OMAHA, Neb. — The Omaha men’s basketball team was picked fourth in the 2019-20 Summit League Preseason Poll, the conference office announced Monday. The poll was tallied in a vote of the league’s head coaches, communications personnel and media.
Senior JT Gibson and junior Matt Pile were also named to the Preseason All-Summit Second Team. Gibson, the Mavericks’ leading returning scorer, averaged 12.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game a year ago. Pile’s sophomore season saw him average 11.2 points and 7.9 rebounds per game with 58.7% shooting from the field to rank second in the league.
Defending tournament champion North Dakota State was the favorite to win the Summit League, garnering 23 first-place votes for 526 points. South Dakota was second and received six first-place votes for 457 points, while Oral Roberts earned three votes and 404 points for third. Omaha came in fourth with 369 points, followed by defending regular-season champion South Dakota State, which had two votes and 300 points for fifth. Purdue Fort Wayne was sixth in the poll with 224 points, while Western Illinois (188), North Dakota (164) and Denver (113) rounded it out in seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively.
Head coach Derrin Hansen enters his 15th season at the helm of the Omaha program and carries a career record of 227-199. The Mavericks return seven letterwinners from the 2018-19 squad, which finished as runner-up in both the regular-season standings and at the Summit League Championship. Omaha has made a championship final appearance in two of the last three seasons.
Omaha opens the 2019-20 season on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at Wichita State in Wichita, Kan.