Our Daily Dive series is your daily rundown of what is happening around NAIA basketball. We feature game breakdowns, updates on players, coaches teams and leagues for both men’s and women’s basketball.
With a ton of weekend classics. tournaments and even some conference games, this was a crazy busy weekend full of some great games, big wins and big performances. For us, it’s always a very thin line of making sure we give proper praise to teams for winning without trying to hate on or make those who lost games angry. However, last night, we apparently made some MACU fans angry with a tweet we sent off about their win. The tweet below was meant fully complimentary on their big wins to start the season and while I know they are upset they weren’t in the initial Top 25 rankings, we meant no ill will towards a terrific MACU program. Hopefully those who sent us some angry and ugly messages and responses will read this article and understand that “put the NAIA on notice” comment wasn’t a knock on the team or a feeling of us not thinking they weren’t good enough to win those games. It was simply a compliment that MACU has the two BEST NAIA wins this season, beating two Top 10 teams and “putting the NAIA on notice” that they are serious NAIA contenders this season. We have never had to apologize to a group of people before after posting about their big win, but today, I guess, we are sorry if we insulted MACU fans and players.
– Here is the shot by All-American Terrance Jones to put the game into OT and ultimately lead to the MACU win:
– Like we mentioned above, there were a lot of teams who had BIG weekends on both the Men and Women sides:
- One of the BIGGEST wins of the weekend, wont actually count in the record books as it was an Exhibition game. BUT, Loyola (LA) defeated NCAA D1 New Orleans yesterday on New Orleans Homecoming! As we have been saying, this Loyola team is deeper and better than last season and is a legit National Championship contender.
- This may upset some people as well, but Mason Walters may be the early leader for National Player of the Year. Walters had 34pts, 19rebs last night against Vanguard. He is averaging 25pts and nearly 12 rebs per game as the Jimmies are 5-0! No matter if he wins it or not, Mason has definitely put himself, heavily, into that conversation.
- Olivet Nazarene, coming off a loss to #9 Indiana Wesleyan last week, had a big bounce back weekend. The tigers defeated #12 Morningside on Friday night and then followed it up beating an undefeated Cornerstone team on the road. Cornerstone came into the game undefeated and had already knocked off previously mentioned Indiana Wesleyan. Speaking of NPOY candidates, Alex Gross had a dominant weekend as well. After going for 26pts,11rebs, 5assts, 5blks against Morningside, he went for 16pts, 16rebs, 6assts, 3blks to help lead the Tigers to a 2-0 weekend.
- #14 Marian (IN) went on the road to defeat #23 Thomas More this weekend. The win also gave Marian Head Coach, Scott Heady, his 100th win as a Knight. Christian Stewart paced the Knights with 25pts in the win.
- A big congrats to Byran first year women’s head coach, Bryon Lawhon, who led his team to a big upset over #5 Southeastern (FL) last night!
- The Rust Lady Bearcats defeated NCAA D2, Lemoyne-Owen!
– The Olivet Nazarene Women also bounced back after a tough loss with a nice win on Saturday as they beat #6 Morningside. Some points were scored in this one, as ONU won 106-97.
- One of the best aspects of the NAIA, is that SO many great coaches got their start at this level. Coaches like, Kelvin Sampson of Houston, who started his coaching career at Montana Tech!
– Congrats to Briar Cliff’s, Jaden Kleinhesselink on joining the 1k careers scorers club!
– Really cool moment for Lewis-Clark State’s, Sam Stockton, who not only got to pay his dads, John Stockton, alma matter, Gonzaga, but he also made SportsCenter Top 10 plays for his no look pass.
– Unfortunately, there won’t be a schedule and links segment out today, but we will have S2, E1 of NHR – The Podcast tomorrow! Excited to get the podcast back up and going! Be on the look out for it tomorrow morning!