They've represented the Summit League in each of the last three NCAA Men's Basketball Tournaments; they're the defending conference regular season champs, and they have the Summit's best player on their roster, so it's no surprise that South Dakota State is a prohibitive favorite to win the 2018-19 Summit League title.

The Jackrabbits (13-1 in league play last season) grabbed 34 of the 36 first-place votes cast in pre-season balloting by league coaches, sports information directors, and select media.

South Dakota (11-3 in league play last year), runners-up to SDSU in the regular season and conference tournament in 2018, is second in the poll with one first-place vote. Third-ranked Denver captured the remaining first-place vote.

South Dakota State senior Mike Daum, the two-time Player of the Year in the conference is the pre-season POY choice. The Kimball, Nebraska native led the Jacks with 24 points per game last season. He enters his final season in Brookings 131 points shy of Nate Wolters' all-time scoring record at SDSU.

David Jenkins Jr - SDSU
Dave Eggen/Inertia

Daum's teammate David Jenkins Jr. is also on the Summit League's Pre-Season First Team.

The Tacoma, Washington native is the reigning Freshman of the Year in the Summit after setting a freshman scoring record at SDSU last season with 565 points (16 per game).

Trey Burch-Manning - USD
Dave Eggen/Inertia

South Dakota's Trey Burch-Manning is also on the first team.

The Federal Way, Washington native was a second team all-league selection last season after averaging nine points and seven rebounds a game.

Burch-Manning finished ninth in the conference with a 50.2 field goal percentage.

Zach Jackson of Omaha, John Konchar of Purdue Fort Wayne, and Joe Rosga of Denver round out the first team.

Summit League Men's Basketball Pre-Season Poll (first place votes)

  1. South Dakota State (34)
  2. South Dakota (1)
  3. Denver (1)
  4. Purdue Fort Wayne
  5. North Dakota State
  6. Oral Roberts
  7. North Dakota
  8. Omaha
  9. Western Illinois