SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – For the third straight season, South Dakota men’s basketball has been tabbed to finish second in the Preseason Summit League Coaches’ Poll, and three Coyotes have been named to the preseason all-conference teams, including Preseason Summit League Player of the Year Stanley Umude.

Umude becomes the first Coyote to earn the Preseason Player of the Year honor since South Dakota became a league member in 2011-12, and his selection breaks South Dakota State’s three-year streak of claiming the honor. Joining Umude on the preseason all-conference teams are fellow Coyotes Triston Simpson (First Team) and Tyler Hagedorn (Second Team); South Dakota is the lone league member with three preseason all-conference selections, edging out two picks apiece from Oral Roberts and North Dakota State.

As a team, South Dakota collected 457 points and six first-place votes in the preseason voting, conducted by the league’s head coaches, sports information directors and select media members. Only North Dakota State, with 23 first-place votes and 526 points, outpaced the Coyotes. Oral Roberts, Omaha and South Dakota State rounded out the top five in the preseason poll. Last season, South Dakota finished tied for fifth in the league standings with a 7-9 record in Summit League play.

Umude, a First Team All-Summit League selection in 2018-19 as a sophomore, is the lone returning First Teamer in the league and posted huge improvements during his second year with the Coyotes. The San Antonio native averaged a team-best 14.4 points per game and made 18 starts while appearing in all 30 games a season ago. His 5.5 rebounds per game ranked second among all Coyotes behind only Trey Burch-Manning, and Umude also led the team with 37 blocks and a .491 mark (156-of-318) from the field among players with at least 50 attempts.

One of the most electric scorers in the league, Umude’s breakout performance last season came inside Allen Fieldhouse at then-No. 1 Kansas; Umude poured in 28 points in 34 minutes against the Jayhawks, his first of eight 20-point games as a sophomore. He later topped that career-best performance with 32 points in 33 minutes at Purdue Fort Wayne and finished the Summit League season averaging 17.1 points per game in league play.

Joining Umude on the preseason First Team is Simpson, who earned an Honorable Mention All-Summit League nod in 2018-19. Simpson started all 30 games for the Coyotes, tallying 14 points per game to rank second on the squad behind Umude. Playing primarily as a point guard, Simpson led the Summit League with 37.1 minutes per game last season and played every minute in six of South Dakota’s 30 outings.

Simpson dished out 108 assists, ranking fourth in the Summit League in 2018-19, and had five or more helpers in 10 games, including a career-best eight assists in the season finale against Purdue Fort Wayne. Over his final 12 games as a junior, the Lincoln, Neb., native had 51 assists against just 16 turnovers, good for an assist-turnover ratio of 3.1 over the final third of the campaign.

Despite missing all of the 2018-19 season due to injury, Hagedorn earned a Second Team nod ahead of his final season with the Coyotes. The Norfolk, Neb., native averaged 13 points and 5.9 points per game as a junior in 2017-18, earning Second Team All-Summit League honors following the season.

Hagedorn is set to provide a boost to South Dakota’s game when he returns to the court this season. In the aforementioned 2017-18 season, he proved to be a strong shooter, hitting 44.2 percent (153-of-346) of his shots from the field and piecing together a 44-of-111 (.396) mark from beyond the arc while starting all 34 games.

South Dakota is set to kick off the 2019-20 regular season in the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Nov. 8 against Pacific. The Coyotes will host Texas Southern in their home opener inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center on Friday, Nov. 15.

2019-20 Preseason All-Summit League First Team

Emmanuel Nzekwesi, Oral Roberts

Kevin Obanor, Oral Roberts

Vinnie Shahid, North Dakota State

Triston Simpson, South Dakota

Stanley Umude, South Dakota (Preseason Player of the Year)

Kobe Webster, Western Illinois

2019-20 Preseason All-Summit League Second Team

Tyler Hagedorn, South Dakota

JT Gibson, Omaha

Matt Holba, Purdue Fort Wayne

Matt Pile, Omaha

Tyson Ward, North Dakota State

2019-20 Preseason Summit League Poll (first-place votes in parentheses)

1. North Dakota State (23) – 526 points

2. South Dakota (6) – 457 points

3. Oral Roberts (3) – 404 points

4. Omaha – 369 points

5. South Dakota State (2) – 300 points

6. Purdue Fort Wayne – 224 points

7. Western Illinois – 188 points

8. North Dakota – 164 points

9. Denver – 113 points

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