Women’s basketball picked first, men picked second in preseason poll


Joclyn Haven

Luke Appel was named to the preseason All-Summit League First Team

Evan Patzwald and Skyler Jackson

Women’s basketball

Last week, the SDSU women’s basketball team was picked to finish first in the Summit League in the preseason poll. This is fresh off the Jacks’ dominant run through the WNIT last March where they won six straight games with wins over Alabama, UCLA and a 32-point victory over Seton Hall in the championship game. 

In the poll, the Jackrabbits received 36 out of the 40 first place votes, with the other four going to South Dakota. Last season, each team tied for first in the Summit League with a 17-1 overall conference record. SDSU finished 29-9 overall. 

Four players were given preseason honors. Here’s a look at each player.

Myah Selland – Player of the Year, First Team

Redshirt senior Myah Selland is returning for her sixth season as a Jackrabbit. She was named the preseason Player of the Year. It is the second year in a row that she has received this honor while also being named the WNIT All-Tournament MVP. After missing seven games because of an injury earlier in the year, Selland came back strong, averaging a team-high 14.3 points per game. 

Paiton Burckhard – First Team

Paiton Burckhard is heading into her fifth season at SDSU and was named to the preseason All-Summit League First Team. She has been named to the All-Summit League First team in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. She was an All-Summit League Honorable Mention a season ago, averaging 11.3 points and 5.6 rebounds in 38 starts.

Paige Meyer – First Team

Sophomore Paige Meyer was also named to the First Team and was having an impressive freshman campaign until she suffered a season-ending injury in their final regular season game Feb. 26. Meyer missed the Summit League Tournament and WNIT, but before that SDSU took lead with 4.1 assists and an average of 10.4 points per game. She was named the All-Newcomer Team in 2021-22.

Tori Nelson – Second Team

Tori Nelson is in her fourth year with the Jacks. She has been named to the preseason All-Summit League Second Team. She has been an impact player since her freshman year, starting 19 of 29 games in her freshman year to starting all 38 games last season. She averaged a career-best with 10.3 points last season along with 4.0 rebounds per game and shooting 55% from the field.


Men’s basketball

The South Dakota State men’s basketball team is again expected to compete for a Summit League title this season, as the conference preseason poll was released last week.

The Jackrabbits were picked to finish second behind Oral Roberts for the conference title. SDSU received 11 of the 40 first-place votes and totaled 668 total points in the poll. Oral Roberts claimed 28 first-place votes and 731 points.

SDSU has had at least a share of the regular-season conference title each of the last five years. They are also coming off arguably their most historic season, going 18-0 in conference play en route to their sixth conference tournament title and an appearance in the NCAA Division I Tournament.

Two Jackrabbit players were also picked to make the all-Summit League first team. Here is a look at each player.

Luke Appel – First Team

Forward Luke Appel returns for his junior season at SDSU after winning Summit League Sixth Man of the Year last season. He played in all 35 games last year with one start. He averaged 17 minutes a game last season and averaged nine points and almost four rebounds per contest. In conference play, Appel averaged 11.1 points per game on 62% shooting, including a 41 point, 10 rebound performance against Oral Roberts on 16-20 from the field. That performance was one of the 13 double-digit scoring games he had last season.

Zeke Mayo – First Team

Guard Zeke Mayo is now in his second season at SDSU. Last year, he experienced a breakout freshman season, being named to the Summit League All-Newcomer squad as the only freshman to be recognized with the honors. Mayo appeared in all 35 games last season, starting 21 of them. He scored in double figures in 20 games, including 11 of the 18 Summit League contests. He averaged 9.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game. In conference play, Mayo’s scoring improved to 10.6 per game. His career high in games against South Dakota and Omaha is 21 points. He also had a season-high nine assists in a matchup with Omaha.