Two-time All-Summit selection Tra-Deon Hollins and the Omaha men's basketball team vie for a Summit League championship...
Courtesy: Omaha Athletics

Omaha Seeks First Summit League Crown

Omaha Athletics | March 07, 2017
This Week
The third-seeded Omaha men’s basketball team faces No. 4 seed South Dakota State in the Summit League Basketball Championship Game this Tuesday, March 7. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., and the winner advances to the NCAA Tournament with the Summit League's automatic bid.

The game will be televised live on ESPN2 with Clay Matvick on play-by-play and Sean Harrington providing analysis, and Gary Sharp and John Karhoff will have the radio call on 1180 Zone 2. Fans can watch the broadcast on the WatchESPN app and stream audio on their smartphones by downloading NRG Media's app "1620 The Zone." Links to live video, audio and stats will be available on OMavs.com, and tickets are available for purchase at TheSummitLeague.org/tickets.

Quick Hits
•Omaha seeks the program's first Summit League championship and the first NCAA Tournament berth of its six-year Division I era.
•Omaha and South Dakota State both enter Tuesday toting five-game win streaks.
•Five UNO players average double-figure scoring: Marcus Tyus (17.1 ppg), Tre'Shawn Thurman (13.6 ppg), Tra-Deon Hollins (13.3 ppg), Mitch Hahn (11.6 ppg) and Zach Jackson (10.9 ppg).
•Over 59 minutes of work in the last two days, Thurman has totaled 38 points, 23 rebounds, three assists and a block while shooting .667 (16-of-24) and recording two double-doubles.
•On Monday, Tyus saw his streak of 16 consecutive double-digit scoring performances come to an end. It was the longest streak of any Maverick this season and the most since Thurman had 14 straight from Jan. 1 to Feb. 20, 2016.
•Tyus has averaged 27.0 points per game vs. South Dakota State this season. He posted 34 points on 10-of-16 shooting with eight 3-pointers on Jan. 7 on the road, followed by 20 points on Jan. 28 at home.
•Omaha has had at least one scorer tally 20+ points in 15 of the last 16 games.

More on the Mavericks
•Marcus Tyus eclipsed 1,000 career points Jan. 4 vs. Fort Wayne, while Tre'Shawn Thurman passed the mark Jan. 28 vs. South Dakota State. They are the 37th and 38th 1,000-point scorers in program history, respectively.
•Thurman is also the 11th player in school history with at least 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in a career.
•Omaha, South Dakota State and North Dakota State are the only three Summit League squads with at least 1,000-point scorers on the roster.
•Tyus has a team-leading 71 threes made this season, the most since Jeff Martin (98) in 2009-10 and the fifth-highest total in school history.
•Tyus averaged 21.2 points per game in league play, which ranks second in the conference. In non-conference, he had averaged 13.2 points per game.
•Tra-Deon Hollins scored in double figures in nine straight contests from Jan. 14 to Feb. 16, and he has averaged 16.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 3.6 steals per game over the last 13 games.
•Thurman registered his team-best ninth double-double of the year March 6 vs. IUPUI -- his second of the tournament.
•The Mavericks shot .380 in their win over Oral Roberts on Feb. 16. The last time Omaha won while shooting lower than .400 was Dec. 22, 2013 vs. Seattle (.379).
•Omaha has forced 15 or more turnovers 16 times this year.
•Omaha went 7-6 in non-conference play, marking its fourth straight season finishing .500 or better against non-conference opponents.
•Omaha was a perfect 10-0 when shooting 50 percent or better last year. This year, the Mavericks are 5-2.
•Nine different Mavericks have scored in double figures this season.
•Omaha capped the 2015-16 season at 18-14 overall and 10-6 in the Summit League, finishing third in the conference standings. The Mavericks were picked fourth in the league’s 2016-17 preseason poll.

Scouting the South Dakota State Jackrabbits
No. 4 seed South Dakota State enters Tuesday's championship game with a record of 17-16 (8-8 Summit League) after a 74-71 win over regular-season champion South Dakota on Monday. The Jackrabbits erased a 16-point deficit, and a Michael Orris jumper was the go-ahead bucket with 1.5 seconds left. Orris finished with a team-leading 20 points. SDSU has reached four of the last five Summit League championship games.

Summit League Player of the Year Mike Daum is SDSU's leading scorer at 25.0 points per game, which ranks second nationally, and also has a team-best 8.1 rebounds per game. Reed Tellinghuisen (11.9 ppg) and A.J. Hess (10.2 ppg) also average double-figure scoring.

Head coach T.J. Otzelberger is in his first season at South Dakota State, carrying a career record of 17-16.

Tuesday's game marks the 87th meeting all-time between Omaha and SDSU, with the Jacks leading the series 54-32. The two teams split this year's regular-season series, with Omaha winning the first matchup in Brookings, S.D., 101-93 on Jan. 11, and SDSU taking the second at Baxter Arena, 88-84 on Jan. 28.

Tourney Time
This week marks Omaha's second appearance in as many years eligible for the Summit League Tournament. The Mavericks debuted as the No. 3 seed in 2016, when they were bounced 78-70 in the quarterfinals by No. 6 seed Denver. Tra-Deon Hollins led the way, collecting 17 points, five rebounds, eight assists, seven steals and two blocks.

Following the league tournament last season, Omaha went on to an appearance in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI), falling 120-112 in the first round at Duquesne.

Hollins Headlines Omaha's Summit League Hardware Haul
Four Mavericks -- senior guards Tra-Deon Hollins and Marcus Tyus, junior forward Tre'Shawn Thurman and sophomore forward Mitch Hahn -- collected postseason accolades from The Summit League, the conference office announced Thursday.

Hollins was named to the All-Summit First Team and voted Summit League Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, while Tyus picked up his first all-league award in being named to the All-Summit Second Team. Thurman was selected Honorable Mention All-Summit, and Hahn earned a place on the Summit League All-Newcomer Team.

Since Omaha joined the Summit League in 2012-13, nine Mavericks have combined for 11 All-Summit awards.

2017 Summit League Men's Basketball Championship Field Set
The field is set for this weekend’s 2017 Summit League Men’s Basketball Championship, with eight teams competing March 4-7 at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. The tournament champion advances to the NCAA Tournament as the league’s automatic bid. Tickets for the event can be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com or in person at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center Box Office.

2017 SUMMIT LEAGUE MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE/RESULTS
Saturday, March 4 • Quarterfinals
Game 1 (6 p.m.) - No. 1 South Dakota 78, No. 8 Western Illinois 69
Game 2 (8:30 p.m.) - No. 7 IUPUI 76, No. 2 North Dakota State 57

Sunday, March 5 • Quarterfinals
Game 3 (6 p.m.) - No. 4 South Dakota State 83, No. 5 Denver 73
Game 4 (8:30 p.m.) - No. 3 Omaha 84, No. 6 Fort Wayne 80

Monday, March 6 • Semifinals
Game 5 (6 p.m.) - No. 4 South Dakota State 74, No. 1 South Dakota 71
Game 6 (8:30 p.m.) - No. 3 Omaha 90, No. 7 IUPUI 62

Tuesday, March 7 (Championship)
Game 7 (8 p.m.) - No. 4 South Dakota State vs. No. 3 Omaha (ESPN2/WatchESPN)

Last Time Out: Omaha Dominates IUPUI 90-62, Advances to Summit League Championship
Double-doubles from sophomore Mitch Hahn and junior Tre'Shawn Thurman powered the Omaha men's basketball team Monday night, as the Mavericks defeated IUPUI in a commanding 90-62 win in the Summit League semifinals at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.

Hahn posted his first career double-double with a team-high 21 points and a season-best 10 rebounds alongside two steals, an assist and a block. The Fremont, Neb., native shot 8-of-13 from the field with two 3-pointers.

Thurman's double-double -- his team-leading ninth of the season -- came on 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. The Omaha Central product shot 6-of-9 from the floor for the night.

Senior Tra-Deon Hollins added 19 points, five rebounds, four steals and two assists and shot a perfect 7-of-7 at the free throw line. Sophomore Zach Jackson was the Mavericks' fourth double-figure scorer with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting with six rebounds, three assists and a steal.

As a team, Omaha shot 50.8 percent (32-of-63) to IUPUI's 31.7 percent (19-of-60) and outrebounded the Jaguars 50-34. The Mavericks also had a 46-26 advantage in the paint, outscored IUPUI 24-16 on points off turnovers and had a 37-13 bench scoring edge.

Hollins Adding Name to NCAA, Summit League Lists
Senior guard Tra-Deon Hollins is the NCAA's active career leader with 3.67 steals per game. He also has the second-most career steals of any active player nationally with 231, trailing only Illinois State's Paris Lee (246). Additionally, Hollins is fourth among active players for career assists per game (6.38), behind UCLA's Lonzo Ball (7.77), Ohio's Jaaron Simmons (7.34) and Creighton's Maurice Watson Jr. (6.73).

Hollins is sixth on the Summit League's all-time career steals list and one of 11 players in league history to pass the 200 steals plateau.

The Mavericks' Surge
After starting Summit League play 0-3, Omaha has gone 11-4 over its last 15 games with an average of 87.9 points per contest. Within that span, Omaha has enjoyed two win streaks -- first a four-game stretch Jan. 7-18 and its current five-game streak in place since Feb. 16.

Over the last 15 games, Omaha has been spurred by 20.5 points per game from a red-hot Marcus Tyus, who has shot .494 (41-of-83) from long range and collected eight scoring efforts of 20+.

Tyus Joins 1,000 Point Club
Marcus Tyus entered the 2016-17 season having not played a game since Feb. 7, 2015, but the senior guard finally joined the prestigious 1,000-Point Club on Jan. 4 vs. Fort Wayne. Tyus was the 37th UNO player to reach the 1,000 points milestone, and over four active seasons (2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2016-17), he has amassed 1,317 career points to rank 11th in school history. With 31 more points, he will pass John Karhoff (2010-14), who had 1,348 points for 10th on the list.

Omaha’s active career leader for 3-pointers, Tyus is eighth on the triples chart. With his career total of 161 threes, he sits just behind Andrew Bridger (2006-10), who had 164.

Tyus also ranks 14th in school history for career steals (119), just behind Mike Simons (1996-99), who had 121.

The Chief Thief
Senior guard Tra-Deon Hollins is Omaha’s all-time leader for both career and single-season steals. He joined the top 20 for career steals on Feb. 6, 2016 and finally claimed the career mark in his 52nd game as a Maverick, vs. Denver on Jan. 18, by passing Calvin Kapels (2002-06), who had 191. Hollins now has a career total of 231 swipes as he continues to add to his record mark.

Last season, Hollins claimed Omaha’s single-season steals record (then 81) vs. Fort Wayne on Jan. 16, 2016, clearing the previous mark of 80 set by Vernon Manning (1981-82). Hollins was also the first Omaha player in six years to record a double-double off points and assists, finishing with 23 points, 13 assists and eight steals against the Mastodons.

Hollins' record setting extends to the Summit League books as well, where he owns the league's single-season mark (127) and its career steals per game record (3.67).

A Helping Hand From Hollins
Senior guard Tra-Deon Hollins broke into Omaha's top 20 for assists Nov. 19 vs. Rice. He is now seventh all-time with 402 helpers after passing  CJ Carter (2011-15), who had 343, and trails Vernon Manning (1978-82), who had 406.

In 2015-16, Hollins’ 196 assists were the then-second-highest single-season mark in school history. Entering Tuesday's game, he has 206 helpers in 2016-17, which is bypasses last season's total. Hollins is just 10 assists from breaking Omaha's single-season record set by Paul Potter (1976-77), who had 215.

Within the frame of Summit League history, Hollins' 6.38 assists per game for his career is the third-most of any league player.

Tracking Tre’Shawn
Through the 2016-17 campaign, junior forward Tre'Shawn Thurman sits at fifth on Omaha's career blocks list with 89. The Omaha Central product recently passed Levy Jones (2003-05) on the chart, who had 83, and his next hurdle is Frank Cypress (1993-95), who had 94.

Thurman inked his name in the Omaha record books for career rebounds earlier this season, joining the top 20 in school history on Dec. 21 at Pitt. He currently sits at ninth on the list with 616 boards, having passed Bryan Muellner, (1985-89), who had 587. Thurman's next target is Terry Sodawasser (1981-85), who grabbed 625.

Thurman is also the second Maverick this season to join the 1,000 Point Club, joining Marcus Tyus. Thurman became the 38th 1,000-point scorer in school history on Jan. 28 vs. South Dakota State, and he now owns 1,143 career points for 18th all-time. Thurman needs 18 more points to pass Art Allen (1968-71), who had 1,160 for 17th.

Road Warriors
Omaha has played 19 of its 31 games this season on the road and traveled 24,563 miles so far. The Mavericks had a challenging start to Summit League play, with four of their first five games away.

Senior guard Marcus Tyus has led the charge for Omaha in road battles with an average of 14.9 points per game, while junior forward Tre'Shawn Thurman puts up 8.4 rebounds and 13.9 points per game in those contests. On the road, Omaha averages 38.4 rebounds per game compared to 32.8 at Baxter Arena.

Stacking Up Nationally
As a team, Omaha ranks 14th nationally for scoring offense (84.1) and free throws made (584), 22nd for total steals (249), 23rd for steals per game (8.0) and free throw attempts (779), 29th for 3-pointers per game (9.3), 31st for 3-point percentage (.388), 36th for 3-pointers made (288), 39th for free throw percentage (.750) and 48th for turnovers forced per game (14.9).

Individually, senior guard Tra-Deon Hollins is the nation's leader for total steals (104), as well as third for steals per game (3.35), fifth for total assists (206) and sixth for assists per game (6.6).

League Leaders
As a team, Omaha leads the Summit League in steals per game (8.0), free throws made per game (18.8), free throws attempted per game (25.1) and turnovers forced per game (14.9). Tra-Deon Hollins leads the way in steals (104) and assists (206).

Feelin’ Hahn, Hahn, Hahn
Sophomore forward Mitch Hahn is averaging 11.6 points per game this season -- the most of any Maverick coming off the bench -- and is second on the team with 56 3-pointers made. In his first active season at Omaha, he was named to the Summit League All-Newcomer Team.

A native of Fremont, Neb., Hahn scored in double figures in seven straight games from Jan. 7 to Feb. 1 and has 11 games of 15+ points this season. In games when he scores in double figures, Omaha is 12-7.

Hahn tallied a season-high 24 points Jan. 14 vs. Western Illinois, helped by his 6-of-8 showing from 3-point range. He also had a standout effort in his debut on Nov. 12 at UC Santa Barbara, leading all scorers with 15 points in reserve with five 3-pointers. Hahn was the first Maverick to knock down at least five triples in a season opener since former Maverick Jeff Martin in 2009-10.

Solid at the Stripe
Omaha has been strong at the free throw line this season, hitting at a .750 clip. The Mavericks have shot over .700 21 times, and Jan. 7 at South Dakota State went an unblemished 21-of-21 at the line in the second half.

Earlier this year, Omaha fired at over .900 in back-to-back games -- .923 (24-of-26) Nov. 26 at Eastern Michigan and .926 (25-of-27) Dec. 30 at Cal State Fullerton. The last time a Maverick team shot .900 or better at the stripe in back-to-back games was 2007-08 vs. York College (.926 on Jan. 12, 2008) and Nebraska-Kearney (.900 on Jan. 14, 2008).

Marcus Making His Mark
Senior guard Marcus Tyus tallied his fifth 30-point game of the season Feb. 22 at Denver. Previously, Tyus had a career-high 37 points Dec. 10 vs. Montana State, which tied for the sixth-best scoring performance in school history with Calvin Kapels vs. St. Cloud State (Jan. 26, 2006) and Devin Patterson at Duquesne (March 16, 2016). Tyus also dropped 33 at USC on Nov. 13, another 34 at South Dakota State on Jan. 7 and 30 vs. Denver on Jan. 18.

Action Jackson
Sophomore guard Zach Jackson is third on the team for rebounding with 4.4 boards per game and fifth for scoring with 10.9 points per game this season. In Omaha’s season opener Nov. 12 at UCSB, he scored 14 points and pulled down a career-best and eight rebounds and has matched the rebounding performance twice more -- Nov. 15 at Kansas State and Dec. 3 at Iowa. Jackson also put up a career-high 21 points against the Hawkeyes, and he has scored in double figures in all but eight games this season.

Jackson started 24 games in his freshman campaign in 2015-16, averaging 3.5 points and 2.1 rebounds per contest. A native of Wichita, Kan., he was the first Omaha freshman to start a season opener since CJ Carter in 2011. Jackson also had the distinction of making the first basket in Baxter Arena history, nailing a jumper 52 seconds into last year’s season opener vs. UC Santa Barbara.

Double the Trouble, Double the Fun
Sophomore forward Mitch Hahn (21 points/10 rebounds) and junior forward Tre'Shawn Thurman (15 points/12 rebounds) both had double-doubles March 6 vs. IUPUI in the Summit League Tournament Semifinals. It marked the third time this season UNO has had two double-doubles in a single game.

Previously, Thurman and senior guard Tra-Deon Hollins had had double-doubles in the same game twice this year. In the Mavericks' quarterfinal matchup with Fort Wayne on March 5, Thurman put up 23 points/11 rebounds, and Hollins added 13 points/10 assists. On Dec. 18 vs. Cal State Fullerton, Hollins accounted for 20 points/10 assists, and Thurman had 15 points/12 rebounds.

In 2015-16, Omaha had three such showings, with double-doubles from two Mavericks vs. Fort Wayne (Jan. 16, 2016), vs. Simpson (Dec. 16, 2015) and vs. Eastern Michigan (Dec. 1, 2015).

Looking to the Bench
Omaha’s bench outscored Buena Vista’s bench 60-28 on Nov. 22. The last time the Mavericks’ bench had enjoyed a scoring margin of 30 or more was March 1, 2014, when UNO outscored Fort Wayne’s reserves 59-26.

The 2016-17 Mavericks are averaging 26.3 points per game by bench scorers, which is the second-highest of any Derrin Hansen-coached team. The figure is just behind the 2013-14 squad, which also had 26.6 bench points per game.

Over 16 league games this season, Omaha held a 411-307 bench advantage.

Compared to the Opposition
Over its 31 contests this season, Omaha has:
    •More or equal field goals made compared to its opponent 12 times
    •More or equal 3-point field goals made compared to its opponent 17 times
    •More or equal free throws made compared to its opponent 22 times
    •More or equal rebounds compared to its opponent 14 times
    •More or equal assists compared to its opponent 16 times
    •More or equal steals compared to its opponent 18 times
    •Fewer or equal turnovers compared to its opponent 15 times
    •More or equal blocks compared to its opponent 12 times

2016-17 Slate = Tough Test for Mavericks
Omaha’s 2016-17 schedule includes at least 30 games, and the team has played in 13 states against schools from nine other Division I conferences. The schedule has two opponents from both the Big 12 and Big West and one each from the Pac-12, Big Ten, ACC, Conference USA, MAC, Big Sky and WAC. Five opponents – USC, Iowa, Iowa State, Pitt and defending Summit League champion South Dakota State – played in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

The 2016-17 season also featured four opponents the Mavericks had never faced: USC, Rice, Cal State Fullerton and Pitt. They now hold a combined all-time record of 150-183 over all teams on the slate.

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