Bison voted 3rd in Summit League MBB Poll, women picked fifth


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The North Dakota State men’s basketball team has been picked to finish third in the Summit League this season, according to the annual preseason poll of league head coaches, sports information directors and media.

Bison senior forward Rocky Kreuser was voted to the preseason All-Summit League second team. Kreuser is NDSU’s top returning scorer, averaging 10.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game last year.

South Dakota State topped the preseason poll with all but three first-place votes, with each of the remaining first-place votes going to the Bison. Oral Roberts came in second, NDSU was third, and Omaha was picked fourth.

South Dakota (5th), North Dakota (6th), Kansas City (7th), Denver (8th) and Western Illinois (9th) rounded out the poll.

Juniors Tyree Eady and Sam Griesel join Kreuser as returning starters from last season’s Bison squad that went 25-8 overall and swept the Summit League’s regular season and tournament championships. North Dakota State has earned four NCAA Tournament berths in the past seven seasons.

Meanwhile, the North Dakota State Bison women’s basketball team was voted fifth in the Summit League preseason poll. This is the first time NDSU has been picked inside the top five since being projected for fourth in 2012.

Defending champion South Dakota was tabbed the preseason favorite with 25 first-place votes, while South Dakota State was picked second with 11 first-place votes. Western Illinois was picked for third, while Oral Roberts was tabbed fourth.

NDSU was picked for fifth, followed by Kansas City and Denver. North Dakota and Omaha round out the poll in eighth and ninth, respectively. The Bison received 371 points, sitting just five behind Oral Roberts for fourth. Kansas City, the defending WAC Champion who returns to the league this year, had 323 points.

The Bison return their top two scorers in seniors Michelle Gaislerova (13.1) and Emily Dietz (10.7). Sophomore Ryan Cobbins ranked fourth on the team in scoring at 9.6 points per game. Dietz also led the Bison in rebounds with 7.3 per game. Last year, Gaislerova earned honorable mention All-Summit League honors, while Cobbins was named to the Summit League All-Newcomer Team.

NDSU will also welcome a pair of transfers that are eligible in 2020-21 after sitting out last season due to transfer rules. Marie Olson appeared in 27 games with 10 starts as a freshman at SMU, averaging 3.0 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. Heaven Hamling played in 32 games as a freshman at Stephen F. Austin State, averaging 5.4 points in 16.3 minutes per game. She scored 15 points in her first game against 24th-ranked Miami.