Wayne State is tied for 10th overall and picked fifth in the South Division in the 2019 Preseason NSIC Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll released Thursday by the league office in Burnsville, Minnesota. Sophomore center Jordan Janssen was selected as the Wildcat Player to Watch in the NSIC this season.
The Wildcats and Sioux Falls both received 96 points in voting conducted by league coaches. Last season, WSC finished 21-10 overall and earned a share of the NSIC South Division title with a 14-8 league record after being selected 12th in the preseason coaches poll. The Wildcats return two starters and eight letter winners from last year’s team.
Minnesota State was voted the team to beat in the NSIC this season by league coaches with seven first-place votes and 214 points, just ahead of second place Augustana with 208 points and six first-place tallies. Minnesota Duluth came in third at 196 points with the remaining three first-place ballots. Northern State (177) and MSU Moorhead (169) closed out the top five teams.
Winona State was sixth at 164 points followed by Minnesota Crookston (109), St. Cloud State (106), Bemidji State (100) and WSC and USF tied for 10th with 96 points.
In the NSIC South Division poll, Minnesota State edged Augustana 47-44 for the top spot with Winona State third at 37 points. Sioux Falls had one more point than WSC, 25-24, for fourth place with Southwest Minnesota State (22), Upper Iowa (18) and Concordia-St. Paul (7) rounding out the South Division poll.
6-7 sophomore center Jordan Janssen was listed as Wayne State’s Player to Watch this season. The Lincoln East graduate started all 31 games last season for the Wildcats averaging 11.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per contest while recording 10 double-doubles. He led the NSIC in offensive rebounds per game (3.2), was second in rebounds per game, fourth in field goal percentage (.578) and ninth in blocked shots (1.1), free throw percentage (.825) and steals per game (1.2).
Wayne State opens the 2019-20 season on Friday, November 1 facing Ferris State of Michigan at the Division II CCA Tip Off Classic in Orange, California.