Stowers eager to prove team critics wrong

Many experts are overlooking the Northern Kentucky University men’s basketball team in the upcoming season, but Brenden Stowers and company look to get their attention. Stowers, a 6-foot-2 junior guard from Covington, is a player on the rise for the Norse. His unselfish role on the team last year helped the Norse finish with a record of 27-7 overall and 15-5 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Stowers started eight games last season and averaged just over eight points per game. However, he expects to be a regular starter this season and help lead the team to a winning record. Stowers will also have to help standout seniors Craig Sanders and Carl Mitchell mold the newcomers on the team. “It is the job of me, Mitchell and Sanders to mold them into the players that they can be and help them fit in,” said Stowers. With 10 newcomers this year, seven being freshman, one can imagine the transition the Norse had to endure at the start of practices. “In the beginning there was a little struggle with chemistry, getting the team together,” Stowers said. “There were a few little fights, little arguments here and there in practice, but over the last week or so we’ve really come together.” An important addition to the team is freshman guard Jordan Stowers, Brenden’s younger brother and best friend. “We had the chance to play with each other in high school which was a great experience for me, and now I get to play with him again at the college level, and it’s great,” said Brenden. “He’s a guy everyone likes being around and playing with, because he makes it fun.” Jordan should see some valuable time at point guard, taking some of the load off Brenden. Brenden will be expected to complement the play of Mitchell and Sanders. Brenden Stowers played the two-guard position his junior and senior year in high school. However, during his first two years at NKU he has been asked to play four different positions for the Norse. “I’ll play whatever position coach Shields wants me to play.” said Stowers. “If coach tells me to hand out water on the sidelines, I’ll hand out water on the sidelines.” The Norse are currently ranked No. 25 nationally in the NCAA Division II poll, and only No. 4 in the GLVC, but Stowers believes the team should be ranked higher in the conference. “Being ranked No. 4 in the conference is definitely a knock on us,” said Stowers. “I think we should be at least No. 2, until we can knock off the defending national champion Kentucky Wesleyan.” Knocking off Kentucky Wesleyan is something the Norse must do if they plan on winning their first national title in school history. “I feel we are going to have a good, successful season,” said Stowers. “Our goal for the year and every year is to win all our home games, win the conference regular season and the conference tournament, then move on and win the national championship.”