Northern Kentucky men’s basketball picked second in Horizon League; two players all-league

https://www.gannett-cdn.com/gannett-web/apps/teal/dist/vendor/hls/hls.light.0.12.4.min.require.jshttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/sdkloader/ima3.jshttps://www.gannett-cdn.com/gannett-web/apps/teal/dist/vendor/ias/ias-3.5.1.min.jshttps://www.gannett-cdn.com/gannett-web/apps/teal/dist/vendor/adobe/MediaSDK.2.2.0.min.require.jshttps://www.gannett-cdn.com/gannett-web/apps/teal/dist/vendor/comscore/streamsense-5.1.1.160316.min.jsCLOSE Northern Kentucky University welcomes new head basketball coach, Darrin Horn. Cincinnati Enquirer

Northern Kentucky men’s basketball was picked to finish second in the Horizon League preseason poll in a vote comprised by the league’s coaches, athletic communications personnel and media.

Jalen Tate was bestowed with Preseason All-Horizon League First Team honors, while Tyler Sharpe was a member of the second team.

NKU collected five first-place votes and 295 points, trailing only Wright State’s 28 first-place nods and 350 points.

Behind Northern Kentucky in this season’s rankings sits UIC (280) and Oakland (229) in third and fourth, respectively, with each team collecting a first-place vote. Green Bay was picked fifth with 207 points.

This marks the third-straight year the Norse have been chosen second, and with the previous two polls, NKU has surpassed the prognostications to win the regular-season crown, including last season. Going back to the 2015-16 season when Northern Kentucky joined the Horizon League, the trend of bucking the preseason poll has become a habit for the Norse. Northern Kentucky was picked 10th in its inaugural league campaign, but finished eighth. Its second go-around in the Horizon League in 2016-17 saw NKU eclipse its preseason No. 7 ranking to finish fourth before claiming the 2017 league tournament title and making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

NKU is led by a new head coach this year in Darrin Horn.  

A two-time All-Horizon League Defensive Team honoree, Tate is making his second appearance in the preseason all-league honors. The redshirt junior was on the 2018 preseason second team prior to this year’s nod as a preseason first-teamer. He was third for the Norse in scoring at 13.7 points per game last year and led the team in assists at 4.2 a game. Tate was also effective on the boards, nabbing 4.4 rebounds an outing.

Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Davide Moretti (25) reaches in on Northern Kentucky Norse guard Tyler Sharpe (15) in the second half of the NCAA Tournament First Round game between the 14-seeded Northern Kentucky Norse and the 3-seeded Texas Tech Red Raiders the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa on Friday, March 22, 2019. NKU was knocked from the tournament with a 72-57 loss to the Red Raiders.

Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Davide Moretti (25) reaches in on Northern Kentucky Norse guard Tyler Sharpe (15) in the second half of the NCAA Tournament First Round game between the 14-seeded Northern Kentucky Norse and the 3-seeded Texas Tech Red Raiders the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa on Friday, March 22, 2019. NKU was knocked from the tournament with a 72-57 loss to the Red Raiders.  (Photo: Sam Greene)

Sharpe has garnered the first superlative award of his career with the all-league second team selection. The senior sharpshooter was second for the Norse in scoring last season, pouring in 14.4 points per game on the strength of his 3-point shooting. He ranked 73rd in the country in made threes with 90 and concluded the 2018-19 season with a 23-point outburst against national runner-up Texas Tech in the NCAA Tournament.

Northern Kentucky opens the 2019-20 slate against UC Clermont on Nov. 5 at BB&T Arena. Prior to that, fans will get their first glimpse of Darrin Horn’s Norse in competitive action when they host Transylvania on Oct. 30.

2019-20 #HLMBB Preseason Poll Results

Pl.           School (1st-place) – Votes

1.            Wright State (28) – 350

2.            Northern Kentucky (5) – 295

3.            UIC (1) – 280

4.            Oakland (1) – 229

5.            Green Bay – 207

6.            Youngstown State – 186

7.            Milwaukee – 146

8.            Detroit Mercy – 133

9.            IUPUI – 92

10.          Cleveland State (1) – 62

Preseason Player of the Year: Antoine Davis, Detroit Mercy

First Team (alphabetical order by school): Antoine Davis, Detroit Mercy; Jalen Tate, Northern Kentucky; Xavier Hill-Mais, Oakland; Tarkus Ferguson, UIC; Loudon Love, Wright State

Second Team (alphabetical order by school): JayQuan McCloud, Green Bay; Tyler Sharpe, Northern Kentucky; Marcus Ottey, UIC; Bill Wampler, Wright State; Darius Quisenberry, Youngstown State
FULL STORY