The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

Men’s Basketball: Norse picked #2 in Horizon League poll

Drew McDonald voted league's preseason Player of the Year

November 2, 2018


Colin Johnson

Drew McDonald (34) talks during basketball media day.

The Horizon League recently announced their preseason poll and all-league team as voted by the League’s coaches, media and sports information directors. The Norse were picked to finish second with 10 first place votes and 356 points behind league favorite and last season’s Motor City Madness Tournament winner Wright State, who garnered 25 first place votes and 377 points.

UIC was selected third with 310 points while Oakland (239) finished one point ahead of fifth place Green Bay (238). In sixth place was IUPUI (188), followed by Cleveland State (175) and Milwaukee (140). Youngstown State (104) and Detroit Mercy (73) rounded out the conference at nine and ten.

Drew McDonald was selected Horizon League preseason Player of the Year for the second straight season and preseason First Team All-League.

The Cold Spring, Kentucky native led the Horizon League with 18 double-doubles (11th nationally) while averaging 17.0 points and 9.6 rebounds last season. The two-time First Team All-League also ranked inside the top-15 in the Horizon League in scoring, rebounding, field-goal percentage, three-pointers made per game and free-throw percentage.

Joining McDonald on the preseason First Team All-League is last season’s Freshman of the Year and Second Team All-League Loudon Love (Wright State), Marcus Ottey (Illinois-Chicago), Tyree Appleby (Cleveland State) and Sandy Cohen III (Green Bay).

NKU sophomore guard Jalen Tate was selected to the Horizon League’s preseason second-team.

Tate, who led the Norse in steals (42) and blocks (19) while averaging 5.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game last season, earned Horizon League All-Freshman Team and Horizon League All-Defensive Team honors as well.

SB Nations Mid-Major Madness also released their preseason poll and all-league team and followed suit by selecting McDonald as their Horizon League preseason Player of the Year and picked the Norse to finish second behind Wright State. However, it was graduate transfer Zaynah Robinson that garnered the Second Team All-League selection after finishing last season at Norfolk State with an average of 13.5 points, 4.5 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.

Over the past two seasons, the Norse have gone 46-21 overall and are 30-10 against Horizon League foes, this includes a Horizon League Tournament Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance against Kentucky in 2017 and a league regular season title and NIT appearance against Louisville in 2018.

The Norse will look to reclaim the throne when they kick off their 2018-19 season against Wilmington College at home on Tuesday, Nov. 6th. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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