CSJ Summit League Men’s Hoops Preview & Review Jan. 21, 2020

NDSU’s Tyson Ward shooting over North Dakota. He was named this week’s Summit League Player of the Week. He also had the game winning basket earlier in the week with 1.4 seconds left in a home victory over South Dakota. (Courtesy of NDSU Athletics)

North Dakota State moved into the top spot in the standings with two wins last week at home over South Dakota and North Dakota.

G/F Tyson Ward became the third different Bison to earn the Summit League men’s basketball Player of the Week after this week this season. Ward joins teammates F Rocky Kreuser (Week 5) and G Vinnie Shahid (Week 6) in claiming the honor this season for NDSU.

It is the first time since South Dakota in the 2016-17 season that a league school has had three different players earn the honor in a season.

Ward was a key figure in leading the Bison back to the league standings lead with back-to-back home victories. He averaged 20.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg and 5.5 apg in wins over South Dakota and North Dakota.

In NDSU’s 72-70 victory over the Coyotes, Ward hit the game-winning basket with a 1.4 seconds to play, finishing a 6-for-9 effort from the field. He added five assists to go with his 14 points.

Ward capped his week with a double-double against the Fighting Hawks, going for a season-high 27 points and 11 rebounds. He also equaled his season-high with six assists.

Second place South Dakota State went 1-1 on the week. The Jackrabbits rattled off five straight league wins following an opening loss at Omaha with victories over Oral Roberts, Western Illinois, Denver, Purdue Fort Wayne and North Dakota before falling 99-84 at South Dakota this past Sunday afternoon.

Oral Roberts is a half game behind both NDSU and SDSU. The Golden Eagles began a three road trip with double-digit victories over Western Illinois (87-70) and Purdue Fort Wayne (92-68) this past week and will play at South Dakota to end the three-game road stretch this Saturday. ORU is currently ranked as the top Summit League team in the Sagarin rankings. No Summit team, however, is in the Top 25 Mid-Major Sagarin rankings.

Omaha is a game behind NDSU in the standings after dropping back-to-back road games after opening league play with three-straight wins.

South Dakota had two of my game’s of the week and also went 1-1 on the week. USD rounds out the top half of the standings at the .500 mark currently. See highlights of the Coyotes loss at NDSU and win at home versus SDSU below as my top two Summit games of last week:

Here are all the league scores from last week:

Wednesday, January 15
SDSU 87, North Dakota 66*
NDSU 72, South Dakota 70*

Thursday, January 16
Oral Roberts 87, Western Illinois 70*

Saturday, January 18
Oral Roberts 92, Purdue Fort Wayne 68*
Denver 91, Omaha 76*

Sunday, January 19
South Dakota 99, SDSU 84*
NDSU 83, North Dakota 74*


Game of the Week

North Dakota State at South Dakota State
When: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 7:00 PM CST
Where: Frost Arena (6,063), Brookings, N.D.


NDSU Probable Starters

Pos.No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG FG% FT%

G 0 Vinnie Shahid 5-11 190 Sr. 16.2 3.5 .426 .836

G/F 3 Tyree Eady 6-5 215 So. 6.7 3.5 .442 .714

G 22 Cameron Hunter 6-3 180 Jr. 7.7 2.3 .380 .780

G 24 Tyson Ward 6-6 195 Sr. 14.8 7.5 .518 .780

F 34 Rocky Kreuser 6-10 250 Jr. 9.7 6.5 .430 .750

SDSU Probable Starters

Pos.No. Name Ht. Yr. PPG RPG APG MPG

G #34 Alex Arians 6-4 So. 8.8 5.7 1.5 27.7
G #11 Noah Freidel 6-4 Fr. 9.7 3.7 1.1 26.7
G #50 David Wingett 6-7 Fr. 9.1 4.2 1.0 25.3
F #35 Douglas Wilson 6-7 Jr. 17.7 6.6 1.6 29.5
F #32 Matt Dentlinger 6-8 So. 11.1 5.9 2.0 26.9

NDSU G Vinnie Shahid (Courtesy of NDSU Athletics)

North Dakota State Bison (13-6, 4-1)

The defending Summit League Tournament champion Bison have won five of their last six games, using a stout defensive effort that has limited opponents to 64.7 points per game this year.

Offensively, North Dakota State is scoring 72.8 per game and shooting 44.2 percent as a team. The Bison have sank 175 3-pointers and average 13.2 free throws per game.

Two Bison average double figures, Vinnie Shahid (16.8 points per game) and Tyson Ward (15.4 ppg). Shahid has buried 47 3-pointers this year and dished 50 assists with 26 steals.

Ward, is a 52.2 percent shooter and leads the team with 59 assists and 7.4 rebounds per game.

Rocky Kreuser is third on the team in scoring with 9.2 points per game out of the paint, pulling down 6.2 rebounds per game. Ward (12) and Kreuser (11) sit first and second in blocks for the Bison.

NDSU is plus-3.9 in rebounding margin at 35.6 per game and hold a 1.2 assist-to-turnover ratio as a team.

SDSU F Matt Dentlinger (Courtesy of SDSU Athletics)

South Dakota State Jackrabbis (14-8, 5-2)

The defending regular season Summit League champions are 11-0 at home this season. SDSU has won its last 19 overall in Frost Arena.

Junior forward Douglas Wilson leads SDSU in scoring and rebounding with averages of 17.7 points and 6.5 boards per game.

Sophomore forward Matt Dentlinger is averaging 11.1 points and 5.9 rebounds.

As a team, the Jackrabbits rank 17th in the nation in field goal percentage (48.1 percent), but 293rd in the country in turnover margin.

The Jackrabbits’ defensive unit has limited opponents to 70.2 points per game, holding teams under 60 in seven contests and has allowed 80 or more points in just three games.

Offensively, the Jackrabbits are shooting 48.1 percent with 164 3-pointers, third-most among Summit League teams. SDSU has made 288 of its 410 free throw attempts and is 11-1 in games where it shoots more free throws than its opponent.

These two teams have met on the hardwood starting in the 1909-10 season. NDSU leads the all-time series 117-106. The Jackrabbits, however, have won five straight over the Bison.

Fearless Prediction

This is another game that might put NDSU as the clear frontrunner should the Bison win. If SDSU should win, the standings could be even more muddled. As mentioned, SDSU has owned the series recently and NDSU avoided the Jackrabbits last year in the Summit League tournament. These two teams have combined to win the Summit League championship tournament the past eight years with SDSU picking up five of those titles. SDSU has reloaded their team this year and look like the Jacks will be right in the running again to get the Summit League title either in the regular season or in the postseason. SDSU will again find a way to win at home in this won but the Bison will keep in close until the end. South Dakota State 71 North Dakota State 69


Thursday, January 23
Purdue Fort Wayne at South Dakota* (MSN2/E+) 7:00 PM
Western Illinois at Omaha* 7:00 PM
Denver at North Dakota* (MSN/E+) 7:00 PM

Saturday, January 25
Denver at NDSU* (MSN/E3) 2:00 PM
Oral Roberts at South Dakota* (MSN2/E3) 3:30 PM
Purdue Fort Wayne at Omaha* 7:00 PM
Western Illinois at North Dakota* (FSN) 7:00 PM