Summit League awards will be announced in the next couple of days as a bit of a primer, here are one man’s selections. Plus a couple of awards that aren’t part of the official announcement. Full disclosure, I personally like when the teams include both guards and forwards so there may be some 1st teamers that others don’t agree with but here are mine.
Player of the Year
G Max Abmas Oral Roberts
There are some fantastic candidates for Player of the Year this year. I would say as many as 3 others that had player-of-the-year type seasons. However, Abmas for player of the year was still a no-brainer. The perfect way to end one of the greatest Summit League careers ever. Abmas led the league in scoring and was 4th in assists. On the defensive end, Abmas was 9th in steals. Not only that but Oral Roberts dominated the Summit League en route to a perfect conference season.
All Summit 1st Team
G Trenton Massner Western Illinois: May not be another player more important to their team than Massner
G Zeke Mayo South Dakota State: Mayo met preseason expectations and joins Massner and Abmas as players that can single-handedly carry their team.
G Shemarri Allen Kansas City: No other player had the jump from last year to this year that Allen. One of the best two-way players in the league.
F Grant Nelson North Dakota State: We have talked for two seasons about Nelson’s potential. Met it this season.
F Connor Vanover Oral Roberts: The scoring numbers may not match others but the impact of Vanover’s addition can’t be denied.
All Summit 2nd Team
G Tommy Bruner Denver: What an addition Bruner has been for Denver this season. Top 10 scorer, 2nd in assists.
G Rayquawndis Mitchell Kansas City: Part of Kansas City’s dynamic duo, top 5 scorers in the league.
G Andrew Rohde St. Thomas: The league’s top freshman. Future is bright for Rohde.
F Matt Dentlinger South Dakota: Dentlinger’s swan song was fantastic. Was especially effective in conference play.
F Parker Bjorklund St. Thomas: Former division 3 player grabs 2nd team honors.
For newcomers, splitting transfers and freshmen into two categories.
Summit transfer of the year
F Connor Vanover Oral Roberts
Vanover wasn’t the highest-scoring transfer in the league, but the argument here is he had the biggest impact. The addition of Vanover brought back that pick-and-pop aspect that the Golden Eagles had been missing since the departure of Kevin Obanor and Vanover was one o the most impactful defensive players in the league, giving ORU a dimension they haven’t had in the Paul Mills era. Vanover led the league in blocks and was 3rd in rebounding and 14th in scoring. An integral part to the Golden Eagles success this season.
All Summit Transfer team
G Tommy Bruner Denver: Bruner came in with a reputation as a distributor and did that well, but his scoring prowess surprised many.
G Rayquawndis Mitchell Kansas City: What a revelation Mitchell was, came in and was 5th in scoring this season.
G Alec Rosner Western Illinois: One of the Leathernecks ironmen. Top 15 scorer this season
F Patrick Mwamba Oral Roberts: Took his role and ran with it. A bit of a swiss army knife player for Oral Roberts.
F Jesiah West Western Illinois: Maybe the best athlete in the league. 2nd in rebounding, 2nd in blocks.
Summit Freshmen of the Year
G Andrew Rohde St. Thomas
In my opinion runaway winner of the freshmen of the year award. Grabbed a team leader role early on and set the tone for this St. Thomas team. Already plenty of buzz around Rohde’s talent. Plays with a competitive fire that is contagious to go with his incredible skill set. Rohde led Summit freshmen in most categories this season.
All Summit Freshman
G Justin Mullins Denver: Showed athleticism, a growing offensive skillset, and late in the season played some dominating defense.
G Tajavis Miller North Dakota State: The most impressive addition to a young Bison backcourt.
F BJ Omot North Dakota: One of the highest-ranked recruits in North Dakota history and showed it on the court.
F William Kyle South Dakota State: Took on whatever role asked of him and did it well.
F Luke Jungers Omaha: Instant offense for Omaha and showed he’s a prolific shooter this early in his career.
6th Man of the Year
F Patrick Mwamba Oral Roberts
Mwamba started 43 games over the previous 2 seasons before arriving at Oral Roberts. He arrives in Tulsa and basically says whatever it takes to win. Gave the Golden Eagles scoring, rebounding, and a different attitude than they have sometimes had. What didn’t always show up in the box score was Mwamba’s versatility on both offense and defense, which was highlighted by his ability to defend any position on the court.
Defensive Player of the Year
G Shemarri Allen Kansas City: It is probably unlikely that when this award gets announced, it will not be Allen who wears the crown. It’s hard to overlook the incredible block numbers that Connor Vanover put up. My pick goes to Allen though. Probably the best on-ball defender in the league this season. Steals leader and just an overall tone-setter on the defensive end.
Summit All-Defense team
G Matt Mims South Dakota State: The numbers don’t always show the elite on-ball defender Mims is.
G Trenton Massner Western Illinois: His offensive prowess is much discussed, he’s an equally talented defender
F Grant Nelson North Dakota State: number 3 block man in the conference.
F Jesiah West Western Illinois: Undersized forward but you wouldn’t know it by his block numbers.
F Connor Vanover Oral Roberts: One of the most impressive individual defensive seasons in the history of the Summit League. Runaway blocks leader
All Glue Guy Team (maybe they have big numbers maybe they don’t but the guys you want on your team)
G Matt Mims South Dakota State: one of the best defenders and 3-point shooters in the league.
G Brady Danielson North Dakota: Hit a big shot, take a charge, grab a tough rebound. Whatever is needed.
G Alex Arians South Dakota State: The wily vet who might be the definition of coach on the floor.
F Deshang Weaver Oral Roberts: Whatever it takes to win, Weaver is there to do it
F Damani Hayes South Dakota: Former walk-on, undersized, all effort.