January 4, 2021 0 Comments
The Daily Dive is your deep dive into the news and notes from around the NAIA Hoops World. Every day we will highlight some of the top headlines, conference updates, player accolades, coaching milestones and more. This used to be our Morning Bullet Points series. We went away from it this year, as others were doing similar things and we didn’t want to step on any toes. At the request of many, we have elected to bring it back for the second half of the season. Feel free to DM us on Twitter (@NAIAHoopsReport) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend stories to be included into this segment.
With the first Daily Dive we are going to first take a look back from some recent news items that came about from over the Holiday break. Including some big news out of the Cascade Collegiate Conference.
College of Idaho and Lewis-Clark State College will be the only teams who are able to qualify for the National Tournament this season from the league. It is unfortunate for the players from the other programs, but at least the NAIA has granted everyone an extra year of eligibility. Hopefully we will see many of the Seniors from the Cascade in uniform again next season.
We have caught wind that the NAIA council has approved the lowering of games from 14 down to 10 for teams to be considered for the National Tournament. With some regions hit harder on teams allowed to play, that will go a long ways in helping some of these teams that were trying to count D1 games on schedule in order to get to that original 14 game mark. There are still going to be some interesting decisions left to made on what the NAIA National Tournament actually looks like. As of right now the plan is still to have regional site games with the winners of those regionals meeting in Kansas City as part of a NAIA Sweet 16.
For those wanting to view the current bracket and dates you can here.
Currently, the NAIA has six teams who are at least 6-0 or better:
– #1 Indiana Wesleyan 17-0
– #2 William Penn 11-0
– #16 Faulkner 9-0
– #4 LSU-Shreveport 8-0
– #12 The Master’s 6-0
– #7 Lewis-Clark State 6-0
It is crazy to think that Indiana Wesleyan has played 17 games while others are playing there first game this week. So goes the 2020-2021 season. Hopefully we get fewer and fewer postponed games as the season progresses. We are now at the point where the timeline between now and Conference Tournaments is really short. The opportunities to reschedule games is quickly drying up. Teams may have to get creative with their makeup games, and we could see teams playing 4 games in a week come February.
Speaking of #7 Lewis-Clark State, they play a tough William Jessup team at NOON MT. We will discuss this game further in our Schedule and Links segment later this morning, but looking forward to watching Jessup stud Freshman PG Myles Corey face off against one of the best PG’s in the NAIA in Damek Mitchell from LSCS.
This is a fun week of NAIA hoops as we are getting to finally watch some teams who are playing their first games of the season. #14 Providence (MT) is one of those teams and while Kyle Mangas will probably win the National Player of the Year this year, don’t forget about Zaccheus Darko-Kelly of Providence. The kid can flat play and will flirt with a Triple-Double most games. He is one of the best there is in NAIA, even though he doesn’t get as much publicity.
If you haven’t gotten a chance to catch up with the latest rendition of NHR – The Podcast, make sure you take a listen to Saturday’s episode!
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In the final podcast of the season, Junior and Trev are joined by Pat Derksen to preview the NAIA Men’s National Championships! We break down each bracket, talk about our favorite matchups and even give our Fab Four predictions!
A lot of great games today! Be sure to check in with us each and every day as we publish our Daily Dive series to keep you posted on what is going on around the NAIA Hoops World!
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