Summit League preseason poll: men 1st, women 2nd

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The South Dakota State men’s basketball team was picked as the favorite in the Summit League, while the SDSU women’s basketball team was tabbed as second-place finishers in polls released by the league office on Tuesday.

Men’s basketball

The South Dakota State men’s basketball team was picked as the Summit League favorite, the conference office announced Tuesday in its preseason poll. Three Jackrabbits also earned preseason All-Summit League recognition in Baylor Scheierman (First Team), Douglas Wilson (First Team) and Noah Freidel (Second Team).

SDSU received 23 of 36 first-place votes and 636 points in the poll, while North Dakota State was picked second with 606 points and Oral Roberts third with 545 points.

The Jackrabbits have won at least a share of the Summit League regular season title in each of the last four seasons. SDSU finished alone atop the standings after going 16-7 (9-3 SUMMIT) in 2020-21, head coach Eric Henderson’s second year at the helm of the program.

Scheierman, a 2020-21 All-Summit League First Team selection, became one of two players in SDSU’s Division I history to lead the team in points (355), assists (91), rebounds (212) and steals (24) in a single season. The Aurora, Neb. native finished the year with 13 double-doubles, the 11th-most in the nation, and ranked third nationally and first in the league in defensive rebounds per game (8.65).

Wilson, an All-Summit League Second Team honoree last season, averaged 16.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 19 games in 2020-21. He finished the year second in the conference in field goal percentage after shooting .508 from the floor. Wilson was also the 2019-20 Summit League Player of the Year.

Freidel, the 2019-20 Summit League Freshman of the Year, averaged 16.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 14 games last season. The Tea, S.D. native shot 41 percent from the field and 38 percent from beyond the arc. Freidel was second on the team in three-pointers (38) and fifth in scoring (224).

Preseason honors are voted on by a group comprised of the league’s coaches, sports information directors and select media.

South Dakota State opens the 2021-22 season Nov. 9 when it hosts Bradley in Frost Arena.

Preseason Poll (First-Place Votes) | Total Points
1. South Dakota State (23) | 636
2. North Dakota State (7) | 606
3. Oral Roberts (6) | 545
4. South Dakota | 480
5. Western Illinois | 356
6. Kansas City | 341
7. North Dakota | 279
8. Omaha | 255
9. Denver | 217
10. St. Thomas | 120

2021-22 Men’s Preseason Player of the Year
Max Abmas, Oral Roberts

First Team
Max Abmas, Oral Roberts
Rocky Kreuser, North Dakota State
Baylor Scheierman, South Dakota State
Douglas Wilson, South Dakota State
Sam Griesel, North Dakota State
Josiah Allick, Kansas City

Second Team
Will Carius, Western Illinois
Noah Freidel, South Dakota State
Xavier Fuller, South Dakota
Tyree Eady, North Dakota State
Tasos Kamateros, South Dakota

Women’s basketball

The Summit League released its women’s basketball preseason poll Monday with three Jackrabbits selected to the All-Summit Preseason First Team and the squad being selected to finish second. Myah Selland was tabbed the Preseason Player of the Year and is joined on the first team by Paiton Burckhard and Tylee Irwin.

South Dakota State is the reigning Summit League regular season champion after going 14-0 in League play. The Jackrabbits claimed 672 points and 18 first place votes in the preseason poll. South Dakota was narrowly voted the League favorite with 20 first place votes and 712 total points.

Selland was named the 2020-21 Summit League Player of the Year last season after pacing the Jackrabbits and the League with 19.2 points per game, including 19.5 points per game in Summit League action. The Letcher, S.D. native ranked third in assists per game (3.8), field goal percentage (.515) and assist/turnover ratio (1/5). Selland scored 15-plus points in 19 games and 20-plus points on six occasions. Selland was a WBCA All-American Honorable Mention and a finalist for the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year award in 2020-21. She was named Summit League Player of the Week six times. This is Selland’s fourth consecutive Preseason All-Summit League honor.

Burckhard picked up her second consecutive Preseason First Team honor and was selected to the Summit League First Team in 2020 and 2021. She started all 25 contests for the Jacks a season ago and ranked second on the team with 13.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. Burckhard, an Aberdeen, S.D. native, was also second on the squad in field goal percentage (50.6 percent) and free throw shooting (81.6 percent). She scored in double figures in nine Summit League contests last season.

Irwin is a three-time preseason honoree for the Summit League. The Wahpeton, N.D. native was named to the All-Summit First Team last season. She averaged 12.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and one steal and led the team with 17 blocks on the year. Irwin scored in double figures on 16 occasions in 2020-21. The senior ranked 14th in the nation in free throw percentage in 2020-2, converting 88 percent of her attempts.

The poll is voted on by Summit League coaches, sports information directors and select media.

South Dakota State opens the season hosting Green Bay Nov. 9 at Frost Arena.

Women’s Preseason Poll (1st votes) | Points
South Dakota (20) | 712
South Dakota State (18) | 672
North Dakota State | 544
Kansas City | 486
Denver | 385
Oral Roberts | 383
Western Illinois | 382
Omaha | 314
North Dakota | 181
St. Thomas | 147

2021-22 Women’s Preseason Player of the Year
Myah Selland, South Dakota State

First Team
Myah Selland, South Dakota State
Hannah Sjerven, South Dakota
Chloe Lamb, South Dakota
Paiton Burckhard, South Dakota State
Tylee Irwin, South Dakota State
Naomie Alnatas, Kansas City

Second Team
Heaven Hamling, North Dakota State
Liv Korngable, South Dakota
Keni Jo Lippe, Oral Roberts
Uju Ezeudu, Denver
Meghan Boyd, Denver

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