Wayne State College was voted 11th overall and sixth in the South Division in the 2017-18 Preseason NSIC Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Poll released Thursday morning by the league office in Burnsville, Minnesota. Wildcat junior guard Kendall Jacks was listed as Wayne State’s Player to Watch in the NSIC this season.
The Wildcats received a total of 91 points in voting conducted by league coaches and return all five starters from last year’s team that was 10-19 overall and 8-14 in the NSIC.
Northern State edged Southwest Minnesota State by two points (213-211) as the team to beat in the league this season. The Wolves received eight first-place votes with the Mustangs right behind at seven. Augustana was third overall with 190 points followed by MSU Moorhead at 187 and the final first-place vote with Minnesota State fifth with 172 points.
St. Cloud State was sixth overall with 153 points with Minot State (134), Upper Iowa (123), Sioux Falls (97) and Bemidji State (92) filling out the top 10.
WSC was a close 11th with 91 points followed by Winona State (90), Minnesota Duluth (46), Concordia-St. Paul and Minnesota Crookston (44 each) and University of Mary (33).
The NSIC South Division poll finds Southwest Minnesota State edging Augustana 45-44 for the top spot followed by Minnesota State in third with 37 points and Upper Iowa fourth at 32. Sioux Falls was fifth with 23 points followed by Wayne State at 20, Winona State (15) and Concordia-St. Paul (8).
Wayne State College junior Kendall Jacks is the Player to Watch in the NSIC this season. The 6-4 guard from Bettendorf, Iowa was a Second Team All-NSIC selection last season after leading the Wildcats in scoring at 16.1 points per game. He ranked 11th in the league in scoring and was seventh in field goal percentage (.562) while scoring double figures in 27 of 29 games that included the final 21 in a row. Jacks also averaged 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 56.2 percent from the field and 78.1 percent at the free throw line.
Wayne State plays an exhibition game on Friday, November 3 at Wright State (Ohio) at 6 p.m. followed by the regular season opener on Friday, November 10th at Nebraska-Kearney at 7 p.m. Two days later, WSC has its home opener in a rematch vs. Nebraska-Kearney starting at 3 p.m. in Rice Auditorium.