Senior of the week: Stanley Umude had a phenomenal three days at the Dakota Showcase in Sioux Falls, S.D., over the weekend. The Univesity of South Dakota senior averaged 28.3 points per game including a career-high 41 points against rival South Dakota State on Saturday. Umude’s 41 points tied Iowa’s Luke Garza for the most points scored by a Division-I student-athlete this season and was the most points scored by a Division-I men’s basketball player inside the Sanford Pentagon. Umude also seemed to find his 3-point shot under the Sanford Pentagon gym lights. After starting the season, 2-of-17 from beyond the arc, Umude connected on 10 3-pointers including five against North Dakota on Friday. The Coyotes lost to UND and North Dakota State but picked up their first win of the season against SDSU.
Junior of the week: The competition is furious this week among Summit League Juniors. You have Justin Brookens who had a 37 pt performance against Eastern Illinois, the always present Kevin Obanor, and Jase Townsend. This week’s award is going to one of those steadying presences. The Jackrabbits swiss army knife Alex Arians. The junior guard averaged 15 points with 5 rebounds along with over 2 assists and over a steal per game in the three-game stretch at the Dakota Showcase. All the names above are deserving but Arians gets the honor this week.
Sophomore of the week: Baylor Scheierman, SDSU. The 6’6 guard had a solid week. He saw his string of 4 consecutive games with a double double come to an end in a loss to South Dakota, but Baylor has been solid for the Jacks. Over the 3 game Dakota Showcase, Scheierman averaged 13.3 ppg to go along with 9.7 rebounds. He helped South Dakota State to a 2-1 record during the 3 day event and looks to be a key piece for the Jacks on both ends of the floor.
Freshmen of the week: Tyree Ihenacho, North Dakota
The 6-4 freshmen from Prior Lake, Minnesota has found a home in the Fighting Hawk starting lineup, providing big minutes as North Dakota navigates the early season.
At the Dakota Showcase last week, Ihenacho scored 12 points against South Dakota in 36 minutes.
He added eight points against South Dakota State and two against North Dakota State.
Ihenacho also pulled down nine boards against the Coyotes while grabbing eight rebounds against the Jacks and two against the Bison.
The freshman leads the Fighting Hawks in minutes played her night, averaging 33 minutes a contest.
Bench player of the week: This week’s award goes to a guy who may not be eligible for this award going forward. After missing Denver’s first game of the season freshman forward Sam Hines Jr. Scored 9 points and snagged 3 rebounds in his debut against UC Riverside and 3 days later added a 10 point, 5 rebound performance against Wyoming. That lead to him getting his first start of his young career against Dixie State on Saturday where he scored 11 points and added 7 rebounds, an assist, and a steal. A nice week by Hines Jr. for a team that is looking for some pieces to step up.
Defense of the week: Finding a Defensive team of the week for the MBB side will provide a weekly challenge it seems. Since the Dakota Challenge tested 4 Summit League teams with 3 days in 3 games, It’s been decided to name the Fighting Hawks of North Dakota as this week’s winner. This squad is improving immensely though their record has not shown it yet in wins/losses. They have shown to have great abilities in limiting second shot opportunities and while they may not cause a ton of turnovers, they are going to be in every game they play if the defense keeps up the quality play.