Wolters is still the POY leader in the Summit League.  They stumbled big time at Belmont shooting only 27%; however, it has been their only big stumble.  Although they have not taken ahold of the conference like some thought they would, the Jackrabbits have contended with Minnesota and took Alabama to the buzzer.  They do not turn over the basketball and can rebound with the best of them.  This appears to be another good year for the Summit League and South Dakota State is leading the pack.


Record: 10-4 (1-0)

Wins: @ #16 New Mexico, @ Montana, Marshall, Omaha

Losses: Alabama, Minnesota, Belmont, Hofstra

Top 3 Players

Nate Wolters: 20.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 77.9% ft

Jordan Dykstra: 12.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 69.7% ft

Tony Fiegen: 10.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 65.4% ft

Team Stats (Summit Rank in Parenthesis)

Scoring Offense: 74.7 (1)

Scoring Defense: 67.3 (4)

Turnover Margin: +0.9 (3)

Rebounding Margin: +3.0 (3)

Free Throw Percentage: 73.8% (3)

Rankings Out of 345 Teams (Summit Rank in Parenthesis)

CBS RPI: 86 (2)

CBS SOS: 198 (4)


2. North Dakota State

All three losses have some strength to them.  Won at Duquesne and beat a good Youngstown State team.  Taylor Braun leads the way putting up his 15.6 points per game.  North Dakota State has continued to play their slow style of play and it shows as they give up 57 point a game.  Like their rival from the south, they do not turn the ball over and rebound.  It was a tough call picking them second… but until they beat the champions, they must wait to return to the tournament.


Record: 10-3 (1-0)

Wins: @ Duquesne, Morehead State (2), Youngstown State

Losses: #1 Indiana, #13 Minnesota, Green Bay

Top 3 Players

Taylor Braun: 15.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.0 apg, 78.2% ft

Marshall Bjorklund: 11.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 73.7 ft

Lawrence Alexander:10.0 ppg, 3.6 apg, 74.4 ft

Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 70.7  (2)

Scoring Defense: 57.1 (2)

Turnover Margin: +0.8 (4)

Rebounding Margin: +3.8 (2)

Free Throw Percentage: 75.9% (2)


CBS RPI: 64 (1)

CBS SOS: 208 (5)


3. Western Illinois

Nothing has really changed from the preseason to now for the Leathernecks.  Western Illinois always plays the toughest defense in the league.  That is why they are ranked fourth in the nation in scoring defense.  Senior guard Ceola Clark and forward Terell Parks average 13.9 and 13.5 points respectively with Parks averaging 9 boards a game.  Although the team has yet to be tested against a big-time opponent, they took South Dakota State to overtime in the Summit League title game last year and may be poised to take the Summit League by surprise.  Not to say, however, that it would be surprising at all.


Record: 8-3 (2-0)

Wins: Illinois-Chicago, Yale, UMKC, South Dakota,

Losses: Evansville

Top 3 Players

Ceola Clark: 13.9 ppg, 3.9 apg, 82.6% ft

Terell Parks: 13.5 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 44.0% ft

Adam Link: 9.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 74.5% ft

Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 59.3 ppg (9)

Scoring Defense: 51.4 ppg (1)

Turnover Margin: +1.9 (1)

Rebounding Margin: 1.1 (4)

Free-Throw Percentage: 65.8% (8)


CBS RPI: 164 (4)

CBS SOS: 340 (9)


4. Oakland

Greg Kampe continues to schedule the toughest non-conference games for his Golden Grizzlies.  Michigan State. Pittsburgh. Tennessee. West Virginia.  Oakland’s performance at Pittsburgh was impressive although they blew a 14 point halftime lead before falling in overtime.  After holding a two point halftime advantage at West Virginia, a Travis Bader three in the final second rimmed out spoiling his 25 point performance.  Transfer Duke Mondy has filled role left by Reggie Hamilton and has produced at the point.  They were tested last year, but did not help them in the Summit League where their defense let them down. As always, Oakland has the potential to play past their trip to Sioux Falls; however, they have to beat three really good teams ahead of them first.


Record: 5-8 (0-0)

Wins: Valparaiso, @ Eastern Michigan

Losses: @ Michigan State, @ Boise State, @ Pittsburgh, @ Tennessee, @ W. Michigan, @ West Virginia, @ Ohio

Top 3 Players

Travis Bader: 20.2 ppg, 53 3fg, 89.0% ft

Corey Petros: 13.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 66.3% ft

Duke Mondy: 12.3 ppg, 4.5 apg, 71.4% ft

Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 70.1 (4)

Scoring Defense: 73.8 (6)

Turnover Margin: +1.8 (2)

Rebounding Margin: -2.5 (6)

Free Throw Percentage: 70.6% (4)


CBS RPI: 124 (3)

CBS SOS: 35 (1)



After a disappointing first season under new head coach Tony Jasick (Dane Fife left to join Tom Izzo at Michigan State), IPFW has rebounded nicely.  And by rebounding, I mean having a 6.1 rebounding margin.  Their defense has really improved compared to last year in which was their main downfall.  Missing a true jump-shooter behind Frank Gaines.  Although Gaines can shoot, he gets the majority of his points slashing to the hoop.  Center Mario Hines plays out of position and plays more like a forward but can score inside.  Might get beat up in the league however.  Free throw shooting has been terrible and needs to improve.  If the Mastodons can score, they will win more games than they will lose.


Record: 6-7 (0-0)

Wins: Miami, Dartmouth, UT-Pan American

Losses: @ Notre Dame, @ Valparaiso, @ Eastern Michigan, @ Drake, @ Auburn

Top 3 Players

Frank Gaines: 19.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 75.5% ft

Mario Hines: 9.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 63.5% ft

Luis Jacobo: 9.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 66.7% ft

Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 65.4 (6)

Scoring Defense: 61.2 (3)

Turnover Margin: +0.7 (5)

Rebounding Margin: +6.1 (1)

Free Throw Percentage: 63.2% (9)


CBS RPI: 276 (8)

CBS SOS: 326 (8)



Todd Howard has not been able to maintain the momentum gained by former head coach Ron Hunter who left for Georgia State.  They have loads of athleticism and even picked up former Purdue guard John Hart who graduated in May.  They have been tested as they played Butler, Michigan, and in-state foe Indiana State.  Mitchell Patton was hurt in the Western Kentucky game and his status is up in the air.  IUPUI did get Ian Chiles back who is a huge key to their success.  IUPUI’s problem continues to be defense as they give up 75.5 points a ballgame.  The Jaguars are the exact opposite of IPFW in terms of rebounding.  Started off with two rocky losses in the Summit League and will need to make those up between now and the tournament.


Record: 5-10 (0-2)

Wins: Utah Valley, @ Ball State

Losses: @ Michigan, @ Butler, Indiana State, @ Western Kentucky, @ Valparaiso

Top 3 Players

John Hart: 14.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 79.3% ft

Mitchell Patton: 14.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 71.8% ft

Donovan Gibbs: 8.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 58.6% ft

Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 68.3 (5)

Scoring Defense: 75.5 (8)

Turnover Margin: -0.4 (6)

Rebounding Margin: -6.5 (8)

Free Throw Percentage: 70.3% (5)


CBS RPI: 219 (5)

CBS SOS: 270 (7)


7. South Dakota

There is not a huge divide between teams seven and eight.  The only main difference is this: It is tough to go up to the Dakota’s in February when it is below zero. Already beat IUPUI like UMKC did.  Myles leads the way with 16 points per contest and shoots and astounding 89.6% from the line.  South Dakota is eligible this year for the tournament.  They are still a few years away from being able to compete annually with the likes of the two other Dakotas.


Record: 5-8 (1-1)

Wins: NC Central, Morehead State, IUPUI

Losses: @ Gonzaga, @ Wyoming, @ Iowa, Western Illinois

Top 3 Players

Juevol Myles: 16.0 ppg, 3.5 apg, 89.6% ft

Trevor Gruis: 11.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 69.5% ft

Karim Rowson: 11.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 81.8% ft

Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 70.8 ppg (3)

Scoring Defense: 74.5 ppg (7)

Turnover Margin: -2.1

Rebounding Margin: -4.9 (7)

Free Throw Percentage: 78.9% (1)


CBS RPI: 263 (7)

CBS SOS: 163 (3)



Well, it’s obvious to understand where UMKC pays for their program.  Trips to Louisville, Ohio State, and Seton Hall where all games did not end especially well for the Kangaroos.  They have trouble scoring the basketball and like to turn the ball over.  Already beat IUPUI which could be important in seeding.  UMKC was the only team to miss the Summit League tourney last year as they fell at home to IPFW on the season’s last day.  They are guaranteed a spot this year, which has to make coach Matt Brown extremely happy.


Record: 4-8 (1-1)

Wins: Norfolk State, IUPUI, @ North Dakota

Losses: @ Louisville, @ Ohio State, Iowa State, @ Seton Hall, Western Illinois

Top 3 Players

Tyler Estan: 10.2 ppg, 3.8 apg, 92.9% ft

Thomas Stanton: 9.7 ppg, 73.3% ft

Nate Rogers: 7.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 55.6% ft

Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 63.4 (8)

Scoring Defense: 72.8 (5)

Turnover Margin: -2.7 (7)

Rebounding Margin: -0.9 (5)

Free Throw Percentage: 69.4 (6)


CBS RPI: 250 (6)

CBS SOS: 135 (2)


9. Omaha

Not much to say on Omaha.  This is their inaugural season in the Summit League and are ineligible for the Summit League Tournament. And boy, are they ready to take their lumps! Worst rebounding and turnover margins in the league.  Trouble scoring, trouble defending.  Beat a MAC school in Northern Illinois (how bad are you NIU?).  Played both Dakota States already this year on the road.  That’s the best part of their season: Not having to head to Southern Canada in January and February.   


Record: 3-11 (0-2)

Wins: Northern Illinois, Chicago State

Losses: @ Iowa State, @ Nebraska, @ ND State, @ SD State, @ Wisconsin

Top 3 Players

Justin Simmons 12.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 77.8% ft

John Karhoff: 11.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 72.9% ft

Alex Phillips: 8.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 73.7% ft

Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 64.4 (7)

Scoring Defense: 81.8 (9)

Turnover Margin: -4.1 (9)

Rebounding Margin: -9.0 (9)

Free Throw Percentage: 67.9% (7)


CBS RPI: 307 (9)

CBS SOS: 262 (6)

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com