Conference play gets going in earnest this week in Summit League basketball. Seems like as good a time as any to take a look at where things stand. We’ll start with the women today and move to the men on Friday:
RealTimeRPI.com ranks the Summit 20th among NCAA Division I conference. That’s down just one spot from last season’s final ranking, and somewhat surprising given that the league traded Oral Roberts and Southern Utah for Omaha.
On a related note, ORU is 135th in unofficial RPI and Southern Utah is 205th.
As for the team rankings in the system …
71. SDSU (8-5)
148. Western Illinois (6-5)
168. IUPUI (6-6)
213. Oakland (6-6)
229. Omaha (8-2)
239. Kansas City (4-9)
277. NDSU (4-8)
289. USD (5-8)
306. Fort Wayne (4-8)
The Jacks also boast the top strength of schedule at 58th and own three of the four victories against power-conference teams (Nebraska, Washington State, Georgetown). USD owns the other, besting Seton Hall.
On the injury front, NDSU lost senior center Janae Burich for the season, while Oakland is still without preseason league player of the year forward Bethany Watterworth. The Golden Grizzlies have also been without freshman Olivia Nash, their top scorer in light of the absence of Watterworth, whose situation hasn’t been made public.
Fort Wayne guard Amanda Hyde put up 43 points against Southern Illinois, the top single-game effort in D-I ball so far this season. That’s also the second-most in conference history.
The Bison at Jacks game on Sunday afternoon will air on Fox College Sports Pacific (and on Midco Sports Net). It will be the fourth and final regular-season appearance on national TV for the Summit. The next such broadcast will be during the conference tournament in Sioux Falls.
Newcomer Omaha was picked last in the preseason poll, but leads the way so far in terms of winning percentage. The Mavericks will play their first-ever Summit contest Friday at Kansas City.
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.