WAYNE – With the Wayne State College men’s basketball season just a couple weeks away, the Wildcats were selected as one of the preseason favorites.
According to a release from Wayne State Athletics, Wayne State was picked second overall and tied for first in the NSIC South Division in the 2021-22 Preseason NSIC Men’s Basketball Coaches Polls released Thursday afternoon by the league office in Burnsville, Minnesota. Junior forward Jordan Janssen was voted by league coaches as the Preseason South Division Player of the Year and Wildcat to Watch this season.
Wayne State returns all five starters from last year’s club that was 11-7 overall and captured the NSIC South Division for the second time in three seasons with a 10-4 league mark. The Wildcats also qualified for the NCAA Division II National Tournament for the first time in 21 years.
MSU Moorhead was voted the team to beat this season with 222 points and 13 first-place votes with Wayne State second at 195 points and two first-place votes. Minnesota State was a close third with 192 points and the final first-place vote with Augustana (175) and Upper Iowa (164) rounding out the top five teams.
Minnesota Duluth was sixth at 142 points with St. Cloud State (132), Sioux Falls (131), Northern State (119) and Minot State (109) closing out the top 10 teams.
In the NSIC South Division poll, Wayne State and Minnesota State were tied for first with 42 points each as the Wildcats collected four first-place votes compared to two for MSU. Upper Iowa was third at 39 points and the remaining two first-place ballots. Augustana was fourth with 35 points followed by Sioux Falls (25), Winona State (21), Southwest Minnesota State (12) and Concordia-St. Paul (8) closed out the South Division poll.
Janssen, a 6-7 junior forward from Lincoln East HS, was voted this year’s Preseason NSIC South Division Player of the Year after averaging 16 points and 9.8 rebounds per game last season. He was named First Team All-NSIC South Division, South Division Player of the Year and First Team NABC All-Central Region First Team. Last season, Janssen ranked fourth in NCAA Division II with 10 double-doubles while shooting 52.3 percent from the field and 64 percent at the free throw line while being named NSIC South Division Player of the Week three times.
The Wayne State College men’s basketball team, who received nine votes in the NABC Preseason Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll released Monday, opens the 2021-22 season on Friday, November 12 at the GAC/NSIC Challenge in Shawnee, Oklahoma playing Oklahoma Baptist at 7:30 p.m.
The Wildcat Sports Network will cover the home game vs. Nebraska-Kearney on Monday, November 29 at 7 p.m. and all NSIC contests.