ELMHURST, Ill. – South Dakota State was picked as the favorite to win the 2017-18 Summit League Men’s Basketball Championship according to the annual preseason poll of league coaches, SIDs and media. The Jackrabbits, last season’s league tournament champion, garnered 339 points, including 13 first-place votes, to finish atop the poll.
Regular season champion South Dakota totaled 327 points and received 12 first-place votes to finish second. North Dakota State finished third ahead of Fort Wayne, which had the remaining first-place tally, and Denver.
SDSU junior forward Mike Daum, the reigning Summit League Player of the Year, was tabbed the preseason pick for the award. Daum is the nation’s leading returning scorer after averaging 25.1 points per game in a 2016-17 campaign that culminated in Associated Press All-American (honorable mention) honors.
Joining Daum on the top preseason team are three players who earned 2016-17 first team honors in Fort Wayne’s John Konchar, North Dakota State’s Paul Miller and South Dakota’s Matt Mooney. Denver’s Daniel Amigo, a second team all-league selection last season, and Oral Roberts’ Albert Owens, an honorable mention all-league pick a year ago, round out the first team.
The second team includes 2017 Freshman of the Year Emmanuel Nzekwesi (Oral Roberts) and Denver’s Joe Rosga, an honorable mention all-league selection last season.
Additional preseason notes about Summit League Men’s Basketball …
- The preseason favorite has won at least a share of the regular season title in all but six of the past 18 years
- South Dakota State has won the regular season or tournament title in five of the past six seasons
- SDSU’s Mike Daum is the nation’s leading returning scorer from last season and his 25.1 points per game were the most by a Summit League player since 2011-12
- Three-of-five Summit League award winners return from last season: Daum (2017 Player of the Year), USD’s Matt Mooney (2017 Transfer of the Year) and ORU’s Emmanuel Nzekwesi (2017 Freshman of the Year)
- The Summit League finished 14th, a new all-time high mark, among the 32 D-I leagues in the USA Today Jeff Sagarin Rankings
- The Summit League sent at least three teams to postseason play for the sixth consecutive season and has advanced a team in three of the past four seasons
- The 2017 Summit League Men’s Basketball Tournament set attendance records for overall attendance (39,912) and individual session (11,235)
- According to KenPom, The Summit League led the nation in six categories: efficiency (110.8), tempo (71.9), effective FG% (54.2), turnover % (16.3), 3P% (39.6) and FT% (74.2)
- The Summit League’s annual Media Day teleconference is Wednesday, Oct. 11
- Regular season play commences Nov. 10 and the 14-game double round-robin league schedule begins Dec. 30
- The 2018 Summit League Men’s Basketball Championship is March 3-6 at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.
|SUMMIT LEAGUE MEN’S BASKETBALL
2017-18 PRESEASON POLL
|1.||South Dakota State||339 (13)|
|2.||South Dakota||327 (12)|
|3.||North Dakota State||246|
|Preseason Player of the Year: Mike Daum, South Dakota State|
(ppg / rpg / apg)
|Daniel Amigo||Denver||C||Sr.||15.5 / 7.1 / 1.4|
|Mike Daum||South Dakota State||F||Jr.||25.1 / 8.1 / 1.4|
|John Konchar||Fort Wayne||G||Jr.||14.9 / 8.7 / 3/8|
|Paul Miller||North Dakota State||G||Sr.||16.7 / 5.2 / 1.8|
|Matt Mooney||South Dakota||G||Sr.||18.6 / 4.5 / 2.1|
|Albert Owens||Oral Roberts||C||Sr.||17.4 / 5.6 / 0.9|
|Trey Burch-Manning||South Dakota||F||Jr.||9.2 / 6.6 / 1.2|
|Emmanuel Nzekwesi||Oral Roberts||F||So.||9.8 / 6.4 / 1.1|
|Joe Rosga||Denver||G||Jr.||15.3 / 4.1 / 3.2|
|Bryson Scott||Fort Wayne||G||Sr.||16.1 / 5.0 / 2.3|
|Reed Tellinghuisen||South Dakota State||G/F||Sr.||11.7 / 4.7 / 1.7|