Good morning! If you’re reading this, you’re clearly starting your day off right with an effort to better yourself by becoming more educated about the goings-on in the mid-major world.
In a landscape so dominated by the biggest schools and conferences, it’s quite hard to winnow down the information you want and need to hear about your favorite mid-major programs.
Thankfully, Mid-Major Madness is here to aggregate the news and links for you, providing you with a brand-new, daily post about the world of mid-major hoops.
#Content to Read
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When the Detroit News’ Tony Paul first reported that the Horizon League had extended an invite to an unnamed school, many thought that the two likeliest candidates were Fort Wayne and Grand Canyon (despite the crazy travel situation there).
After all, the Horizon League wanted a school with a baseball team for the reasons that Paul laid out in his initial post from a few days ago:
LeCrone also said the new member will have a baseball team, which was a priority. With Valparaiso leaving, the Horizon League is down to six baseball teams, which is the minimum number allotted for a conference to receive an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
At the moment, IUPUI doesn’t have a baseball team, which is why their invite ended up being a surprise to some (like me). It seemed like Fort Wayne would’ve been a safer bet for the league, but maybe they’re a team to look at sometime in the future.
After getting drafted, Alec Peters is getting his shot (Mid-Major Madness)
After 53 picks in the 2017 NBA Draft, it really seemed like Zach Collins was going to be the only mid-major player selected. However, with the 54th pick, the Suns took Valparaiso’s Alec Peters, who just wanted a team to take a chance on him.
Like our own Greg Mitchell said:
The Suns were one of the handful of teams that interviewed Peters, and his health was almost certainly a main talking point. A stress fracture in his right foot shut down his season in late February, and Peters wasn’t able to work out for teams.
Here’s hoping Peters can make the most of this opportunity.
Zach Collins is a top-10 pick! (Slipper Still Fits)
Early in last night’s draft, Portland made a deal with Sacramento to trade up to the 10th pick so they could take Zach Collins. Collins, a big man who spent only one season in Spokane, helped the Zags all season long while ultimately showing the country what he is made of during the Final Four.
Below is what Peter Woodburn had to say about Collins, Gonzaga’s highest-drafted player since Adam Morrison went No. 3 in 2006:
Portland is getting one of the best defensive big men in the year’s draft, but also a slight project. Collins, like a lot of freshmen in college basketball, limited himself with foul trouble some times, and it will be another adjustment to adapt to the faster pace in the NBA. His defensive instincts are as sound as they come, and his offensive efficiency is good to go. Given the fact that he can run the floor with the best of them, and shoot the three with the best of them (the big men at least), he is going to make a significant impact in the NBA.
Cameron Oliver goes undrafted, signs with Houston (Mid-Major Madness)
One of the biggest surprises of the night for some (by some, I mean our Slack channel) came when Nevada forward Cameron Oliver fell completely off the draft board. In the end, one of the guys projected to be one of the biggest sleeper picks in the NBA Draft went unselected.
Ultimately, things worked out as the Houston Rockets signed Oliver late last night/early this morning. That he didn’t hear his name called from the stage is stunning, given what Chris Schutte said about him:
He’s a freak athlete with range out the three point line, and has the ability to be a force on the glass when he’s engaged. His raw talent is undeniable. However, there’s concerns about his motor and consistency, but getting an opportunity to showcase his potential in the Summer League should give Oliver a chance of earning a roster spot going into camp.
Tweets of Interest
Gonzaga guys stick together
Dennis Lindsey says John Stockton helped convince him about Nigel Williams-Goss' potential. He told him "he plays like an adult." #jazz— Brittany Copeland (@brittanydiehl) June 23, 2017
Disregard the spelling error; I swear this tweet is legit
Source: Lousiana Tech forward Erik McCree is signing with the Houston Rockets.— Cody Taylor (@CodyTaylorNBA) June 23, 2017
This is what makes Draft night so special:
And hey, Peters made a bit of history too!
First Valpo player picked in the draft since Bryce Drew!— Jonathan Tannenwald (@pretzel_logic) June 23, 2017
Chris, our own guy, beat the man we all know and love as ‘Woj’
It was a disappointing night for Eric Mika
Having said that, Mika needed an extra year to stretch his range, and showcase his ability to be a versatile big man in the NBA. https://t.co/sD09MdZGhf— Terrell Williams (@4hill2015) June 23, 2017
"Hold onto your butts." - Samuel L. Jackson in Jurassic Park, circa 1993— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) June 23, 2017
We’ve got a ton of transfer news, folks.
Florida International PG Kimar Williams has been granted his release, per a source.— The Miller Report (@miller_report) June 22, 2017
JUCO prospect Lamarcus Lee has committed to New Mexico State, per a source.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) June 22, 2017
Former Colorado State G Kevin Little is transferring to UT Martin. https://t.co/wkyEdttrVc— Verbal Commits (@VerbalCommits) June 22, 2017