SDSU Men Picked Third in Summit League Poll - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

SDSU Men Picked Third in Summit League Poll

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ELMHURST, Ill. – The Summit League released its annual preseason poll on Wednesday, and the league coaches, sports information directors and media picked the defending regular season and two-time defending postseason Summit League champion South Dakota State men's basketball team to finish third in the upcoming 2013-14 season.

 "We got picked where I figured we would be picked," head coach Scott Nagy said. "With the loss of Nate Wolters, I think people assume we'll be a little bit down, but with four seniors that know how to win, our expectations are certainly higher than where we were picked."

 North Dakota State received 25-of-28 first-place votes after finishing as runner-up at the 2013 Summit League Tournament. The Bison returns all five starters and 11 of 12 letterwinners from last season's squad that finished 24-10 overall and 12-4 in Summit League play.

 League newcomer Denver, which earned a share of the 2012-13 WAC regular season title and posted a first-round NIT victory last March, earned the remaining three first-place votes to finish second in the poll with 260 points.

 The poll also included the preseason all-league first and second teams, along with the preseason player of the year. Jackrabbit senior Jordan Dykstra earned a first team nod after earning all-Summit League second team honors after each of the last two seasons and all-newcomer teams following his freshman season in 2010-11.

 "I think that was expected, he's been second team last two years, and with all of the seniors in the league that graduated, it makes sense that he would be on the first team," Nagy said. "He's worked hard to improve and he has, and with Nate gone we'll be more balanced, so he's going to have the opportunity for more shots. A first team selection is deserving and he'll work hard to prove that they were right."     

NDSU placed a league-high three players on the all-league team, including preseason player of the year Taylor Braun along with Lawrence Alexander and Marshall Bjorklund.

North Dakota State, Braun Headline Summit League Preseason Men's Basketball Poll Results
Bison tabbed as league favorite, Taylor Braun picked as Player of the Year 

ELMHURST, Ill. – North Dakota State is the favorite to win the 2013-14 Summit League Basketball Championship according to the annual preseason poll of league coaches, SIDs and media. The Bison received 25-of-28 first-place votes after finishing as runner-up at the 2012 Summit League Tournament. Head coach Saul Phillips returns all five starters and 11 of 12 letterwinners from last season's squad that finished 24-10 overall and 12-4 in Summit League play.

                 
   NDSU guard Taylor Braun, a two-time All-Summit League selection, was the preseason choice for Player of the Year. The senior averaged 15.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game and scored in double-figures in 21 of 24 games played during the 2012-13 season. After missing 10 contests with a broken foot from mid-January to late February, Braun returned from injury to record a 27-point performance in The Summit League Tournament quarterfinals and 11 assists in the College Basketball Invitational first round game. He earned first team All-Summit League honors as a sophomore in 2011-12.

  League newcomer Denver, which earned a share of the 2012-13 WAC regular season title and posted a first-round NIT victory last March, earned the remaining three first-place votes to finish second in the poll with 260 points. South Dakota State, the two-time defending Summit League Tournament champion, placed third with 233 points. Last season's regular season co-champion, Western Illinois, was fourth in the voting. Omaha, Fort Wayne, South Dakota and IUPUI rounded out the poll.

  NDSU placed a league-high three players on the all-league team with Braun, Lawrence Alexander (10.8 ppg, 3.6 apg in '12-13) and Marshall Bjorklund (11.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2nd in NCAA with 66.7 FG%) all receiving first-team nods. Joining the Bison trio on the preseason All-Summit League first team are South Dakota State's Jordan Dykstra (12.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg), Omaha's Justin Simmons (16.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg) and Denver's Chris Udofia (13.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg).

  Second-team selections included five players from five different schools: South Dakota's Trevor Gruis (12.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Fort Wayne's Luis Jacobo (11.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg), Western Illinois' Adam Link (9.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg), Denver's Brett Olson (11.4 ppg, .434 3FG%) and IUPUI's Mitch Patton (13.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg, .582 FG%).

  The Summit League is coming off a 2012-13 season that featured several tournament attendance records, a pair of NCAA statistical champions and the league's highest individual All-American honor. The Summit League achieved a top-20 RPI finish (19th) and featured two top-100 RPI teams for the second consecutive year.

  Nov. 8 marks the beginning of the 2013-14 season and the 14-game double round-robin Summit League schedule starts Jan. 9. The 2014 Summit League Basketball Championships will be held March 8-11, the sixth consecutive year in Sioux Falls, S.D.

 

2013-14 SUMMIT LEAGUE MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL

Rk

Team (1st)

Pts.

1.

North Dakota State (25)

305

2.

Denver (3)

260

3.

South Dakota State

233

4.

Western Illinois

161

5.

Omaha

130

6.

Fort Wayne

120

7.

South Dakota

102

8.

IUPUI

  81


PRESEASON ALL-LEAGUE

First Team

Name

School

Pos.

Ht.

Yr.

Lawrence Alexander

North Dakota State

G

6-3

Jr.

Marshall Bjorklund

North Dakota State

F

6-8

Sr.

Taylor Braun

North Dakota State

G

6-7

Sr.

Jordan Dykstra

South Dakota State

F

6-8

Sr.

Justin Simmons

Omaha

G

6-3

Sr.

Chris Udofia

Denver

F

6-6

Sr.


Second Team

Name

School

Pos.

Ht.

Yr.

Trevor Gruis

South Dakota

C

6-10

Sr.

Luis Jacobo

Fort Wayne

F

6-5

Sr.

Adam Link

Western Illinois

F

6-6

Sr.

Brett Olson

Denver

G

6-5

Jr.

Mitch Patton

IUPUI

C

6-9

Sr.


Preseason Player of the Year:
Taylor Braun, North Dakota State        

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