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Nzekwesi Named to Preseason All-Summit League Team; Preseason Poll Released

Nzekwesi Named to Preseason All-Summit League Team; Preseason Poll Released

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Oral Roberts junior forward Emmanuel Nzekwesi was named to the Preseason All-Summit League second team, while the Golden Eagles were picked to finish sixth as the preseason poll was released Thursday. 

Both South Dakota State and the Jackrabbits' All-American forward, Mike Daum, were near unanimous selections en route to being named The Summit League preseason favorite and Preseason Player of the Year, respectively, for the upcoming 2018-19 men's basketball season.

The Jacks, who topped the preseason poll with 570 points, and Daum both received all but two first-place votes by a panel of 36 voters consisting of the league's nine head coaches, sports information directors, and select media members. Daum and his teammates have won The Summit League Tournament each of the last three years and the 6-foot-9 sharpshooter has earned MVP honors following each of those runs to the NCAA Tournament.

The remaining two first-place votes in the preseason poll were split among South Dakota (2nd; 470 points) and Denver (3rd; 454 points), while the other two preseason player of the year votes went to  Purdue Fort Wayne's John Konchar. Daum and the Mastodon's senior point guard were joined on the Preseason All-League First Team by South Dakota forward Trey Burch-Manning, Omaha wing Zach Jackson, SDSU guard David Jenkins, Jr., and Denver guard Joe Rosga.

The Preseason All-League Second Team was dotted by a pair of Western Illinois standouts. The  Lumberjack duo of seven-footer Brandon Gilbeck and guard Kobe Webster was accompanied by South Dakota forward Tyler Hagedorn, Oral Roberts forward Emmanuel Nzekwesi and North Dakota State guard Tyson Ward.

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. The top six vote-getters earned first-team honors and the next five were selected to the second team. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes or team.

The 2018-19 campaign gets underway in just over a month as Oral Roberts (at Missouri State), South Dakota State (vs. Grand Canyon) and North Dakota State (at New Mexico State) all play on opening night (Nov. 6). The Summit League regular season begins on Dec. 28 with four conference matchups.

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

Mike Daum – South Dakota State

 

Preseason All-Summit League First Team

Mike Daum – South Dakota State, Sr., F (23.9 ppg/10.3 rpg/1.3 apg)*

Trey Burch-Manning – South Dakota, Sr., F (8.7 ppg/6.7 rpg/1.5 apg)

Zach Jackson – Omaha, Sr., G (17.6 ppg/6.4 rpg/0.9 apg)

David Jenkins, Jr. – South Dakota State, So., G (16.1 ppg/3.2 rpg/1.6 apg)

John Konchar – Purdue Fort Wayne, Sr., G (14.8 ppg/8.1 rpg/4.8 apg)

Joe Rosga – Denver, Sr., G (16.1 ppg/4.1 rpg/2.9 apg)

 

Preseason All-Summit League Second Team

Brandon Gilbeck – Western Illinois, Sr., C (10.8 ppg/7.1 rpg/2.6 bpg)

Tyler Hagedorn – South Dakota, Sr., F (13.0 ppg/5.9 rpg/1.1 apg)

Emmanuel Nzekwesi – Oral Roberts, Jr., F (12.7 ppg/7.2 rpg/ 1.7 apg)

Tyson Ward – North Dakota State, Jr., G (11.8 ppg/5.9 rpg/2.6 apg)

Kobe Webster – Western Illinois, So., G (15.9 ppg/4.1rpg/3.5 apg)

*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 (34)

570

2.

South Dakota (1)

470

3.

Denver (1)

454

4.

Purdue Fort Wayne

384

5.

North Dakota State

280

6.

Oral Roberts

215

7.

North Dakota

186

8.

Omaha

177

9.

Western Illinois

161

 

Preseason Summit League Notes

• Daum, Konchar and Rosga were all First Team All-Summit League performers in 2017-18 and the duo of Daum and Konchar are looking to be named to the first team for the fourth consecutive season

• Daum is looking to become just the second player in Summit League history to earn three consecutive Player of the Year honors (Caleb Green, Oral Roberts; 2004-07). He averaged 26.0 ppg and 12.5 rpg in league play a year ago and equaled the league record with seven Player of the Week accolades

• Konchar ranked third in the Summit League in rebounding from his point guard position a year ago (8.1/g) and led the league in assists (4.8/g)

• Rosga was tied for sixth in the league in scoring (16.1 ppg) last year and was the top free throw shooter with a 90.1 percent clip from the charity stripe. He can also light it up from distance and is the top returning 3-point shooter in the league after knocking down 44 percent of his tries in 2017-18

• SDSU guard David Jenkins, Jr., was named the Freshman of the Year and to the All-Newcomer Team after averaging 16.1 ppg in only 22 starts as a rookie

• South Dakota forward Trey Burch-Manning is one of the top returning rebounders in the league (6.7 rpg; t6th) and joined Daum as the only Summit League players to start 35 games in 2017-18

• Omaha's Zach Jackson was the Mavs top scorer (17.6 ppg) and top 3-pointer shooter (42.9 percent) a year ago as a junior, while earning a spot on the All-Summit League Second Team

• Defensive Player of the Year Brandon Gilbeck returns after leading the league and ranking 14th in the NCAA with 2.6 blocks per game a year ago. Gilbeck has 177 career blocks to his credit – a total that already ranks fifth all-time in The Summit League Record Book

• Western Illinois guard Kobe Webster averaged 15.9 ppg during his first collegiate season, which was second among league rookies (trailing only Jenkins, Jr.)

• NDSU guard Tyson Ward averaged 11.8 ppg as a sophomore and will look to take over as the team's top scorer after the graduation of All-Summit League First Teamer Paul Miller (19.5 ppg; 3rd) 

• Burch Manning's frontcourt mate Tyler Hagedorn turned in a solid junior campaign that saw him average a career-best 13.0 ppg. He also added 0.8 bpg, which tied for fourth best in the league

• Oral Roberts forward Emmanuel Nzekwesi is the Golden Eagles' top returning scorer (12.7 ppg) and rebounder (7.2 rpg) and he also blocked 0.7 shots per game. He'll have to help fill the void by the departures of Transfer of the Year Austin Ruder and Sixth Man of the Year Albert Owens

• North Dakota joins The Summit League after a six-year run as a Big Sky member. The Fighting Hawks won the league's regular season and tournament titles in 2016-17

• The Hawks will be led by the senior duo of Cortez Seales (10.7 ppg) and Conner Avants (career-best 11.6 ppg in 2017-18), who have both played significant roles over the past three seasons. Seales was the Reserve of the Year in the Big Sky during the team's March Madness run of two seasons ago and Avants will embark on his third season as a starting post player for Jones, who enters his 12th season at the helm of UND

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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.