SIOUX FALLS – The Summit League released its women's basketball preseason poll on Monday afternoon, with South Dakota State being selected to finish second. Paiton Burckhard and Myah Selland were named to the Preseason All-Summit League First Team, while Tylee Irwin and Tori Nelson were selected to the Preseason All-Summit League Second team.
Paiton Burckhard earned All-Summit League First Team honors last season. She started all 32 contests that she appeared in, while leading the squad's scoring efforts with 455 points, averaging 14.2 points per game. Burckhard held a Summit League-best field goal percentage (53.4 percent), while ranking third in field goals made (183) and fourth in free throw percentage (80.2 percent). The Aberdeen, native scored in double figures in 26 contests, including seven 20-plus point games, while registering three double-doubles.
Earning three consecutive Preseason All-Summit League honors, Myah Selland is coming off a season where she saw action in just nine contests before suffering a season-ending injury. The redshirt junior averaged 13.8 points, five rebounds and three assists per game. She scored in double figures in seven contests. Additionally, Selland tallied 11 steals and four blocks in the nine contests she played in.
Tylee Irwin, a two-time preseason honoree, ranked third on the team with 282 points, 77 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game. She posted a sixth-best 55 steals in the Summit League, while ranking seventh with 1.7 steals per game. The senior from Wahpeton, N.D., scored in double figures on nine occasions last season.
The reigning Summit League Freshman of the Year and All-Newcomer Team selection, Tori Nelson is coming off a freshman campaign where she started 19 of the 29 contests she played in. The Mendota Heights, Minn. native averaged 9.7 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, while scoring in double figures in 12 contests.
The Jackrabbits continued their winning ways last season as they turned in their ninth straight 20-plus win season. State went 23-10 overall and 13-3 in Summit League action, finishing as runner-up in the Summit League Tournament. Burckhard, Nelson and Irwin are SDSU's three starters returning. In addition to the starters, the Jacks return seven members from last year's squad, while adding four newcomers.
South Dakota State is under the direction of head coach Aaron Johnston, who holds the 12th best winning percentage among active Division I coaches. He enters his 21st season at the helm of the Jackrabbits with 492 career wins.
The Jackrabbits claimed a total of 566 points and 11 first place votes in the preseason poll. South Dakota was voted the favorite with 25 first place votes and 587 points, while Western Illinois rounded out the top three with 389 points.
The poll is voted on by Summit League coaches, sports information directors and select media.
PRESEASON ALL-SUMMIT LEAGUE
Paiton Burckhard, South Dakota State, Jr., F (14.2 ppg/5.7 rpg/1.8 apg)
Chloe Lamb, South Dakota, Sr., G (11.2 ppg/3.3 rpg/1.5 apg)
Keni Jo Lippe, Oral Roberts, Sr., G (18.5 ppg/8.0 rpg/2.5 apg)
Mariah Murdie, Omaha, Jr., F (11.1 ppg/6.0 rpg/1.2 bpg)
Myah Selland, South Dakota State, R-Jr., F (13.8 ppg/5.0 rpg/3.0 apg)
*Hannah Sjerven, South Dakota, Sr., F (12.2 ppg/7.3 rpg/2.0 bpg)
Monica Arens, South Dakota, Sr., G (9.3 ppg/3.9 rpg/1.8 apg)
Julia Fleecs, North Dakota, Jr., F (12.2 ppg/4.8 rpg/0.7 apg)
Tylee Irwin, South Dakota State, Sr., F (8.5 ppg/5.1 rpg/2.3 apg)
Tori Nelson, South Dakota State, So., F (9.7 ppg/3.9 rpg/1.0 spg)
Evan Zars, Western Illinois, Jr., F (9.1 ppg/9.3 rpg/1.5 bpg)
*Preseason Player of the Year
(first-place votes in parenthesis)
1. South Dakota (25) 587
2. South Dakota State (11) 566
3. Western Illinois 389
4. Oral Roberts 376
5 North Dakota State 371
6. UMKC 323
7. Denver 300
8. North Dakota 203
9. Omaha 124