OMAHA, Neb. — The Omaha men’s basketball team was picked fourth in the 2016-17 Summit League Preseason Poll, and senior guard Tra-Deon Hollins and junior forward Tre’Shawn Thurman were named Preseason All-Summit, the conference office announced Wednesday. The poll was tallied in a vote of the league’s head coaches, communications personnel and media.
Fort Wayne was the favorite to win the Summit League, garnering 18 first-place votes for 491 points. South Dakota State was second and received nine first-place votes for 424 points, while North Dakota State earned four first-place votes and 422 points for third. Omaha came in fourth with 352 points, followed by IUPUI, which received one first-place vote and 331 points for fifth. Oral Roberts was sixth in the poll with 199 points, while South Dakota (176), Denver (150) and Western Illinois (107) rounded it out in seventh, eighth and ninth places, respectively.
Hollins, a native of Omaha, was named to the Preseason All-Summit First Team after averaging 12.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 4.0 steals per game in 2015-16. As a junior, he was a first-team All-Summit selection, the Summit League Defensive Player of the Year and Transfer of the Year and a Summit League All-Newcomer selection. Hollins led the nation in both total steals (127) and steals per game.
Thurman was placed on the Preseason All-Summit Second Team after a sophomore season in which he averaged 13.9 points, a team-leading 6.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. The Omaha native finished with five double-double performances for the year.