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.
Full day of NAIA basketball yesterday. Want to give a shoutout to Georgetown. After losing back to back games, including a 40 point loss to Thomas More, we had no clue what to do with them in our Top 25 poll and left them out. BIG mistake on our end, as Chris Briggs has his team playing some major lock down defense over the past two games resulting in back to back wins and holding both #16 Martin Methodist and Cumberland (TN) below 60pts. They have won their last two games by a combined 53 points. This is a scary team when they raise their defensive level.
Review of yesterday’s Games of the Day:
UPike 69 @ Life 74 (Full Recap)
Two days after beating RV Cumberlands on the road for their first Mid-South win of the season, Life made it two wins in a row to move to 2-3 in MSC play. Having Cam Horton and Isaiah Hart back playing and healthy has been a big boost. Tonight though, it was Lorenzo Feller who finished with a team high 17pts for the Running Eagles. These two teams will face off again on Thursday in Pikeville.
1 Indiana Wesleyan 81 @ 24 Saint Francis 72 (Full Recap)
Kyle Mangas doing Kyle Mangas type stuff as he finishes two assists shy of a triple-double. The nations leading scorer went for 33 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists in #1 Indiana Wesleyan’s road Crossroads League win. The win marks their 5th win over a Top 25 opponent this season.
Keiser 85 @ Ave Maria 88 OT (Full Recap)
Ave Maria comes away with a big OT home win to keep them two games back of Warner in The Sun Conference. The Gyrenes got a huge night from Fernando Salsamendi who scored 29 points in the second half and OT to finish with a game high 35 points to go with 11 rebounds.
– Some big games all around the NAIA yesterday, but none bigger then the soon to be 2x NAIA National Player of the Year, Kyle Mangas.
– Brandon Durnell (27pts/19reb) of Spring Arbor and Kyran Jones (25pts/17reb) of Georgetown put together two MONSTER double-doubles tonight.
– As previously mentioned, Fernando Salsamendi of Ave Maria went OFF in the 2H of tonight’s game with Keiser.
– John Brown was happy to have All-American Luke Harper back finally. Harper finished with 27pts in his season debut for JBU!
– How about the Freshman in the NAIA right now! We will have a bigger article coming out this weekend to cover the future of the NAIA, but just last night alone:
– Derrin Boyd, Georgetown – 23pts in a win over Cumberland (TN)
– Myles Corey, William Jessup – 26pts in a win over Simpson (CA)
– Steel Gaston-Chapman, Southwestern (KS) – 29pts, 8reb, 3assts in a win over Ottawa.
The future of NAIA hoops is in great hands!!
In Case You Missed It:
Every Monday our writers give us their weekly reviews of the leagues they cover. We are hoping to add some more leagues next week. We keep having people commit to writing them before deciding that it’s too much work. It’s why I love the guys on this team who are fully committed to giving you the coverage they give you each and every week!
First games today are scheduled for 2pm CT. Be sure to check back with us to see who makes the cut for today’s Games of the Day and who makes the Five Players to Watch list!