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UNO men picked to finish fourth in Summit, women ninth; Mavs-Jayhawks set for Dec. 11

UNO men picked to finish fourth in Summit, women ninth; Mavs-Jayhawks set for Dec. 11

Matt Pile

Matt Pile was a first-team selection for the preseason All-Summit League basketball teams.

A pair of UNO centers are expected to be among the top basketball players in the Summit League this season.

Matt Pile was named to the men's first-team and Mariah Murdie was selected to the women's first-team as the league announced its preseason selections and polls on Monday.

Pile, the league's defensive player of the year last season, averaged a double-double as a junior with 11.6 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

Pile's teammate, guard Marlon Ruffin, earned a spot on the preseason second-team. Ruffin averaged 8.8 points and 3.3 rebounds last season when he was named the league's sixth man of the year.

UNO was picked to finish fourth in the team standings. The Mavericks graduated its top two scorers in guards KJ Robinson and JT Gibson, but the team's other top contributors all return.

South Dakota State, led by preseason player of the year Douglas Wilson, is the league favorite, followed by Oral Roberts and North Dakota State, which won last season's league tournament.

Murdie was UNO's top player last season when she was a second-team all-league player. She averaged a team-high 11.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game as a sophomore.

UNO's roster stays mostly intact after a 7-23 season. The Mavs have a new coach in Carrie Banks.

UNO is picked to finish ninth in the preseason poll. South Dakota, led by preseason player of the year Hannah Sjerven, is the favorite, followed by South Dakota State. South Dakota's roster also include Crofton senior guard Monica Arens, who was a preseason second-team selection.

Also on Monday, Kansas announced it'll host the UNO men on Dec. 11. The teams last played in 2017. KU won 109-64.

Men's poll: 1, South Dakota State (33 first-place votes) 608 points. 2, Oral Roberts, 514. 3, North Dakota State (3) 466. 4, UNO, 379. 5, South Dakota, 354. 6, North Dakota, 301. 7, UMKC, 248. 8, Denver, 203. 9, Western Illinois, 167.

Women's poll: 1, South Dakota (25 first-place votes) 587 points. 2, South Dakota State (11) 566. 3, Western Illinois, 389. 4, Oral Roberts, 376. 5, North Dakota State, 371. 6, UMKC, 323. 7, Denver, 300. 8, North Dakota, 203. 9, UNO, 124.

Omaha World-Herald: Local Sports

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