Did I mention this morning how tall Grace is? Pretty tall. But...
They had three All-Mid Central College Conference players this year. Bruce Grimm, Jr. (the guy who may or may not play Thursday) earned first-team honors, was named to the Newcomers Team and named the Newcomer of the Year. He transferred to Grace from East Tennessee State, an NCCA Division I program, and was the Indiana Mr. Basketball Runner-Up in 2009. Let's not forget that our Justin Nelson was named Wyoming's Gatorade Boys' Basketball Player-of-the-Year before he came to DWU!
Duke Johnson, who leads the team in scoring, earned All-MCC Second Team honors and Dave Henry earned Honorable Mention. Well, the Tigers can certainly match that with the GPAC Player-of-the-Year (Brady Wiebe) and two Second Team honorees (Chase Walder and Larry Swann). Both teams seem to be pretty matched up scoring-wise; Grace has three guys in double digits, a few between six and nine and then everyone else is around two or three points per game and DWU is about the same.
DWU is averaging 73.7 points per game and giving up 67.1 and Grace averages 76.6 points per game and gives up 67.7 Both teams have played -- and beaten -- a handful of teams in the national tournament field. Grace beat the University of Saint Francis twice with losses to Davenport and Indiana Wesleyan. It also played Indiana Southeast and Indiana... East? (too many directions for me). DWU has played USF, Briar Cliff, Northwestern and Black Hills and beaten Briar Cliff, Northwestern and Black Hills.
Height aside, Grace is very, very similar to us. A few big wins, a few tough losses and some guys who really know how to score. Whichever team puts together a cleaner game and has a few guys step up and have a big night will win.
I head to Branson tomorrow morning. I will be updating regularly. I will also be tweeting from my handy dandy droid and updating to DWU Athletics' Facebook page as much as possible. Should be a good time... hope to see all you Tiger fans in blue and white come Thursday!!
Who ya rootin' for?!