South Dakota State voted The Summit League Women’s Basketball Preseason Favorite

South Dakota State was voted to win the Summit League in the 2018-19 Preseason Poll
South Dakota State was voted to win the Summit League in the 2018-19 Preseason Poll

By: Kelly Shipp

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota State was predicted to win the 2019 Summit League Women's Basketball Championship in voting by head coaches, sports information directors and a select panel of media members.

The Jackrabbits are the overall preseason favorite for the seventh consecutive season and for the ninth time in the last 12 years. SDSU received 24 first-place votes, while South Dakota was second in the poll with nine first-place votes.

South Dakota State senior guard Macy Miller was voted The Summit League Women's Basketball Preseason Player of the Year after receiving 26 of 33 first-place votes and a total of 680 points. Miller is the reigning Summit League Women's Basketball Player of the Year, and this marks the second consecutive season that the player of the year returns.

Joining Miller on the preseason All-Summit League First Team is her teammate Madison Guebert along with South Dakota's Ciara Duffy and Allison Arens, Western Illinois' Taylor Higginbotham and North Dakota's Lexi Klabo. The second team is comprised of SDSU's Myah Selland and Tagyn Larson, USD's Madison McKeever, Oral Robert's Maya Mayberry, and Denver's Claire Gritt.

Points for the preseason poll were compiled on a 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis while all-league teams were compiled on an 11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Each coach, SID and media member also voted for two, five-player All-Summit League Teams with the preseason player of the year being determined by receiving the most points. Ties were not broken and coaches were not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes or team.

The 2018-19 campaign gets underway on Nov. 6 with Oral Roberts taking on Harris-Stowe and South Dakota State battling Marquette. Conference play will begin on Dec. 28 with a handful of league members in action. There will be an in-person Basketball Media Day in The Summit League's new hometown of Sioux Falls, S.D., on Monday, Oct. 22 where all nine head coaches will be on hand to preview the upcoming season.

The 2019 Summit League Tournament will be March 9-12 at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.

2018-19 Preseason Summit League Player of the Year
Macy Miller – South Dakota State

Preseason All-Summit League First Team
Macy Miller – South Dakota State, Sr., G (18.3 ppg/5.8 rpg/3.2 apg)*
Madison Guebert – South Dakota State, Sr., G (15.0 ppg/2.2 rpg/2.0 apg)
Ciara Duffy – South Dakota, Jr., G (12.3 ppg/5.0 rpg/2.5 apg)
Allison Arens – South Dakota, Sr., G (11.5 ppg/4.8 rpg/2.5 apg)
Taylor Higginbotham – Western Illinois, Sr., G (16.6 ppg/5.2 rpg/1.2 apg)
Lexi Klabo – North Dakota, Sr., F (19.0 ppg/9.3 rpg/1.3 apg)

Preseason All-Summit League Second Team
Myah Selland – South Dakota State, So., G/F (9.6 ppg/5.4 rpg/2.2apg)
Maya Mayberry – Oral Roberts, G (11.6 ppg/2.3 rpg/2.06 apg)
Claire Gritt – Denver, So., G (10.3 ppg/3.0 rpg/ 1.46 apg)
Madison Mckeever – South Dakota, Jr., G (8.6 ppg/2.7 rpg/2.47 apg)
Tagyn Laron – South Dakota State, Jr., F (7.4 ppg/5.7rpg/1.3apg)
*Preseason player of the year automatically earns a spot on the first team

Preseason Poll

Place

Team (First-Place Votes)

Points

1.

South Dakota State (24)

624

2.

South Dakota (9)

557

3.

Western Illinois

469

4.

Oral Roberts

435

5.

Denver

431

6.

North Dakota

380

7.

North Dakota State

271

8.

Omaha

233

9.

Purdue Fort Wayne

181

Preseason Summit League Notes
• The preseason player of the year has gone on to win the player of the year award 10 times in league history, including five of the last eight years
• Since 1996-97, the preseason favorite has won either the regular season or tournament title in 16 of those years but has won both only three times
• There is a combined 18 player of the week awards between the members of the first and second team preseason all-league teams. Miller leads the group with nine career weekly honors
• Five of the six members of the Preseason All-Summit League first team were members of either the first or second All-Summit League team last season, Klabo was a First Team All-Big Sky honoree
• Three of the five end-of-year award winners return: Miller (player of the year), Gritt (freshman of the year), and Larson (transfer of the year)
• Last season, The Summit League ended with the 12th-best RPI among the 32 NCAA Division I conferences. South Dakota State posted the highest team RPI of 32
• South Dakota finished the 2017-18 season ranked fourth nationally in free-throw percentage at 79.8 percent, while Western Illinois ranked third in three-point field goals per game at 10.6

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ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE

Through 36 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 115,000 at nine institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Purdue Fort Wayne (Purdue University Fort Wayne), the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 12 NCAA Champions along with over 100 Academic All-Americans, and nearly 125 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level.

2018-19 Basketball Media Day
October 19, 2018 2018-19 Basketball Media Day