Sophomore forward Mitch Hahn and the Mavericks look for their first league win this Saturday at South Dakota State.
Courtesy: Omaha Athletics

Omaha Seeks First League Win Saturday at SDSU

Omaha Athletics | January 06, 2017
This Weekend
The Omaha men’s basketball team hits the road in search of its first Summit League win this Saturday, Jan. 7, visiting South Dakota State. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m. at Frost Arena in Brookings, S.D., and the game will be broadcast live on Midco and ESPN3 with Tom Nieman on play-by-play, Brad Newitt providing analysis and Carla Metts on the sideline. Gary Sharp will also have the radio call on 1290 KOIL, and fans can stream audio on their smartphones by downloading NRG Media’s app “News Talk 1290 KOIL." Links to live video, audio and stats will be available on OMavs.com.

Quick Hits
•Four of Omaha's starters average double-figure scoring: senior guard Marcus Tyus (13.9 ppg), junior forward Tre’Shawn Thurman (13.7 ppg), sophomore guard Zach Jackson (12.0 ppg) and senior guard Tra-Deon Hollins (11.3 ppg).
•Tyus eclipsed 1,000 career points Wednesday vs. Fort Wayne, becoming the 37th player in program history to reach the milestone.
•Hollins joined the Summit League's top 20 for career steals Wednesday and sits in a three-way tie with Green Bay's Frank Nardi and Valparaiso's Ali Berdiel for 19th on the league list with 177.
•Omaha went 7-6 in non-conference play, marking its fourth straight season finishing .500 or better against non-conference opponents.
•From Dec. 10-18, Omaha rattled off three straight wins, rallying from halftime deficits vs. Montana State, at UMKC and vs. Cal State Fullerton.
•Head coach Derrin Hansen has used three different lineups throughout the first 16 games this year.
•Over their careers, Thurman and Hollins have both averaged at least 12 points per game, notching at 12.2 ppg and 12.1 ppg, respectively.
•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.
•Hollins and Thurman were both named Preseason All-Summit, with Hollins on the first team and Thurman on the second team.
•Hollins was the nation’s leader in both steals (127) and steals per game (3.9) as a junior.
•Tyus has returned to the lineup after redshirting in 2015-16. Previously, Tyus had not played in a game since Feb. 7, 2015 at Denver, when he suffered a season-ending knee injury.
•UNO lost five letterwinners from 2015-16, including second-team All-Summit performers in guard Devin Patterson and forward Jake White.
•Omaha was a perfect 10-0 when shooting 50 percent or better last year. This year, the Mavericks are 2-1.
•Eight different Mavericks have scored in double figures over the first 16 games this year.
•Thurman registered his team-leading fourth double-double of the year Dec. 18 vs. Cal State Fullerton. In games with a Thurman double-double over the last three seasons, Omaha is 6-5.

Scouting the South Dakota State Jackrabbits
South Dakota State enters the weekend with a record of 8-10 (1-2 Summit League) after an 82-74 loss at Western Illinois Wednesday. AJ Hess paced the Jackrabbits with a double-double on 13 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, while Michael Orris scored a team-high 17 points. Mike Daum's 21.7 points per game leads the Summit League, while Reed Tellinghuisen (11.6 ppg) and Hess (10.2 ppg) also average in double figures.

Head coach TJ Otzelberger is in his first season at South Dakota State and carries a career record of 8-10.

Saturday's game marks the 71st meeting all-time between Omaha and South Dakota State, with the Jackrabbits leading the series 41-29. The two teams most recently met on Feb. 10, 2016 at Baxter Arena, where the Mavericks earned a 96-92 win. SDSU won the last meeting at Frost Arena, 87-76, on Jan. 28, 2016.

Last Time Out: Tyus Eclipses 1,000 Career Points as Omaha Falls 80-78 to Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne’s John Konchar made the game-winning shot with less than a second to go Wednesday night, sinking the Omaha men's basketball team 80-78 at Baxter Arena. Senior guard Marcus Tyus’s performance highlighted a strong Omaha effort, as he eclipsed the 1,000 career points milestone to become the 37th 1,000-point scorer in program history. The Ramsey, Minn., native finished with 25 points on 8-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range and 5-of-5 at the free throw line, along with a career-high four steals. He now owns 1,010 points over his Maverick career.

Junior forward Tre'Shawn Thurman added his fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds with two blocks, and senior guard Tra-Deon Hollins had 14 points, five assists, three steals and a pair of boards.

The Mavericks shot .464 (26-of-56) from the floor, .471 (8-of-17) from 3-point range and .818 (18-of-22) at the free throw line. Fort Wayne finished at .462 (30-of-65) from the field, .333 (10-of-30) beyond the arc and .769 (10-of-13) at the stripe, and the Mastodons had the edge in rebounding, 38-29.

Road Warriors
Omaha has played 11 of its first 16 games on the road this season, with trips to UC Santa Barbara, USC, Kansas State, Eastern Michigan, Cal State Fullerton, Iowa, Iowa State, UMKC, Pitt, South Dakota and North Dakota State. The Mavericks have traveled 17,397 miles so far, and they face four of five games on the road to start Summit League play.

Junior forward Tre'Shawn Thurman has led the charge for Omaha in road battles, averaging 13.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. On the road, Omaha is a .745 free throw shooting team, up from .737 at home. The Mavericks also average 38.5 rebounds per game in away games compared to 32.4 at Baxter Arena.

Second-Half Success
Omaha has averaged 42.6 second-half points this season, up from 36.8 first-half points per game. The Mavericks have seen second-half success from 3-point range, shooting .422 (76-of-180) in the second stanza compared to .288 (53-of-184) in the first.

Senior guard Marcus Tyus has been particularly effective in the second half, shooting .519 (41-of-79) from the field compared to .367 (29-of-79) in the first. Tyus is bolstered by .516 (16-of-31) 3-point shooting in his second-half performances, an improvement from .333 (13-of-42) in the opening half.

Tyus Joins 1,000 Point Club
He entered the 2016-17 season having not played a game since Feb. 7, 2015, but senior guard Marcus Tyus is now the most recent Omaha player to join the prestigious 1,000-Point Club. Over four active seasons (2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2016-17), he has amassed 1,010 career points, spurred most recently by a 25-point performance Jan. 4 vs. Fort Wayne. Tyus is the 37th UNO player to achieve the feat.

Omaha’s active career leader for 3-pointers, Tyus moved up to 13th on the Mavericks’ career triples chart Jan. 4 vs. Fort Wayne. His career total of 122 passed Patrick Voss (1997-2001), who had 121.

History-Making Hollins
Senior guard Tra-Deon Hollins is Omaha’s all-time single-season steals leader, and he joined the top 20 for career steals on Feb. 6, 2016. Hollins moved up to fourth in school history Jan. 4 vs. Fort Wayne, passing Devin Patterson (2013-16), who had 175. Hollins now has a career total of 177 swipes, needing just 14 to tie Calvin Kapels (2002-06) for the school record of 191.

Hollins’ 196 assists last season were the second-highest single-season mark in school history. He broke into the all-time top 20 for assists Nov. 19 vs. Rice and is now 11th with 296, having passed Seth Nelson (1999-2003). Hollins now needs three more to break into the top 10 on the list, which would tie Richard Jones (1993-96), who had 299.

Hollins had one of his finest performances of the 2015-16 season vs. Fort Wayne on Jan. 16, 2016, finishing with 23 points, a season-high 13 assists and a season-best eight steals alongside five rebounds. He claimed Omaha’s single-season steals record (then 81) in the game, 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.

Tracking Tre’Shawn
After 30 blocked shots to his credit as a freshman and 35 more as a sophomore, junior forward Tre’Shawn Thurman made his way into the top 10 in school history with 65 career blocks. Midway into the 2016-17 campaign, the Omaha Central product now sits at sixth on the list with 80, having passed Matt Hagerbaumer (2010-14), who had 79. His next hurdle is Levy Jones (2003-05), who had 83.

Thurman most recently inked his name in the Omaha record books for career rebounds, joining the top 20 in school history on Dec. 21 at Pitt. He currently sits at 19th on the list with 505 boards, having passed John Eriksen (1975-80), who had 488. Thurman's next target is Sam Singleton (1962-66), who grabbed 508.

Thurman is also on the brink of becoming the second Maverick this season to join the 1,000 Point Club. With 941 points to his credit entering this weekend, he needs 59 more to become the 38th 1,000-point scorer in school history.

Looking to the Bench
Omaha’s bench outscored Buena Vista’s bench 60-28 on Nov. 22. The last time the Mavericks’ bench 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 25.6 points per game by bench scorers, the highest of any Derrin Hansen-coached team. The next highest average is courtesy of the 2013-14 squad, which had 24.9 bench points per game.

Compared to the Opposition
Over the first 16 contests of the 2016-17 season, Omaha has:
    •More or equal field goals made compared to its opponent five times
    •More or equal 3-point field goals made compared to its opponent six times
    •More or equal free throws made compared to its opponent 11 times
    •More rebounds compared to its opponent six times
    •More or equal assists compared to its opponent five times
    •More or equal steals compared to its opponent seven times
    •Fewer or equal turnovers compared to its opponent seven times
    •More or equal blocks compared to its opponent six times

Stacking Up Nationally
As a team, Omaha ranks 10th nationally for free throws made (299), 18th for free throw attempts (403), 46th for total steals (118) and 50th for scoring offense (80.6).

Individually, senior guard Tra-Deon Hollins is second among Division I players for total steals (50), fourth for steals per game (3.1), sixth for total assists (100) and 14th for assists per game (6.3).

League Leaders
As a team, Omaha is the Summit League’s leader in free throws made per game (18.7) and free throws attempted per game (25.2).

Individually, senior guard Tra-Deon Hollins leads the way in steals (50) and assists (100) for the second straight season. Tre'Shawn Thurman is also first for defensive rebounds (100).

2016-17 Slate = Tough Test for Mavericks
Omaha’s 2016-17 schedule includes 29 games, and the team will play 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 features four opponents the Mavericks have never faced: USC, Rice, Cal State Fullerton and Pitt. They now hold a combined all-time record of 139-179 over all teams on the regular-season slate.

Next Up
Omaha visits IUPUI on Wednesday, Jan. 11. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CT at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Ind., and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN3. Gary Sharp will also have the radio call on 1180 Zone 2, and links to live stats, audio and video will be available on OMavs.com.

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