Saturday, February 27, 2010

Good day to be a Tiger

So far it's four games and four wins for Dakota Wesleyan's sports teams today. The biggest one was the seventh-ranked Tiger men beating Briar Cliff 73-55 in the GPAC Tournament semifinals. DWU will host the rival University of Sioux Falls in the championship game Tuesday at the Corn Palace after the Coo came back to force overtime, and beat Hastings 113-108 in OT.

However, Dakota Wesleyan's had a great day on the diamond as well. The Tiger baseball team avenged yesterday's loss with an 8-2 win over Bacone University to improve to 3-1. Steve Gust's team is on the field right now playing another game against York College. DWU also plays York tomorrow at 12:30.

And congrats to Marie McCarthy and the Tiger softball squad. The young team opened the season with two wins today, beating Sterling college 4-3 and 7-2 in Wichita, Kan. DWU will try to make it 4-0 tomorrow against Friends University.

However, since I wasn't at either of the baseball or softball games, I'll predictably keep today's thoughts to the Tigers' win over The Cliff today on the hardwood. It's hard to find words to describe the first half, but the ones that keep coming up are "weird" and "strange." There wasn't a lot of flow either way, but DWU clearly played better in the final 6 minutes of the half, and Preston Broughton's late 3-point play and Darrin Dorsey's long three just before the buzzer seemed to give the Tigers some great momentum and it got the crowd going.

That momentum appeared to be short lived, as Briar Cliff scored four quick points to tie the score, and then the team's traded baskets, but then DWU played possibly its best 12 minutes of the season as it took over with a 16-0 run, and the rest was history.

People I talked to had a range of opinions on how we'd fare against a Briar Cliff team that was fighting for its only shot into the NAIA DII tournament. Some thought we'd be in real trouble. However, I was in Sioux City for the teams' first meeting and the Chargers just don't match up well with us really at any spot. Their stars - Kyle Semprini, Chase Vander Feen and Matt Geelan - all average more than 11 points per game, but today they combined for just 24 (7, 1o and 7, respectivey). Perhaps the best move by the Tiger coaches was putting Dorsey on Geelan, who is kind of a point-forward, and letting Mitch Bain and Chase Walder/Jake Kneeland
stay in the face of Semprini and Vander Feen, who are basically just shooters. DWU's defense, which can be up and down, looked downright dominant in both matchups with the Cliff, and a lot of that has to do with matchup advantages at almost every spot.

How efficient has Preston Broughton been in the playoffs? 19.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg on 17-for-20 shooting (.850). One other underrated aspect of DWU's home games is how loud the crowd gets when one of the supporting cast makes a big basket. Two of the loudest ovations Saturday came after huge 3-pointers from Kneeland and Bo LaCroix.

So Sioux Falls comes to town Tuesday. I'll save my analysis for this game for another blog either tomorrow or Monday...but start planning to get to the Corn Palace early. Fill that place up to the rafters and enjoy one of the great rivalries in small-college basketball. The first two games were outstanding, and with the GPAC title on the line, expect the rubber match to be another instant classic.

As always, keep up with DWU athletics on our Web site: and on Twitter:
If you're reading the blog, please leave a comment or a question. I'd love to do a "mailbag" type entry if I get a few inquiries from Tiger fans! I'd also love to get suggestions of what you'd like to see in the blog...more of the same? More coverage of a certain sport? Ask and you shall receive (within reason).

Thursday, February 25, 2010


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 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:

It's great to be back, and go Tigers! Here's hoping we'll host two more home games after tonight...