SIOUX FALLS, SD -
Augustana was picked to finish fourth overall and third in the South Division and third in the South Division in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll announced by the league office on Wednesday.
Augustana earned 181 points and one first-place vote in the overall poll. Minnesota State was picked as the league favorite, earning 225 points and 15 first-place votes. Minnesota State was also picked to win the South Division, earning 49 points and seven first-place votes. Augustana earned the other first-place vote and 26 points in the South Division poll.
St. Cloud State and Winona State were both picked to finish second overall, with both teams earning 191 points in the preseason poll. Augustana was fourth, followed by Southwest Minnesota State (174), MSU Moorhead (158), Concordia-St. Paul (124). Minnesota Duluth and Northern State both earned 115 points to round-out the top eight picks.
St. Cloud State was selected as the top team in the North Division earning 49 points and seven first-place votes.
Minnesota State's Assem Marei (South Division) and Minnesota Duluth's Brett Ervin (North Division) were selected as the Preseason Players of the Year.
Augustana's Daniel Jansen was named one of the "Players to Watch" in the NSIC in 2013-14. Jansen earned NSIC Freshman of the Year honors in 2012-13 and returns as Augustana's leading scorer from last season. He averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 6.0 rebounds during his freshman campaign. The 6-foot-9 forward started all 31 games last season, averaging 24.4 minutes per game and shot 51.4 percent from the field. Jansen led the team with 22 blocks, finished second with 25 steals while leading the team with three double-doubles.
He scored a season-high 24 points at Northern State on Feb. 9 and posted his season-high of 12 rebounds against Upper Iowa in the NCAA Tournament on March 16. He scored 10 or more points in a game 21 times on the season and led the team in scoring four times.
Augustana opens the 2013-14 season with an exhibition game against the University of Arizona on Oct. 28 in Tucson, Ariz. The Vikings will take on the Wildcats in an exhibition contest for the third time since 2009-10.
The Vikings will play three exhibition contests this season, including hosting St. Olaf College on Nov. 1, and traveling to Ames, Iowa to take on Iowa State on Nov. 3.
Augustana opens the regular season Nov. 9-10, participating in the Sanford Pentagon Basketball Showcase. The showcase features Augustana, Northern State, Central Missouri and Missouri Western State. The Vikings will take on Missouri Western State on Saturday and Central Missouri on Sunday.
Overall Preseason Coaches' Poll Points North Division Pts
1. Minnesota State (15) 225 1. St. Cloud State (7) 49
2. St. Cloud State 191 2. MSU Moorhead 41
Winona State 191 3. Minnesota Duluth 30
4. Augustana (1) 181 4. Minot State 29
5. Southwest Minnesota State 174 5. Northern State 27
6. MSU Moorhead 158 6. Bemidji State (1) 25
7. Concordia- St. Paul 124 7. U-Mary 16
8. Minnesota Duluth 115 8. Minnesota Crookston 7
Northern State 115 South Division Pts
10. Sioux Falls 98 1. Minnesota State (7) 49
11. Minot State 85 2. Winona State 40
12. Bemidji State 77 3. Augustana (1) 36
13. Wayne State 67 4. SMSU 34
14. Upper Iowa 61 5. Concordia-St. Paul 21
15. University of Mary 43 6. Sioux Falls 20
16. Minnesota Crookston 15 7. Upper Iowa 12
first place votes in ( ) Wayne State 12
Courtesy: Tim Evans, Augie
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