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 email@example.com to recommend stories to be included into this segment.
It was a great Saturday in the NAIA yesterday. Lots of great games, big performances and a few upsets. After this past weeks games we now have 15 of the 21 Conferences who have played league games. Some leagues are really starting to take shape, while others still have plenty of questions. Conference play is never easy. No one will know your tendencies, your plays and your personnel like league opponents do. It makes for great games, even between two teams who may seem unevenly matched. Looking forward to seeing how each league navigates the rest of the season and who makes it to the National Tournament.
Review of our Games of the Day:
RV Freed Hardeman 64 @ 11 Cumberlands 71 (Full Recap)
This is a really talented Cumberlands team who has been a bit inconsistent as of late. Yesterday looked like one of the more complete games we have seen them play since their win against Georgetown. Our Top 25 will be out later this evening. It will be interesting to see on Wednesday where the coaches poll has them ranked. They have the talent, led by All-American Tevin Ollison, to make a good run at National Tournament. However, their inconsistent play could also get them upset in the 1st round as well. Maybe this win gets them over the hump and gets them momentum moving forward.
RV Valley City State 69 @ Bellevue 77 (Full Recap)
This Bellevue team was picked as the favorites to win the North Star in the preseason coaches poll. Most of first semester they didn’t look like a league favorite. A team that has now played 20 games, and have won five straight, looks to finally be hitting it’s stride. Valley City State was a bit short handed for this game. A team who has already matched their win total from a season ago, this VCSU team will no doubt bounce back. Unfortunate we didn’t get to see this matchup with both teams at full strength. The North Star Title should come down to these two teams and Mayville State.
Wayland Baptist 78 @ RV Texas Wesleyan 75 (Full Recap)
We said in our Game of the Day post that we wanted to see how Wayland looked in the post-JJ Culver era. Well, for game 1 anyway, it looks like the Freshman Devin Avent is a piece that will help offset some of Culver’s scoring ability. Avent went for 36 points in his Sooner Athletic Conference debut. He helped Wayland Baptist come back from down 18 with 10 minutes left to steal a SAC road win over a tough Texas Wesleyan group.
Other Notable Scores:
– Not quite sure what happened in this one, but Thomas More completely dominated #6 Georgetown 88-48.
– #7 Lewis-Clark State got it’s revenge from Friday as they beat #5 Arizona Christian 88-78. Nice road win to earn the weekend split with ACU.
– Quite the three day stretch for Midland (NE). On Thursday, they lost to Jamestown on a buzzer beater. Then on Saturday, they knock off #18 Dakota Wesleyan 84-75.
Quite the day for players joining the 1k scoring club:
Jaiden Bristol actually hit two milestones yesterday, 1,000pt scorer and 500 career rebounds. One of our favorite PG’s to watch in NAIA! Congrats again Jaiden!
We talked a bit about Kyle Mangas and how he has one of the best small college basketball resumes as a players in the history of small college athletics. Here is another one:
From the Podcast:
Coach Francis from USAO said that he was hoping to get more from Elving Rodriguez, and Elvin stepped up big yesterday:
Trev gave a shout out to Kevon Blankenship and his play as of late for Bryan College. We are big fans of the Freshman, but it was the other BC Freshman, Amauri Young who had a big game yesterday with 29pts, 11reb, 6assts and this “ONIONS” play to send yesterdays game into OT:
This young Bryan team will be one to watch in the upcoming years. Nice road win for them yesterday.
If you missed yesterdays, or any other episodes, you can listen below!
Fab Four Preview – Road To Muni Podcast
Our Top 25 will be out later this evening. Quite a crazy week we have had as #1, #2, #3, #5, #6 (twice), and #7 have all lost. Several others outside of the Top 10 have lost as well over these past two weeks. Be sure to check back in later today to see who all makes it into our NAIA Hoops Report Top 25!!