The Summit League has its fair share of talent, and don’t be surprised when some players steal some spotlights during non-conference play during November and December. Here are our preseason awards.
Player of the Year: Mike Daum, Forward, South Dakota State
Name a category and Mike Daum likely led the Summit League in it last season. Points per game (23.9), yep. Rebounds per contest (10.3), of course. Three-pointers made (96), bingo. Double-doubles (21), absolutely. It was business as usual for Daum, who only enhanced what he had done during his sophomore campaign.
There were legitimate questions about Daum turning pro and forgoing his senior season with the Jackrabbits. But he dispatched that notion rather quickly, and he’s back in Brookings for his senior year and aiming to rewrite the South Dakota State record books.
Newcomer of the Year: Ronnie Harrell Jr., Guard, Denver
A graduate of Denver East High School, Harrell Jr. is returning to his hometown for his senior season after spending the last three seasons at Creighton. He was instrumental for the Bluejays last season, averaging 25.4 minutes per game while scoring seven points a contest. He also made 46.5 percent of his shots.
Dark Horse Team: Denver
After being a middle-of-the-pack team in the Summit League last season, coach Rodney Billups rounded up some premium transfers, and the Pioneers appear set to challenge South Dakota State for conference supremacy this season. Joe Rosga will continue to lead the show, and Jake Krafka is back as another offensive option, but the Pioneers will also have the services of Colorado transfer Tory Stewart-Miller and Creighton transfer Ronnie Harrell Jr.
Mike Daum, Sr. F, South Dakota State
John Konchar, Sr., G, Purdue Fort Wayne
Joe Rosga, Sr., G, Denver
David Jenkins Jr., Soph., G, South Dakota State
Kobe Webster, Soph., G, Western Illinois
Emmanuel Nzekwesi, Jr., F, Oral Roberts
Trey Burch-Manning, Sr., F, South Dakota
Tyson Ward, Jr., G, North Dakota State
Zach Jackson, Sr., G, Omaha
Brandon Gilbeck, Sr., C, Western Illinois