First and foremost, congrats to the DWU wrestling team. The Tigers are now tied for the No. 19 ranking in the country and junior Jordan Harer moved up to the No. 3 spot in the NAIA at 141 pounds. DWU will put its ranking on display tonight at home against Minnesota West Community College. Bring a radio and an earpiece and come out to the Wellness Center so you can see the Tigers at home for the final time this season, and still keep up with the basketball action in Sioux City. Click here for the complete NAIA rankings.
Gearing up for the Games
Here are some links previewing tonight's basketball action - DWU at Morningside - in Sioux City, Iowa.
-Preview story from the Mitchell Daily Republic
-Preveiw story from the Sioux City Journal
-The official DWU release
-Morningside College's preview of the women's game
In tonight's huge men's game, I can't shake the feeling that points in the paint and free throws are going to be big. Last year when the Tigers handed No. 1 Morningside its first loss of the season, they did a lot of their damage after halftime from the free throw line. DWU has shown a knack for getting to the line in its recent winning streak, especially sophomore forward Brady Wiebe, and getting those fouls and points against the Mustangs tonight will be really important. I thought it was interesting in the Sioux City Journal's preview that Coach Sykes was worried about some the matchups. Hopefully the Tigers can identify those early and take advantage. Don't be surprised if the Mustangs focus on Wiebe and Mitch Bain, and as a result, Ike Muoneke or Scott Nelson takes advantage and has a really big game on offense tonight, or if someone comes off the bench to provide a huge spark like Rocky Nelson or Mike Long.
Conversely, DWU is defintely going to want to avoid fouls on the other end. Without Colby Fitzgerald, our depth isn't quite what it was two weeks ago. Staying out of foul trouble tonight will be key.
I've also spent a lot of time thinking about what will happen with the tempo. I know I addressed it yesterday, but I just can't predict if Morningside will try to run with DWU, slow the Tigers down, or find some sort of middle ground. The saving grace here is that our defense has been much improved since the first half against Dordt, so if it turns into more of a grind-it-out game, the Tigers should be better equipped to hang with that style.
The women tip off in an hour and 19 minutes, wrestling starts an hour later, and men's basketball shortly after that. I'd say it's a big night for DWU sports, but that'd be quite an understatement. Enjoy the games!