Tag Archives: Summit League

2017-18 College Court Report Player of the Year Fan Vote: First Round Results

Crandall, Geno (6)
Geno Crandall has emerged as an early front-runner in the 2017-18 Player of the Year Fan Vote, and he will look to keep the title at the University of North Dakota for a third year in a row.

SARNIA, Ont. — It’s time for conference tournaments across the country, and the 2018 NCAA Tournament field is slowly taking shape.

At the end of the day on Sunday, five teams have already secured their spots in the field of 68. The Murray State Racers, Lipscomb Bisons, Michigan Wolverines, Loyola (IL) Ramblers, and Radford Highlanders have all secured themselves a spot in the Big Dance. Over the next seven days, the rest of the automatic bids will be secured.

With the season in the home stretch before March Madness, it also signals award season. Conferences have handed out their annual awards, and the race for the national awards heated up down the stretch.

The end of the season also signaled the start of the College Court Report Player of the Year Fan Vote. For the second year in a row, we selected 96 of the best players from outside of the power conferences and put them into a bracket-style field to select our Player of the Year. Fans vote for their favourites each week until there is just one left standing.

Over the past seven days, over 9,800 votes were cast in the First Round for 64 of the nation’s top players. Thirty-two players advanced to the Round of 64, and will each square off with a player who received a First Round Bye in the field.

Here are some of the highlights from Round One: Continue reading 2017-18 College Court Report Player of the Year Fan Vote: First Round Results

Eleven Under-the-Radar Freshmen That Every Fan Should Know About

Taylor, Terry
The play of freshman Terry Taylor is a big reason for the 5-3 start in conference play for Austin Peay. (Source: Austin Peay Athletics) (Header: HBCU Gameday)

LONDON, Ont. — To say the least, the 2017-18 college basketball season has been an exciting one, and we still have over two months of action left before another dreaded off-season.

Conference play is in full swing for every league across the NCAA, and the contenders are starting to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. There have been several surprise teams, both for the better and for the worse, that have caused some shakeups in leagues that many thought were locks for particular teams this season.

With the excitement comes the plethora of emerging young talents from coast to coast. Freshmen from all across the country have emerged as potential stars with their respective programs, and have taken on starring roles in their first seasons in the NCAA.

For whatever reason, the majority of freshmen outside of the Big Seven conferences (B1G, B12, Pac-12, ACC, SEC, AAC, BEast) don’t get their fair share of attention on a national scale. Most media outlets will only focus on the biggest names and the top programs, all while turning a blind eye to players who are just as deserving. One player, in particular, ranks sixth in the nation in scoring, yet many fans don’t know his name.

That needs to change, and in a hurry.

Here are 11 freshmen that fans from coast to coast need to become familiar with, as they are poised  for big things over their collegiate careers, including one of the nation’s elite scorers who just so happens to play in the nation’s capital.
Continue reading Eleven Under-the-Radar Freshmen That Every Fan Should Know About

January 3rd Game of the Day: Western Illinois Leathernecks at South Dakota Coyotes

Gilbeck, Brandon (4)
Junior forward Brandon Gilbeck (52) is averaging 3.1 blocks per game this season, which is tied for the 11th-best mark in the country. (Header: South Dakota Athletics)

VERMILLION, SD — Wednesday’s Game of the Day features a pair of teams who don’t care for your preseason predictions in the Summit League.

Last season, the South Dakota Coyotes were picked to finish seventh in the Summit League standings. Instead, they went 12-4 in conference play to take home the regular season crown. It was their first regular season conference title in school history. With that, they also made their first-ever appearance in the National Invitational Tournament.

Fast forward to this season, and seemingly everyone wrote off the Western Illinois Leathernecks before the season started, picking them to finish eighth in the eight team league. All the Leathernecks did during non-conference play is put together an 8-4 record, matching their win total from all of last season.

Now, the Leathernecks have their sights set on climbing in the Summit League standings and proving everyone wrong, much like the Coyotes did last season. While they may not win the conference title, they have a young nucleus that will only get better with each passing year.

On Wednesday, Western Illinois opens up their conference slate with a road game against the Coyotes. South Dakota is 1-0 in Summit League play, having picked up an 82-71 win over the Denver Pioneers to close out 2017.

Here’s everything you need to know in advance of Wednesday’s match-up between the Leathernecks and Coyotes. Continue reading January 3rd Game of the Day: Western Illinois Leathernecks at South Dakota Coyotes

Liberty Basketball: Previewing the Fort Wayne Mastodons

Harrell, Kason
Kason Harrell (32) put up a career-high 28 points against Indiana last time out, and he will look to put together a similar effort when Fort Wayne takes on Liberty at the New Orleans Shootout. (Source: Bloom Magazine) (Header: Liberty Athletics)

NEW ORLEANS, La. — With the 2017 calendar year coming to an end, teams across the country are rounding out their non-conference schedules and looking towards 2018 and the start of conference play.

On Thursday, the Liberty Flames and the Fort Wayne Mastodons are two of four teams that will take to the hardwood in New Orleans as a part of the 2017 New Orleans Shootout. The Alabama State Hornets and the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs square off in the other match-up, with the winners and losers of each respective pairing on Thursday squaring off on Friday to cap off the event.

Both the Flames and the Mastodons come into Thursday on a hot streak, as Liberty has won three straight and Fort Wayne has two straight wins under their belts. They both sit at eight wins on the year, and are looking to put together a strong showing over the two days in New Orleans before breaking for Christmas.

Here’s what you need to know in advance of Thursday afternoon’s match-up between the Flames and Mastodons. Continue reading Liberty Basketball: Previewing the Fort Wayne Mastodons

College Court Report Freshman of the Week: Kobe Webster, Western Illinois Leathernecks

Freshman guard Kobe Webster is emerging as a star for Western Illinois in 2017-18. (Source: Western Courier)

CANMORE, Alta. — After finishing in eighth place in the Summit League standings last season, many people were picking against the Western Illinois Leathernecks heading into 2017-18.

In the preseason Summit League poll, they were picked to finish eighth once more. With the departure of the IUPUI Jaguars to the Horizon League, that meant the Leathernecks were projected to finish last. They received 60 points in the poll, whereas the seventh place team received 104.

Based on their start to 2017-18, it’s safe to say that the Leathernecks have used that as motivation early on. Despite the loss of guard Garret Covington, among others, the Leathernecks are 5-2 this season, with a win over the aforementioned Jaguars to boot.

Leading the way is Dalan Ancrum, who is among the nation’s leading scorers with an average of 21.8 points per contest. A player we were high on during the preseason, Brandon Gilbeck, is among the nation’s leading shot blockers once again, averaging 3.2 per game.

However, with Ancrum being a senior, the Leathernecks needed their guard of the future to step up early on in 2017-18. They may have found their next star, in freshman guard Kobe Webster.

The native of Indianapolis, IN opened his collegiate career with a stat line of 19 points, eight assists, five rebounds, and four steals to lead Western Illinois to a season opening win. He sits second on the team in scoring, and has been a big factor in their strong start to the season.

For his efforts this past week, a stretch that saw the Leathernecks split a pair of games to open a four-game home stand, Western Illinois freshman guard Kobe Webster is the College Court Report Freshman of the Week for November 27 – December 3, 2017!
Continue reading College Court Report Freshman of the Week: Kobe Webster, Western Illinois Leathernecks

Non-Power Five Forwards who will be Household Names in 2017-18: Juniors

Jordon Varnado (23) helped to lead the Troy Trojans to the NCAA Tournament last season, and will look to make it back-to-back appearances in 2017-18. (Header Source: Zane Najdawl on Twitter)

CANMORE, Alta. –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.

When it comes to junior forwards in the NCAA, the list of talented players goes on and on. With so many players, it was nearly impossible to cut the list down to just 10 players without leaving star-caliber players off the list. But, we did our best, as we felt that there some players that fans should already know about.

Take a look below at ten junior forwards who we feel will become a household name in 2017-18.

*Note: The likes of Mike Daum, Jarrell Brantley, Devontae Cacok, Evan Boudreaux and Wyatt Walker didn’t make the list, as we feel that people should already know who they are by this point in their respective careers.*

Continue reading Non-Power Five Forwards who will be Household Names in 2017-18: Juniors