ELMHURST, Ill. – Fort Wayne was picked as the favorite to win the 2016-17 Summit League Men’s Basketball Championship according to the annual preseason poll of league coaches, SIDs and media. The Mastodons, last season’s regular season co-champion, garnered 18-of-32 first-place votes to finish atop the poll.
Regular season co-champion South Dakota State received nine first-place votes for 424 to finish second, edging out tournament finalist North Dakota State, which totaled four first-place votes and 422 points. Omaha and IUPUI, which received the remaining first-place tally, followed in the fourth and fifth positions.
South Dakota State sophomore forward Mike Daum was tabbed as The Summit League’s Preseason Player of the Year after collecting both the Freshman of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year awards last season. He averaged 17.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per league game during his first collegiate campaign.
NCAA steals leader Tra-Deon Hollins, the 2015-16 Summit League Defensive Player of the Year and Transfer of the Year, and Fort Wayne’s John Konchar, who led The Summit League in rebounding a year ago, are preseason first teamers who were first team all-league performers a year ago. IUPUI’s Darell Combs and Western Illinois’ Garret Covington return after second team all-league honors last season and Denver’s Joe Rosga was a honorable mention all-league selection a year ago.
Additional preseason notes about Summit League Men’s Basketball …
- The preseason favorite has won at least a share of the regular season title in 12 of the last 17 years
- South Dakota State has won the regular season or tournament title in four of the past five seasons
- Three of the six shared Summit League regular season titles have come in the past four years
- Five former Summit League Award winners are on the preseason all-league teams: Garrett Covington (2014 Newcomer of the Year), Mike Daum (2016 Sixth Man of the Year, 2016 Freshman of the Year), Mo Evans (2014 Sixth Man of the Year), Tra-Deon Hollins (2016 Defensive Player of the Year, 2016 Transfer of the Year), and Dexter Werner (2015 Sixth Man of the Year)
- The preseason all-league teams feature a trio of first-team honorees (Mike Daum, Tra-Deon Hollins, and John Konchar) and two second-team selections (Darell Combs and Garret Covington) from 2015-16
- Garret Covington is the only multiple-season honoree on the preseason team, having earned a second team all-league selection in each of the past three years (2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16)
- The Summit League finished with an all-time record high season RPI (No. 12) last season and compiled its fifth consecutive top-20 conference RPI ranking
- The Summit League had the third-best RPI of any mid-major and posted a .716 interleague record against its mid-major peers in 2015-16
- Summit League teams combined for an all-time league-best 76-52 (.594) interleague record, a 60-52 (.536) mark against Division I competition and four wins against “Power Five” opponents last season
- The 2016 Summit League Basketball Championship set 10 attendance records, including 10,306 fans at the first quarterfinal session and 10,188 for the championship game, one year after setting a combined 11 attendance marks
- The Summit League’s annual Media Day teleconference is Wednesday, Oct. 12
- Regular season play commences Nov. 11 and the 16-game double round-robin league schedule begins Dec. 28
- The 2017 Summit League Men’s Basketball Championship is March 4-7 at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.
|SUMMIT LEAGUE MEN’S BASKETBALL
2016-17 PRESEASON POLL
|1.||Fort Wayne||491 (18)|
|2.||South Dakota State||424 (9)|
|3.||North Dakota State||422 (4)|
|Preseason Player of the Year: Mike Daum, South Dakota State|
(ppg / rpg / apg)
|Darell Combs||IUPUI||G||Sr.||16.3 / 2.3 / 2.2|
|Garret Covington||Western Illinois||G||Sr.||17.2 / 4.1 / 2.3|
|Mike Daum||South Dakota State||F||So.||15.2 / 6.1 / 0.8|
|John Konchar||Fort Wayne||G||So.||13.0 / 9.2 / 2.7|
|Tra-Deon Hollins||Omaha||G||Sr.||12.5 / 4.8 / 6.1 / 4.0 spg|
|Paul Miller||North Dakota State||G||Jr.||15.3 / 4.3 / 1.8|
|Mo Evans||Fort Wayne||G||Sr.||16.9 / 3.7 / 5.1|
|Joe Rosga||Denver||G||So.||12.7 / 2.5 / 2.2|
|Reed Tellinghuisen||South Dakota State||G/F||Jr.||9.0 / 4.8 / 1.2|
|Tre’Shawn Thurman||Omaha||F.||Jr.||13.9 / 6.7 / 1.3|
|Dexter Werner||North Dakota State||F||Sr.||8.4 / 6.7 / 0.8|