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A play-by-play guy trying to survive in a mid-major world

Archive for the month “March, 2012”


March Madness is in full swing and IUPUI and South Dakota State are hours away from their tournament match-up.  The Jaguars arrived to Sioux Falls late Thursday around 1 am local time.  The late arrival didn’t bother the players as they were up early for breakfast and excited for the opportunity March presents.  Team practices during the tournament are monitored and set to a time limit.  The Jags wanted to practice a little bit longer today so they headed over to the University of Sioux Falls to get up some shots and work for a little less than two hours.  Here is some video from the day and some thoughts from Seniors Stephen Thomas and Alex Young.  I wish I could put the videos right onto the page, but the best that I can do is send you the links. (Arriving at University of Sioux Falls and some words from HC Todd Howard)  (From the pregame huddle to the first few moments of practice) (Senior Stephen Thomas speaks right after practice) (1st team All-Summit Alex Young on the night before tournament play)

Again, I wish you could just click and view, but take a look at the different videos hopefully it gives you an idea how loose and free this team is as they prepare for the Summit League tournament.


IUPUI is 16-11 all-time in the Summit League tournament winning the championship in 2003.  The 16 wins is tied with Oral Roberts for the most in tournament history.

South Dakota State guard Jr. guard Nate Wolters is averaging 21.2 points per game (2nd in Summit) 5 rebounds and 6.1 assists (tops in Summit).  He is the ONLY player in college basketball averaging 20/5/6 and if the numbers stick he will be only the 5th player to reach those numbers in NCAA history.

SDSU will have the edge in crowd support tonight.  The Jackrabbits home arena is only 59 miles from Sioux Falls.  The Jungle is 744 miles from the Falls.

Jaguars sophomore and all-newcomer choice Ian Chiles is averaging 16 points per game over his last games.  Chiles has scored 31 points making 12-21 shots in two games this season vs. SDSU.

5th year senior Christian Siakam is shooting 63% over his last 9 games and the Jaguar is averaging 13.4 ppg over that stretch.

Thomas has scored 24 points and handed out 9 assists in two games vs. SDSU.

Last Saturday SDSU sophomore Jordan Dykstra went 4-4 from three in the 1st half and has made 13 of his last 16 from beyond the arc.  The 6’8″ Dykstra was the top three point shooter in the league hitting 49% of his shots.

Jacks big man Tony Fiegen (rhymes with vegan) has scored in double-figures in only 2 of his last 12 games.  That includes his 11 point performance last Saturday vs. IUPUI.

All-time series:  IUPUI is 6-4 vs. SDSU, but has lost three straight including two losses this season.

First meeting December 1st at Indianapolis:  SDSU 97 IUPUI 93 in overtime

–The Jacks scored 44 1st half points and the Jaguars scored 54 second half points.  Wolters scored 32 with 8 boards and 8 assists.  Griffan Callahan scored 20 points making 4 of the 14 three’s SDSU hit against the Jags defense.  Six Jaguars scored double-figures led by Alex Young and his 28 points.  Siakam had a double-double for IUPUI.

Second meeting February 25 at Brookings:  SDSU 75 IUPUI 64

–The Jaguars built a 13 point first half lead, but the Jacks closed the half on a 28 to 13 run to grab the lead and never trail again.  Four Jacks hit double-figures led by Dykstra’s 20 points and 6 rebounds.  The Jacks bench outscored the Jags 19-8 and only 14 of IUPUI’s 64 points came in the paint.  Ian Chiles scored 17 to lead IUPUI.

Third meeting March 3 in Sioux Falls:  ?

–listen to IUPUI basketball tonight beginning at 9:15 EST on 1260 WNDE.

Go Jags






The Awards Show

The Summit League announced their 2011-2012 postseason awards. It was a clean sweep for league champ Oral Roberts grabbing the player of the year, coach of the year, and sixth man of the year. The Golden Eagles were the preseason favorites and they lived up to the hype by earning a 17-1 league mark. Without further adieu here are the best in the Summit League:

Coach of the Year:
Scott Sutton, ORU

Player of the Year:
Dominique Morrison, ORU

1st Team All-Summit:
Reggie Hamilton, Oakland
Nate Wolters, South Dakota St
Alex Young, IUPUI
Frank Gaines, IPFW
Taylor Braun, North Dakota St

2nd Team All-Summit:
Ceola Clark, Western Illinois
Charlie Westbrook, South Dakota
Michael Craion, ORU
Jordan Dykstra, South Dakota St
Jackson Stevenette, Southern Utah

Sixth Man of the Year:
Steven Roundtree, ORU

Defensive Player of the Year:
Ceola Clark

Newcomer of the Year:
Lawrence Alexander, North Dakota St

All-Newcomer Team:
Lawrence Alexander
Ian Chiles, IUPUI
Obi Emegano, Western Illinois
Corey Petros, Oakland
Terrell Parks, Western Illinois

Two Jaguars earned postseason awards and it’s the third straight year Alex Young is named to the first team. Sophmore Ian Chiles averaged 11.3 points per game and has started 27 straight games for the Jags.

For Alex the news didn’t come as a surprise, but he knows it’s a big deal. “That’s a great honor and looking back on it my first (sophomore year) was the easiest. That year I just rode Rob’s (Glenn) coat tails. I really earned it last year and this year the league had some really nice scorers. The award I really wanted was the defensive player of the year. That’s the one award I’ve wanted over any of the others and I was bummed to not be nominated. I thought I improved on my defense and did some good things.” Players are nominated by their head coaches and then the league places the top names on the ballot.

At the beginning of the season Ian Chiles wrote down one individual award and he earned it. “I wanted to make the all-newcomer team. I knew if I made that team then I was contributing to the team in a positive way. It’s cool to have the other coaches and such vote for you and recognize you. Now next year I need to find a way on to that first team.”

At the start of the year Head Coach Todd Howard was stressing how special it is to have a single player make the first team three straight seasons. Someday we’ll look back on how special AY5 was when his #5 hangs on the walls of the Jungle next to George Hill’s #3 and Carlos Knox’s #34.

Here is the ballot that I submitted and I’m sure you’ll pick apart. I don’t have to put my picks out there, but I think it’s nice for the fans to find out why I voted the way I did and who I thought were the best in the Summit League.

COY: Jim Molinari, Western Illinois
–Sutton was my second choice, but in my opinion Molinari did a masterful job getting his team to finish in 4th place. WIU was picked to finish in 9th place and they surprised a lot of teams thanks to the two newcomers and a healthy Ceola Clark. I kept thinking about Joe Torre when I was thinking about Scott Sutton for COY…he coached the favorites and the favorites won. I like his style and I like how he lets his very veteran group play through any rough patches without using a timeout. In the second meeting with IUPUI he was calling plays for his star Morrison and everything was working. A great, great coach. In the end for me it was Molinari followed by Sutton and Scott Nagy at South Dakota St. WIU plays a deliberate style that is tough to watch, but he gets his players to buy in and they were rewarded with a fourth place finish.

POY: Reggie Hamilton
–By far the toughest call in the three years that I have been voting. For me it was between Morrison and Hamilton. Morrison was the best player on the best team, but that’s not enough for me. Frankly it shouldn’t be for you. For instance, Kevi Luper won the women’s POY for a third straight year and her club finished second. The preseason player of the year on the men’s side was Alex Young and his team was picked fourth in the preseason. So it’s more than who’s the best on the best and there is no question that Morrison is a special player. I witnessed that first hand during the second half of the ORU/IUPUI overtime thriller in Tulsa. What it came down to was, who was the best player in the league…a league with four studs…and for me Hamilton was the biggest stud. As Alex Young told me “it’s tough to argue with Morrison, but Hamilton can score at any time and he scores a ton.” 790 points this season to be exact.

1st Team:
D. Morrison
N. Wolters
A. Young
F. Gaines
T. Parks

2nd Team:
M. Craion
C. Clark
T. Braun
J. Dykstra
C. Westbrook

6th Man:
S. Roundtree

C. Clark
–This was a weak category. I didn’t think this was a strong defensive year for the league and was disappointed Alex Young was not even nominated. He led IUPUI 29 steals and 16 blocks (most in the league). I voted for Clark based on reputation (he won in ’09-10…and was very good that year) more than what he did because the other 4 nominees didn’t merit the top vote.

Newcomer of the year:
T. Parks

Newcomer team:
T. Parks
O. Emegano
L. Alexander
I. Chiles
C. Petros


Congratulations to IUPUI Junior Kerah Nelson for making the women’s first team. She had a wonderful year and for the first time in her career she will compete in the league tournament. Sophomore Katie Comello made the all-newcomer team for Austin Parkinson’s team. The Jags face North Dakota State on Sunday in the 5 seed-4 seed game.

IUPUI is on their way to Sioux Falls for the tournament and they tip off Saturday night at 9:30 EST against South Dakota State. Right now we are enjoying a brief stay at Chicago Midway before flying to Omaha and riding a bus the rest of the way to Sioux Falls.

Go Jags

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