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UND's Crandall named to preseason all-Big Sky team

March 16, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Arizona Wildcats guard Allonzo Trier (35) moves the ball against North Dakota Fighting Hawks guard Geno Crandall (0) during the first half in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports1 / 2
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With former star Quinton Hooker beginning his professional basketball career this season, UND junior guard Geno Crandall is emerging from his former teammate's shadow.

That process took a step forward Thursday as Crandall was among six guards selected to the preseason all-Big Sky Conference team by the league's 12 head coaches.

Crandall was an all-Big Sky second team selection as a sophomore after helping the Fighting Hawks to their first Big Sky regular season and tournament titles.

"This is a great recognition for him and our program and it's something for for him to strive for," UND coach Brian Jones said. "What we need from Geno is for his leadership to take that next step and I think it will with Quinton no longer with us. I could not be more excited and proud of him, but he can use this as motivation to go out and prove he is one of the top players in our league every day."

Crandall averaged a career-high 15.5 points per game last season and upped that to 16.7 ppg in league play. His 136 assists were fourth most in the Big Sky and his 64 steals were second among league players.

Montana State's Tyler Hall was named preseason MVP.

UND opens the 2017-18 season Nov. 10 at 8:30 p.m. against Troy at the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Tom Miller

Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 13 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate. 

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