CANMORE, Alta. — The level of parity in college basketball in recent years is at an all-time high.
Still, on a nightly basis, mid-major teams are often the underdogs against power conference teams. The likes of the Kentucky Wildcats, Duke Blue Devils, and other blue-blood programs land the top high school recruits each season, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton of talent elsewhere in the country.
Smaller programs have just as much talent on their roster, but their names don’t come with the same pedigree as the ones in the ESPN Top 100. So, we thought we would filter through all of the mid-major schools and assemble our own Dream Team for the 2017-18 season.
CALGARY, Alta. — His nickname is ‘The Dauminator’, and for good reason.
Mike Daum is undoubtedly one of the best players in all of college basketball, and he’s only in his second season with the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. The nickname fits right into his last name, and he dominates each time he steps foot onto the hardwood.
Ever since his first game as a freshman last year, Daum has been a household name among those in the Summit League. Slowly but surely, he has become a household name on a national level.
This past week was another example of just how dominate the 6’9” sophomore can be. The Jackrabbits came into the week riding a two-game losing streak, but thanks to Daum’s strong play, they got back on the right track.
Over the two wins for South Dakota State, Daum was at the forefront of the offensive attack. He set a season-high mark for the entire NCAA in Saturday’s contest, and has inched ever so close to etching his name into the record books with the Jackrabbits.
With the exhibition season in full swing, and coming to a close early this week, that can mean only one thing.
The 2016-17 college basketball regular season is just around the corner!
Things get underway Friday, November 11th at Noon EST with the first regular season game of the season, and there will be a plethora of talent on display across all 32 conferences all season long.
Before the season gets started, we decided to hand out some preseason hardware, in the form of our Conference Player of the Year award and All-Conference Teams.
Along with that, we have the College Court Report All-Americans, and the Mid-Major Player of the Year Preseason Watch List. Links to all of the conference awards and the Watch List can be found at the bottom of each article.
With over 5,200 players slated to play collegiate basketball in Division I this season, there are talented players from coast to coast. Some of them are household names, while there are plenty of players who people haven’t heard of, but are demanding of your attention.
The majority of fans tend to focus on the power five conferences, turning a blind eye to the smaller programs. When you dig deeper, you’ll see that the non-power five schools have players who could just as easily play for a power conference program.
Over the next couple of weeks, we will be looking at non-power five players who are on the brink of becoming household names, as early as the 2016-2017 season. We’ve separated the lists between guards and forwards, and then again based on their year of eligibility.
Things came down to the final game of the regular season, but the South Dakota State Jackrabbits earned a share of the regular season title in the Summit League with a 12-4 record.
Due to the tie-breaking procedures, they earned the 2-seed in the conference tournament, while the IPFW Mastodons were awarded the top seed.
On their journey towards the conference championship, the Jackrabbits had to fight to reach the finals. A three-point win over the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles in the quarter-finals was followed by a come-from-behind win over the Denver Pioneers in the semi-finals, in which South Dakota State won by a single point.
The Jackrabbits were unquestionably tired after their tough two games, but they were one win away from the NCAA Tournament. In the top half of the bracket, upset victories led the 5th-seed North Dakota State Bison to the Summit League championship for another instalment in the rivalry between them and the Jackrabbits.
North Dakota State had their sights set on the Big Dance, but the Jackrabbits weren’t about to let their hard work from the previous two games go to waste.