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Mid-Season Review


Keenan Henderson
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We are about halfway through the ORU basketball season.  What are your thoughts on the team so far?  Surprises? Disappointments?

One good thing is the crowd support at the Mabee Center.  So far attendance at home games has doubled this year: Summit League website says ORU averages about 3,700 per home game, which leads the league in attendance.  Looking forward to having the students back at the Mabee Center.

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A big surprise has been the rebounding: ORU leads the league in rebounding by plus 2 over the next highest team.  If you had told me that at the beginning of the season then I probaly would have lauged at that.  The Eagles lose K.O., who averaged 10 rebounds a game, and are a better rebounding team than last this year.  It seems everyone has bought into rebounding this season and it has been a group effort.  Yes Lufile has helped with five a game but Thompson, Lacis, and Weaver have also improved in this area.

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Since we are around the middle of the season, I looked at some statistics to see who at this point in time appear to be the most likely candidates for Summit League Player of the Year. The table below summarizes the statistical rankings of the only 4 Summit League players, who: (1) have been Summit League Player of Week/Month at least once; and (2) currently rank among the top five players in at least 2 of the 9 categories below. Currently, it looks to me like Max Abmas and Baylor Scheierman are the top candidates. That’s amazing, considering that Max was hampered by a bruised toe for most of December.

I entered these statistics by hand based on the ESPN website, so it is likely that I made a few errors - or that ESPN made errors. Oh well, Max also misses a free throw every now and then, so we all make mistakes. If you find this interesting, I'll try to update it about every 15 days. Let me know if you find errors.

Likely Summit League Player of the Year as of 1/4/2022
Statistics Rank Rank Rank Rank
  Abmas Sheierman Lacis Freidel
Scoring per game  1st; 21.2  10th; 14.1  45th; 7.4  2nd; 18.0
Rebounds per game  48th; 3.1  1st; 8.6  4th; 6.8  51st; 2.9
Field Goal % per game  27th; 44.1%  16th; 46.9%  30th; 43.7%  21st; 44.6%
Free-Throw % per game  2nd; 87.0%  5th; 83.0%  Not in top 25  20th; 69.1%
Total 3-Pointers made  2nd; 57 of 133   7th; 34 of 80  16th; 24 of 59  4th; 40 of 100
3-point % per game  7th; 42.9%  10th; 42.5%  16th; 40.7%  17th; 40.0%
Assists per game  5th; 3.5  1st; 3.9  28th; 1.6  37th; 1.4
Steals per game  9th; 1.14  3rd; 1.44  2nd; 1.5  38th; 0.62
Blocks per Game  67th; 0.07  74th; 0.06  3rd; 1.14  Not in top 88

Of the 9 Summit League statistical categories above, the following players rank among the top five in:

  • 4 categories - Abmas and Sheierman
  • 3 categories - Lacis
  • 2 categories - Freidel
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Statistics aside, Douglas Wilson with SDSU would be my pick for Player of the Year if the vote were held today, but it’s WAY too early to pick. 

When it’s all said and done, I would bet that Max wins it again.  He’s played very consistently in conference action  

One thing I can promise you already is that it’s highly unlikely Noah Friedel would get the award; way too much off-court drama, regardless of his stats. He’s only played one conference game so far…

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Lacis for player of the year!  He already won Player of the Week!  Hope he comes back again next year.

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