The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

A’lahn Sumler is among the six Norse men’s basketball players who have declared themselves to enter the NCAA’s transfer portal. Sumler, who won the Horizon League’s Freshman of the Week award on Dec. 19 this past season, announced his move on March 20 along with Isaiah Mason.

Sumler, Zorgvol among six Norse men’s basketball players entered into transfer portal

April 8, 2023

As the first of the dice fall during March Madness and heading into April, it immediately becomes transfer season, and the online portal database has become a central part of college basketball talk in the offseason. Absolutely no school is safe from taking hits and being part of the gossip—not even NKU.

Over the past two weeks, six student athletes from the men’s basketball team have declared their entry into the portal, effectively ending their time at NKU. As a result, some glaring holes have been left in the depth chart for the Norse, which will need to be filled by head coach Darrin Horn and his staff on the recruiting trail or via some of their own portal moves.

Imanuel Zorgvol, center, redshirt freshman

This one especially hurts the Norse considering Horn’s scheme and how he utilizes the big men on the roster in the paint.

In just his third full year of organized basketball in the United States, Zorgvol—who had previously pursued soccer in his home nation of Suriname—had shown phenomenal potential for the future. What the seven-footer didn’t have just yet when it came to basketball IQ, he made up for with raw athletic ability, being able to utilize his length to grab rebounds and finish on the glass.

Averaging around nine minutes per game, Zorgvol averaged 2.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. His main competition for playing time was none other than fifth-year forward Chris Brandon, and with him exiting the program, Zorgvol would likely have been plugged right into a starting role down low for the Norse as a sophomore. However, his departure leaves the Norse strapped for a forward or center on the roster.

A’lahn Sumler, guard, freshman

If there’s a move that hurts as much as Zorgvol’s departure, it would be Sumler’s. The 6-foot-3 guard impressed all year with his energy and scoring ability off the bench, going as far as to be named the Horizon League’s Freshman of the Week honors on Dec. 19 for his performances against Eastern Kentucky and Miami-Hamilton, scoring a combined 24 points between the two games.

But the minutes for Sumler tailed off after losing his ability to redshirt. The highest workload he received all year came against Detroit Mercy on Jan. 8 when he played 33 minutes and scored 14 points, but he would only play more than 20 minutes twice throughout the remainder of the year and saw little playing time in the Horizon League tournament. With the departure of Trey Robinson and Trevon Faulkner and his impressive resume built up throughout the year, Sumler likely would’ve been another shoe-in for a starting role.

Hubertas Pivorius, guard, sophomore

Affectionately known as “Hubie” throughout Norse Nation, the Lithuanian came to NKU and immediately made his mark as a lethal threat from beyond the arc, shooting 44.3% from three-point range his freshman year, and like Sumler, Pivorius was also a Horizon League Freshman of the Week award winner. His minutes increased from a 9.7 average per game in 2021-22 to 11 during the 2022-23 season, but the sharpshooter wasn’t as effective from the field, making just 31.4% of his shots.

Isaiah Mason, guard, sophomore

A native of Bowling Green, Mason came to NKU in 2021 after winning the KHSAA Region 4 Player of the Year award and all-state honors via the Louisville Courier-Journal, Lexington Herald-Leader and Bluegrass Preps. Mason would only play 84 minutes during his time in a Norse uniform, with his highest minute total this past season coming against UC Clermont and Tennessee Tech with 10.

Jake Evans, guard, junior

Another homegrown talent and a high school standout at Male, Evans contributed to the Norse cause often, playing in 62 total games in the black and gold with the most playing time he received coming during the 2021-22 season when he averaged 7.5 minutes, 1.6 points and tallied 14 steals on the year. The injury bug is what bit Evans during his time at NKU as he had multiple knee surgeries.

Noah Hupmann, center, junior

The seven-foot-one Union native and Covington Catholic graduate saw 135 minutes in his freshman year during the 2020-21 season, but didn’t see much action on the court for the rest of his Northern tenure.

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