Summit League Tournament Preview: Jackrabbit Men Are #2 Seed, Play #7 Oral Roberts
For the second straight year, South Dakota State has gone halves on the Summit League regular season championship. But unlike last year, the Jackrabbits hope to bookend that crown with three wins in the Summit League Men's Basketball Tournament.
SDSU (23-7/12-4), runners-up to North Dakota State in 2015, opens the 2016 post season against Oral Roberts Saturday night at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls.
The Jacks shared the regular season title with Fort Wayne, but by virtue of a tiebreaker, are the #2 seed. SDSU was third in the league in scoring, and third in defense. They led the Summit in rebounding margin and fewest turnovers.
Redshirt freshman Mike Daum emerged as one of the top players, not only on coach Scott Nagy's roster, but in all of the conference. Daum is the Summit's Freshman of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, and made the All-Newcomer Team. He is also the first freshman in Jackrabbit history to be named to the All-Conference First Team. Daum was seventh in scoring, fourth in rebounding, and finished the in top ten in field goal, three-point, and free throw percentage.
Senior guard George Marshall is also on the All-Summit League First Team. Marshall was sixth in scoring and the third best three-point shooter in the conference in 2016.
Oral Roberts (14-16/6-10) is led by senior Obi Emegano. The first team All-Conference guard season player of the year won the Summit League scoring title this season, averaging better than 23 points per game. Omegano has scored 20 or more in his last 11 games. Albert Owens led the league in blocked shots.
The Golden Eagles were fourth in offense and sixth in defense in the Summit League this season. The Jackrabbits won both meetings, including last Saturday's 73-65 victory in Brookings. Mike Daum scored 35 points in two games against ORU, George Marshall 31.
Tipoff is 8:30 PM, Saturday.
I talked with The 'Voice of the Jackrabbits', Tyler Merriam, about the 2016 Summit League Basketball Tournament, and last week's wins over North Dakota State and Oral Roberts: