SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – There’ll be no shortage of top talent taking the court at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. 

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From a 7’5″ center, a future NBA prospect and another small town South Dakota standout woman’s player, here’s a look at some players to watch in this year’s Summit League Tournament. 

Connor Vanover, Oral Roberts 

Standing an astounding 7’5″, Connor Vanover earned Summit League newcomer of the year and defensive player of the year honors. Vanover, who wears No. 35 for Oral Roberts, transferred to the Golden Eagles from Arkansas where he played in 15 games and had 10 starts for the Razorbacks. 

In Summit League action this year, Vanover averaged 12.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game. 

Grant Nelson, North Dakota State 

There’s always at least a few NBA scouts that attend the Summit League Tournament each year and this year will be no different. One player that is being closely followed is North Dakota State junior Grant Nelson. 

The 6-foot-11 do-it-all playmaker led NDSU in points (19.9), rebounds (9.8), assists (2.4), blocks (1.7) and steals (1.1) per game. He had eight double-doubles in Summit League contests this season.  

The Fargo Forum reported Friday about a decision Nelson will have to make after the Bison season ends. 

Max Ambas, Oral Roberts 

Max Ambas is no stranger to many fans of the Summit League in recent years. The senior guard was named the conference player of the year for the second time in his career. 

In 2021, Ambas was a key part of the Golden Eagles Sweet 16 run which included an upset over second-seeded Ohio State in the NCAA Tournament. This year, Ambas averaged 23.5 points per game in Summit League games and sunk a league-high 68 3-pointers. 

Zeke Mayo, South Dakota State 

SDSU guard Zeke Mayo averaged 9 points per game last year, as the Jackrabbits completed an undefeated conference season. This year, the Lawrence, Kansas native has doubled his numbers and emerged as one of the best in the Summit League.

The sophomore guard is now scoring 18.5 points per game this year, which is third best in the Summit League.

Women to watch

Myah Selland, South Dakota State 

The second leading scorer in South Dakota State history, Myah Selland is looking to close out her Jackrabbit career on a high note. The Letcher, South Dakota native won Summit League player of the year honors for the second time in her career. She leads the Jackrabbits with 16.1 points per game. 

Grace Larkins, South Dakota 

Grace Larkins is the lone top returner from last year’s Coyote team that reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA women’s tournament. Named the sixth woman of the year last year, Larkins earned first time Summit League honors this year averaging 17 points per game for South Dakota. 

Paiton Burckhard, South Dakota State

Alongside Selland, Burkchard also ranks in SDSU’s top-10 scoring all time. The Aberdeen native averaged 10.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game this season. She was named a All-Summit League second team this year but has been an all-conference first team players in (2019-20 and 2020-21). 

Elle Evans, North Dakota State 

Standing 6-foot-3 Elle Evans was named Summit League freshman of the year. She averaged 13.8 points, 32 blocks and two 20-point performances.  The Edwardsville, Illinois native has combined with two Bison seniors to help NDSU earn the No. 2 seed in the tournament.