The more things change in Summit League women's basketball, the more they stay the same.

South Dakota State, for the sixth straight year and the eighth time in the last 11 years, has been picked to win the Summit League regular season title.

The Jackrabbits picked up 16 of the 28 first-place votes. Reigning regular season and Summit League Tournament champ Western Illinois got the remaining 12 first-place votes to finish second. South Dakota is third in the balloting by the league's coaches, sports information directors and select media members.

Since joining the conference in 2007-08 season, SDSU has won five regular season crowns and seven Summit League tournament titles.

This year's Jackrabbit squad has three returning starters (Macy Miller, Ellie Thompson, Madison Guebert) and nine players back from last year's team that finished 23-9 and advanced to the second round of the WNIT.

Miller missed most of last season with a leg injury. Thompson was second in the league in rebounding. Guebert was the second most accurate three-point shooter and third most accurate free throw shooter in the conference.

Western Illinois returns three players (Emily Clemens, Morgan Blumer, and Taylor Higginbotham) who finished in the top seven in scoring in the Summit last season.

Clemens is the pre-season player of the year. She was last season's player of the year and tournament MVP, after leading the Summit League in scoring, assists, steals, and assist/turnover ratio. Blumer was second in scoring and the league's top three-point shooter. Higginbotham was seventh in scoring, eighth in rebounding, and tops in steals.

USD returns Allison Arens, who was third in scoring, second in assists, and seventh in steals last season. The 2017 Summit League Freshman of the Year, Ciara Duffy, is back for her sophomore season. Duffy started 32 games as a freshman and was the Coyotes third leading scorer.

SDSU's Miller, Thompson, and Guebert, along with Western Illinois' Clemens and Blumer, and USD's Arens are on the all-league first team.

2017-18 Preseason Poll (first place votes)

  1. South Dakota State (16)
  2. Western Illinois (12)
  3. South Dakota
  4. Oral Roberts
  5. Omaha
  6. North Dakota State
  7. Denver
  8. Fort Wayne

2017-18 Summit League Pre-Season All-League Team

  • Ellie Thompson, South Dakota State
  • Macy Miller, South Dakota State
  • Madison Guebert, South Dakota State
  • Allison Arens, South Dakota
  • Morgan Blumer, Western Illinois
  • Emily Clemens, Western Illinois

Pre-Season Player of the Year

  • Emily Clemens, Western Illinois