March 1, 2011

Quarterfinals Preview, Oral Roberts v North Dakota State

The remainder of the quarterfinal games will all be much closer and better games than the 1 v 8 match up, starting with Oral Roberts and North Dakota State.

Game Info

Round: Quarterfinals
Game: #2 Oral Roberts v #7 North Dakota State
Date: Saturday, March 5
Time: 8:30 p.m. Central Standard Time (or after Game 1)
TV: Midco Sports Net

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Team Breakdowns

2. Oral Roberts University 17-14 (13-5) 125
RPI: 139
SOS: 176
Streak: W-8
Last 10: 8-2
Top Scorer: Dominique Morrison, 19.1 Points/Game
Top Floor Shooter: Steven Roundtree, 56.1% Fieldgoal
Top Sharp Shooter: Ken Holdman, 46.2% Three-Point
Team Fieldgoal Percent: 47.9% (2nd Summit, 14th National)
Team Possessions/Game: 68.8 (6th Summit, 134th National)
Team Turnovers/Game: 13.0 (4th Summit, 129th National)

Player To Watch: Dominique Morrison
Morrison is one of the best players in the Summit League. Not only can he dominate the paint (4.6 rebounds/game), and keep his head up to find the open man (2.3 assists/game), but he scores in every possible way (19.1 points/game; 52.3% FG; 41.6% 3P). He is next to impossible to guard, much like Alex Young (IUPUI). They are both long and lanky, but Morrison has a killer instinct that I don't think is matched throughout the league. No other player can cause as much havoc as Morrison does for Oral Roberts. (And as a player to watch, he's awfully easy to spot with that hair.)

Most Underrated Player: Damen Bell-Holter
An anomaly in the Summit League, Damen is a sophomore from Hydaburg, Alaska. The 6'9" 245lb played in every game last year, but only averaged about 15 minutes per game. Doubling his minutes this year lead to triple the points (13.6 points/game) and two and a half times the rebounds (7.8 rebounds/game). The kid knows how to get to the line and score there, too, going 119-166 (71.7%) on the season. He was good for six double-doubles (Texas Tech, Western Illinois, Missouri, Oakland, IPFW, and South Dakota State) with only three foul-outs ( Missouri State, Western Illinois, and Oakland). Bell-Holter was also the guy who had the tip in against UMKC with 0.7 seconds left to send that game into overtime.


7. North Dakota State University 177
RPI: 234
SOS: 264
Streak: W-1
Last 10: 5-5
Top Scorer: Michael Tveidt, 15.4 Points/Game
Top Floor Shooter: Marshall Bjorklund, 64.6% Fieldgoal
Top Sharp Shooter: Michael Tveidt, 46.4% Three-Point
Team Fieldgoal Percent: 47.1% (4th Summit, 30th National)
Team Possessions/Game: 70.1 (4th Summit, 87th National)
Team Turnovers/Game: 13.0 (4th Summit, 129th National)

Player To Watch: Michael Tveidt
The only player left from the 2008-09 NDSU Summit League Championship team, Tveidt is absolutely the catalyst for the current squad. He's averaging over 15 points for the second straight season (15.4 points/game), and he's two three-point buckets away from setting a career high. Much like Morrison for ORU, Tveidt is doing everything this year, averaging 3.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 2.2 steals. Though NDSU has been down since their League Championship, Tveidt has been leading the charge.

Most Underrated Player: Everyone
It's hard to pick one player for NDSU to say they are underrated, but looking at their results one would have to surmise they aren't THAT bad. Truly, the Bison are just a seventh seed by numerical result, not by how they played in each game. Their role-players need to assist Tveidt, and if they can NDSU will be a very scary foe.


What If...

Oral Roberts Wins If: They can dominate the boards. ORU definitely has the advantage in the paint, and if they can prevent the Bison from getting second-chance looks it will go a long way in staving off an upset attempt. Stopping any and all big put-backs by the Bison will be equally important in keeping the pro-Dakota crowd quiet.

North Dakota State Wins If: They can pull together and play as a unit. They were able to do that before and and beat South Dakota State twice (now 10 times in a row), as well as playing Oakland to a two-point game on the road, and fell to IUPUI by three- and four-points each. NDSU is not a typical seven-seed, they are very dangerous.



Oral Roberts 76-75 North Dakota State

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