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UND men's basketball team picked seventh in preseason Summit poll

A new, young UND men's basketball team didn't receive much in the way of expectations when the Summit League preseason poll and all-conference teams were released on Thursday.

The Fighting Hawks were tabbed seventh in their first Summit League preseason poll. No UND players were selected to the two preseason all-Summit teams.

UND's roster includes seven true or redshirt freshmen and eight first-year players. The Fighting Hawks saw four players transfer this offseason, including star guard Geno Crandall, who decided to graduate transfer to Gonzaga.

In the Summit poll, South Dakota State—led by Preseason Player of the Year Mike Daum—was picked first.

After the Jacks, South Dakota was picked second, followed by Denver, Purdue Fort Wayne, North Dakota State, Oral Roberts, UND, Omaha and Western Illinois.

"We couldn't be more excited heading into our first season of the Summit," UND coach Brian Jones said. "We will be by far one of the youngest teams in the league and in the country competing in an older league so we expect to learn a lot about ourselves as the year unfolds. I am truly excited that our fans and families will be able to see us compete on the road. Restoring many old rivalries will only increase the intensity of these games."

UND lost its top two scorers (Crandall and Iowa grad transfer Dale Jones) from a year ago. The Hawks will be led by the only two seniors on the roster in Cortez Seales and Conner Avants.

Seales averaged 10.7 points per game last year, while Avants averaged 11.6 points and 6.0 rebounds.

UND opens the season Nov. 6 against Northland College at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

In addition to Daum, the all-Summit First Team includes South Dakota's Trey Burch-Manning, Omaha's Zach Jackson, SDSU's David Jenkins, Jr., IPFW's John Konchar and Denver's Joe Rosga.

The second team includes Western Illinois' Brandon Gilbeck and Kobe Webster, USD's Tyler Hagedorn, ORU's Emmanuel Nzekwesi, NDSU's Tyson Ward.

Tom Miller

Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department since 2004. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate. 

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