South Dakota State Tabbed #SummitMBB Preseason Favorite

South Dakota State Tabbed #SummitMBB Preseason Favorite

ELMHURST, Ill. – South Dakota State, last season's regular season co-champion, is the preseason favorite to win the 2015-16 Summit League Men's Basketball Championship according to the annual preseason poll of league coaches, SIDs and media. The Jackrabbits garnered 30-of-34 first-place votes to finish ahead of 2014-15 regular season co-champion and tournament champion North Dakota State.

Oral Roberts senior guard Obi Emegano was tabbed as The Summit League's Preseason Player of the Year and leads all returnees in scoring after averaging 18.3 points per game last season.

SDSU returns four starters, including Summit League Newcomer of the Year Deondre Parks (14.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg), off a team that recorded The Summit League's first NIT victory in 25 years. Tabbed second, the Bison ended last season in the NCAA Tournament and reigning Summit League Coach of the Year David Richman returns four starters, led by Sixth Man of the Year Dexter Werner (8.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg).

Oral Roberts, which received a first-place vote, finished third in the preseason poll. The Golden Eagles advanced to the second round of the College Basketball Invitational last season before being eliminated by the eventual tournament champion.

The Jackrabbits and Bison each had a league-high three players named to the preseason all-league teams. Along with Parks, SDSU guards Jake Bittle (10.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and George Marshall (13.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg) were named to The Summit League first team. NDSU's A.J. Jacobson (11.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg), was a first-team honoree while teammates Kory Brown (8.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg) and Werner were second team selections.

Western Illinois' Garret Covington (15.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg) rounded out the first team. Fort Wayne's duo of Mo Evans (10.2 ppg, 3.3 apg) and Max Landis (9.3 ppg) along with IUPUI's Marcellus Barksdale (9.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg) received second team nods.

Additional preseason notes about Summit League Men's Basketball …

  • The preseason favorite has won at least a share of the regular season title in 11 of the last 16 years
  • South Dakota State has won the regular season or tournament title in three of the past four seasons
  • Two of the five shared Summit League regular season titles have come in the past three years
  • Omaha is eligible for The Summit League Tournament for the first time after concluding its NCAA Division I transition period
  • Four former Summit League Award winners are on the preseason all-league teams: Garrett Covington (2014 Newcomer of the Year), Mo Evans (2014 Sixth Man of the Year), Deondre Parks (2015 Newcomer of the Year), and Dexter Werner (2015 Sixth Man of the Year)
  • The preseason all-league team features a pair of first-team honorees (A.J. Jacobson and Deondre Parks) and two second-team selections (Garret Covington and George Marshall) from 2014-15
  • Garret Covington is the only multiple-season honoree on the preseason team, having earned second team all-league selections in both 2013-14 and 2014-15
  • The Summit League has finished among the top-20 conference RPI each of the past four seasons
  • A league-record four teams represented The Summit League in the postseason each of the past two years
  • The 2015 Summit League Basketball Championship smashed previous attendance records by over 30 percent
  • The Summit League's annual Media Day is Oct. 21
  • Regular season play commences Nov. 13 and the 16-game double round-robin league schedule begins Dec. 30
  • The 2016 Summit League Men's Basketball Championship is March 5-8 at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.

 

SUMMIT LEAGUE MEN'S BASKETBALL

2015-16 PRESEASON POLL

Place

Team

Points (1st)

1.

South Dakota State

541 (30)

2.

North Dakota State

481 (3)

3.

Oral Roberts

403 (1)

4.

Fort Wayne

316

5.

South Dakota

283

6.

IUPUI

239

7.

Omaha

192

8.

Denver

164

9.

Western Illinois

126

 

Preseason Player of the Year: Obi Emegano, Oral Roberts

 

First Team

Name

School

Pos.

Year

Jake Bittle

South Dakota State

G

Sr.

Garret Covington

Western Illinois

G

Jr.

Obi Emegano

Oral Roberts

G

Sr.

A.J. Jacobson

North Dakota State

G/F

So.

George Marshall

South Dakota State

G

Sr.

Deondre Parks

South Dakota State

G

Sr.

 

Second Team

Name

School

Pos.

Year

Marcellus Barksdale

IUPUI

G

Sr.

Kory Brown

North Dakota State

G

Sr.

Mo Evans

Fort Wayne

G

Jr.

Max Landis

Fort Wayne

G

Sr.

Dexter Werner

North Dakota State

F

Jr.


ABOUT SUMMIT LEAGUE MEN'S BASKETBALL
In its fourth decade of Division I athletics, The Summit League features men's basketball teams from nine member institutions: Denver, Fort Wayne, IUPUI, North Dakota State, Omaha, Oral Roberts, South Dakota, South Dakota State and Western Illinois. In 2014-15, The Summit League completed its fourth straight season with both a top-20 league RPI finish and a league-record four teams in national postseason tournaments. Called "March's Best-Kept Secret" by USA Today, The Summit League Basketball Championships further established itself as one of the nation's top tournaments by smashing league attendance figures in five-of-six categories, including total attendance by an astounding 33 percent, at the new Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. This season's tournament returns to the venue March 5-8, 2016. For more information about the league and to "See The Summit", visit www.thesummitleague.org, follow Summit League Basketball on Twitter @summithoops and watch the weekly "Inside The Summit League" show at www.thesummitleague.org/itsl.

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