Way Too Early Summit League Men’s Basketball Power Rankings


The Kansas City Roos look to build upon their successful 2021 season. (Julia Kapros/RooNews)

Jackson Ogden, Writer

  1. South Dakota St.

  A year after going 30-6 overall and 18-5 in the conference, 12 Jackrabbits, including three starters, will return to top the league once again. The last time the Jackrabbits finished below first in the conference was 2016-2017, and with this much experience returning they’re poised to take the Summit League for the sixth straight season. The gap between them and the rest of the conference is substantial. 

  1. Oral Roberts

  The Golden Eagles were America’s favorite underdog a few years ago in the tournament, and they’re poised for another winning run. After finishing 19-12 and 12-6 in the conference a year ago, the team returns four starters and star senior Max Abams. Abams averaged 22.8 points per game in the 2021-2022 season, ranking first out of all Summit League players.

  1. North Dakota St. 

  The Bison are in for a year of regression, as the team will only bring back one starter from last season. Even with the drastic changes in personnel, the team is led by coach David Richman who has consistently put his team at the top of the conference (159-97 conference record). 

  1. Kansas City

  Year one of the Marvin Menzies era in Kansas City is set to be one that sees younger players in the lineup, as the team has an unprecedented 11 freshmen on the roster. A year after going 19-12, the Roos will need veteran players such as senior guards Anderson Kopp and Shemarri Allen to step up and fill the void left by last year’s graduating class.

  1. South Dakota

  One of the more underlooked teams coming into this season is the Coyotes. After an impressive 19-12 campaign a year ago, the squad brings back three starters and a solid group of incoming talent. Don’t be shocked to see this team give the top dogs in the conference trouble, as they return their top three leading scorers from a year ago. Forward Tasos Kamateros is poised for a breakout junior season after averaging 11.5 PPG and 5.5 rebounds per game in the 2021-2022 season.

  1. Denver

  After a brutal 11-21 campaign last season, the Pioneers are set for a major rebound this season. One glimpse of hope for the program is the six upperclassmen that’ll be on the roster this year. Don’t expect anything crazy from this group, but improvement will be noticeable. Expect sophomore guard Tevin Smith to carry a larger workload this season, with the team’s top three leading scorers from the previous season all gone.

  1. Western Illinois

  Talking about teams with veteran talent, the Leathernecks have eight upperclassmen on the roster. Even with this veteran talent, only one starter is returning to the fold, something that could take time to adjust to. This team will be one that, as the season gets deeper, they get tougher to beat. Expect this team to use their size and rebounding to keep them in games, as senior Guard Trenton Massner ranked eighth in the Summit League in rebounds per game in 2021.

  1. Omaha

  It was a rough 2021 for the Mavericks going 4-14 in conference play and 5-25 overall; however, three starters are returning for the upcoming season. We’ll see if the incoming freshman class can contribute anything this year to help improve the team. What the Mavericks lack in scoring will need to be made up for defensively, and a large part of that will come on the shoulders of 6’9 junior Center Dylan Brougham, who averaged 0.7 blocks in 2021 which was good for sixth in the conference. 

  1. St. Thomas

  Like the Mavericks, the Tommies are fighting an uphill battle this season after going 4-14 in conference as well. Opponents will need to be on the lookout from beyond the arc with this squad however, as graduate student Riley Miller can absolutely light it up from three-point land, shooting 41% from there in 2021. Overall the Mavericks ranked second in the Summit League in three-pointers made per game but allowed opponents to shoot 38%. 

  1. North Dakota

  The dreaded bottom of the power rankings is where the Fighting Hawks find themselves after a 6-25 campaign that saw them only get two conference wins all season (2-16). There’s no reason to believe the team will fare much better this year but watch out for senior Guard Caleb Nero, who shot 34% from three in his past two years.