I swear I went into this school year with the intentions of blogging more, but somehow my second year as the SID at Dakota Wesleyan has managed to be even busier then my first, and in the little free time I've had since Labor Day I spent it doing things other than blogging. However, as our winter sports gear up for their respective NAIA National Championships, it's time to get Tiger Talk back up and running.
(To prove that I'm really stretching for spare time to blog, I'm writing this from press row at the Palace during the fourth quarter of the Hanson-Kimball girls basketball district game, which precedes our men's playoff game tonight).
A great 80s song from The Karate Kid and a good subhead? You bet.
But I'm not talking about Daniel-San...he proved he was the best with the crane kick. Instead, I'm talking about DWU's Darrin Dorsey. Heading into the season, people thought the newcomer was probably the third or fourth best player on this team, but after the season he's had - especially the last six weeks - the conversations shifts to ponder if Dorsey is the best player in the GPAC...and possibly the nation.
I got a great e-mail about Dorsey's stats from DWU assistant Matt Culhane today. Matt had done some digging and found out that Dorsey is the only player in the entire NAIA Division II who is averging 18 points, five rebounds and five assists per game (and that doesn't even factor in his 2.9 steals per game). I recently read an artcile about NCAA D1 basketball that wondered if Evan Turner from Ohio State could average an unthinkable 20 points, 10 rebounds, five assists...which he has the chance to do. That article got me thinking about the all-around impact from Dorsey, so it must have been fate that Coach Culhane was thinking the same thing and dug up those numbers. The only comparable player, statistically, is Oregon Tech's Justin Parnell with 17.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists, also great, great numbers. According to our old friend coach Adam Tyhurst, who is coaching out in Oregon now, Parnell is easily their conference MVP and possibly a top-3 candidate for NAIA DII Player of the Year. Players that wowed us at last year's national tournament are also top candidates like Oklahoma Wesleyan's Steve Briggs and Evergreen's Nate Menefee (the player I was most impressed with last year), but I firmly believe that Dorsey is the GPAC Player-of-the-Year, and definitely a candidate for NAIA DII Player-of-the-Year. Maybe not the winner, but an extremely deserving candidate.
Beyond the stats, if anyone thinks there's someone other than Dorsey (or potentially Brady Wiebe or Preston Broughton) who is the best player in the GPAC, there are certainly some numbers they could lean on. But my argument would be: watch him. Jeremiah Slough from Hastings is a great player and actually has similar stats to Dorsey. Matt Malloy from USF is clearly one of the best guards and scorers in the league. But Dorsey does things night-in and night-out that players at this level just typically don't do. Against Northwestern, they KNEW Dorsey was the main option, and their defense never came remotely close to slowing him down, as he finished with 34 points and led the Tigers back for an 88-86 win. It was just the latest example of how rare a player Dorsey is at this level. Dakota Wesleyan is lucky to have him (and several of our other players) so enjoy watching him every chance you can.
This girls game is winding down, so I better get ready for our men to take the court. As always, stay tuned to www.dwu.edu/athletics/ for all the DWU athletics news you can handle, and please start following us on Twitter for the absoultey quickest way to get DWU athletics news, scores, announcements and schedule changes. The URL is: www.twitter.com/DWUsports
It's great to be back, and go Tigers! Here's hoping we'll host two more home games after tonight...