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.
Starting to pick up some wind of the NAIA National Tournament being shrunk down from 64 teams. We will keep everyone posted as we hear more, but several sources we have talked with are for it. How teams are selected and how the tournament is structured will make for interesting conversation later on. Honestly, if you haven’t been to Municipal Auditorium, in Kansas City, then let us assure you that it’s the perfect spot to have a makeshift “NAIA Bubble” for a tournament. The KC Downtown Marriott is right across the street from Muni. If you can strike a deal with the Marriott, there is a chance to create that bubble, similar to what The Basketball Tournament and the NBA did this summer. Teams would be isolated in their rooms, while two teams and coaching staff walk across the street to play. This is all speculation of course, no concrete word yet one way or another if the National Tournament will be 16, 32 or 64 teams. Looking forward to covering it either way!
Review of yesterday’s Games of the Day:
Edward Waters 69 @ 17 Talladega 80 (Box Score)
Just a great defensive outing from Dega in this game. They are playing without All-American and preseason GCAC POY Darryl Baker, but for the second day in a row, that didn’t matter. Dega got down double digets early in the 1st half, before going on a big run to end the half. They never looked back after that, as they got the 80-69 victory. Tony Hutson led the way with a 17pt, 11reb double-double.
Lyon 59 @ RV Central Baptist 84 (Full Recap)
We don’t miss like this a ton on our Games of the Day. Lyon had been playing tough as of late, losing a late lead to #19 LSU-Alexandria, then winning back to back AMC road games. Central Baptist finally looked like the team that they are capable of being. They forced the tempo and locked down defensively. Tedrick Wolfe led the way for the Mustangs with 17pts.
#13 John Brown 79 @ RV Science and Arts 91 (Full Recap)
Another impressive outing for USAO as they knocked off their 3rd ranked opponent of the season last night. John Brown was without 3rd Team All-American Luke Harper and were playing their first game of the season. USAO continues to be really tough defensively holding JBU to just 37% from the field. Cameron Hines for USAO scored 22 points in the win. He also surpassed the 1,000pt scoring plateau with in the win!
Remember the name Noah Dunn of Montreat. We featured him as one of our Five Players to Watch yesterday and the Freshman did not disappoint. The 6’4 240lb G/F is a monster to guard, he finished with a career high 30pts to go with 6rebs. He hit SIX 3’s on his way to those 30pts.
Another AAC player who is having a great season is Sophomore Markelle Turner of Union. The Sophomore finished with 27pts yesterday in the Bulldogs loss.
Another one of our Five Players to Watch had an absurd OT performance yesterday. Rayshawn Mart poured in 28 points, 13 coming in the OT period. You sometimes don’t see teams scoring 13pts in an OT period. Mart is an absolute stud for that Xavier team.
As mentioned previously congrats to Cameron Hines on joining the 1k scoring club!
Darius Yohe of William Woods broke the school record for blocks in a career last night. Yohe is just a Sophomore, and the reigning AMC Defensive Player of the Year.
Over on the women’s side a big congrats to Michelle Burns on breaking the Point Park career 3FG made record!
The new Coaches Top 25 Poll will be out today! Looking forward to seeing how things shake after a crazy couple of weeks with so many ranked teams going down! As always, check back in with us throughout the day as we bring you the best coverage in NAIA Hoops!