SDSU junior Douglas Wilson tabbed Summit League Player of the Year

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota State junior Douglas Wilson became the just the second Summit League men’s basketball student-athlete to earn Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year accolades in the same season. Wilson, who was also named to the all-league first team and all-newcomer team in a vote by the league’s head coaches, athletic communication directors, and select media members, joins Kansas City’s Michael Jackson in holding that distinction. Jackson pulled off the feat following the 1999-2000 season. 

Wilson also kept a streak alive for the Jackrabbits as he is the fourth-straight player from the program to earn the league’s top award after former All-American Mike Daum earned the award in 2017, 2018 and 2019. In his first season at SDSU, Wilson averaged 20.5 ppg in 14 league contests and also shot better than 64 percent from the field in league play to lead the Jacks to a share of their third-straight title.

In total, the Jackrabbits took home four of the individual awards as first-year head coach Eric Henderson was selected as the Coach of the Year and rookie Noah Freidel was named the Freshman of the Year. Henderson guided a team picked to finish fifth in the preseason poll to a 22-9 overall record and 13-3 mark in league play. Two of those league losses came with Wilson nursing injuries on the sideline. SDSU will be the No. 2 seed at the league tournament and open against Purdue Fort Wayne on Saturday.

Freidel’s adjustment to the collegiate game took off in league play when the Tea, S.D., native averaged 15.3 ppg after scoring at just a 7.5 ppg clip in 15 non-conference games. Freidel closed out regular-season play with three-consecutive, 20-plus point scoring games.

Omaha collected the remaining two individual awards as junior Matt Pile was named the Defensive Player of the Year and newcomer Marlon Ruffin was named the Sixth Man of the Year. Pile led the league in blocks with 47, averaged 9.7 rpg, including a league-best 210 defensive rebounds. Ruffin was the league’s only reserve to average double figures in Summit action, scoring at a 12.5 ppg clip in 16 games off the bench for the Mavericks. Twelve of Ruffin’s 13 double-figure scoring games came during league play.  

Wilson was joined on the all-league first team by a pair of North Dakota State seniors in Vinnie Shahid and Tyson Ward, who both ranked among the league’s top five scorers in league play. Shahid was third at 20.9 ppg while Ward was fifth at 19.1 ppg. Those two were instrumental in leading the Bison to a share of their first regular-season title since the 2015 season and top seed in Sioux Falls for the postseason tournament.

Three more seniors joined that trio from the two regular-season co-champions on the first team. Oral Roberts’ Emmanuel Nzekwesi, a second-team selection as a junior, was the only league player to average a double-double this season. He pulled off that feat in both overall games (18.9 ppg/10.2 rpg) and league games (17.1 ppg/10.4 rpg).

North Dakota’s Marlon Stewart became the first Fighting Hawk to earn an all-league distinction. He became the first player since SDSU’s Nate Wolters in 2012-13 to lead the league in scoring (18.9 ppg) and assists (5.2 apg) during the regular season. Rounding out the first team was South Dakota’s Tyler Hagedorn, who sat out last season with an injury, but was an all-league selection as a junior in 2018. Hagedorn averaged 18.1 ppg and was the only league player to shoot better than 50 percent from 3-point range this season (51.5). 

Western Illinois’ Kobe Webster was a repeat selection on the second team while South Dakota’s Stanley Umude joined him on that squad after being a first-team pick as a sophomore in 2019. Webster is the only player in the league to lead his team in scoring in each of the last three seasons. Webster averaged 17.8 ppg in league play this year while Umude averaged 17.1 ppg.

Joining those two on the second team were SDSU’s Matt Dentlinger, who averaged 14.8 ppg and shot a league-best 69.7 percent from the field, Denver’s Ade Murkey, who averaged 29.8 ppg over his last five games to become the scoring champ in league games with a 22.1 ppg average, and Oral Roberts grad transfer Deondre Burns, who scored 17.1 ppg and was the second-best assist man in the league, dishing out 4.3 per game. Dentlinger was the only underclassman named to an all-league team.

Wilson, Freidel, and Burns were joined on the all-newcomer team by ORU freshman Max Abmas and Purdue Fort Wayne freshman Deonte Billups. Abmas entered the week sharing the Division I lead for 3-pointers made by a rookie with 81.

Freidel and Pile both garnered honorable mention all-league honors along with Purdue Fort Wayne’s Jarred Godfrey, North Dakota’s Filip Rebraca, and Omaha’s K.J. Robinson.
Eight of the league’s nine teams will embark on Sioux Falls this weekend for The Summit League Men’s Basketball Championship. The action starts Saturday at 6 p.m. CT when top-seeded North Dakota State takes on No. 8 Denver at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. All quarterfinal and semifinals games will be televised by MidcoSN and streamed digitally on ESPN+. Tuesday’s title game will air on ESPN2.

2020 Summit League Men’s Basketball Awards
First Team

Tyler Hagedorn, South Dakota (Sr., F)**
Emmanuel Nzekwesi, Oral Roberts (Sr., F)**
Vinnie Shahid, North Dakota State (Sr., G)
Marlon Stewart, North Dakota (Sr., G)
Tyson Ward, North Dakota State (Sr., G)
Douglas Wilson, South Dakota State (Jr., F)

Second Team
Deondre Burns, Oral Roberts (Sr., G)Matt Dentlinger, South Dakota State (So., G)Ade Murkey, Denver (Sr., G)
Stanley Umude, South Dakota (Jr., G)**
Kobe Webster, Western Illinois (Jr., G)**

Honorable Mention
Noah Freidel, South Dakota State (Fr., G)
Jarred Godfrey, Purdue Fort Wayne (So., G)
Matt Pile, Omaha (Jr., F)
Filip Rebraca, North Dakota (So., F)
K.J. Robinson, Omaha (Sr., G)

All-Newcomer Team
Max Abmas, Oral Roberts (Fr., G)
Deonte Billups, Purdue Fort Wayne (Fr., F)
Deondre Burns, Oral Roberts (Gr., G)
Noah Freidel, South Dakota State (Fr., G)
Douglas Wilson, South Dakota State (Jr., F)

Player of the Year Douglas Wilson, South Dakota State

Defensive Player of the Year Matt Pile, Omaha

Sixth Man of the Year Marlon Ruffin, Omaha

Freshman of the Year Noah Freidel, South Dakota State

Newcomer of the Year Douglas Wilson, South Dakota State

Coach of the Year Eric Henderson, South Dakota State

*previous all-league selections

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