Wildcats Take on Spartans Tuesday Night

Wildcats Take on Spartans Tuesday Night

MARQUETTE, Mich. – Northern Michigan University Men's Basketball heads to East Lansing, Michigan to take on Michigan State University in an exhibition game to start the 2018-19 season.

WEEKLY NOTES

  FOLLOW ALONG

Fans can follow the action using video, live stats and audio.

Follow @NMU_Wildcats on Twitter for continued coverage throughout the week.

Video: Tuesday's game will be broadcasted on Big Ten Network Student U. Big Ten Student U programming consists of student-produced events that stream live on BTN Plus on BTN2Go (more details at BTN2Go.com) with many also rebroadcasted on BTN.

Live stats: http://newlivestats.joef.sidearmsports.com/sidearmstats/mbball/summary

Audio: http://streamdb7web.securenetsystems.net/cirrusencore/WUPT

  PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Senior Naba Echols (Memphis, Tenn./Mitchell) was named the GLIAC  Preseason Player of the Year as the 2018-19 season tips off.  Echols tied for the team's lead with 17.5 points as well as leading the team with 3.4 assists. The senior also paced the team by shooting 83 percent from the free throw line and 47 percent from the field, among players who finished with over 75 shot attempts last season.  Last year, he also appeared on ESPN's Top 10 after sinking a three from his knees with the clock running down against Grand Valley State University.

  FIRST TEAMERS

 Echols and senior Isaiah Johnson (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) were both named to the GLIAC North Divison Preseason All-Conference Team after earning First Team All-GLIAC last year. The duo were the first players to earn first team honors since the 2008 season.  Echols and Johnson tied for the team's lead with 17.5 points per game with Johnson also leading the Wildcats with 5.5 rebounds per game. Entering his senior year, Johnson is also just 28 points shy of hitting 1,000 points in his career.

  DEFENSIVE RECOGNITION

NMU saw two players named to the GLIAC's All-Defensive Team last season, and both honorees return to give the Wildcat a strong defensive prescence. Junior Sam Taylor (Chicago, Ill./Thornton) was named to the team after recording 40 steals to lead the Wildcats. Junior Myles Howard (Chicago, Ill./Marian Catholic) finished second in the GLIAC with 49 blocks last season finishing behind the league's player of the year.

  CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLL

The Wildcats were picked to finish second in the GLIAC North Division in the preseason Coach's Poll released last week.  NMU received 47 points and received 3 first place votes and are behind the defending NCAA Division II National Champions, Ferris State University.  They are higher than rival Michigan Technological University who did not receive any first place votes.  

  NEW FACES

NMU features three new players this season. Freshman Hart Holmgren (Ishpeming, Mich.) comes to the team after a standout career in the Upper Peninsula.  Naseer Turner (Chicao, Ill./Kenwood) and Ben Wolf (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central) come to the team and will add size to the wings and on the inside.

  NMU VERSUS MICHIGAN STATE

 This game marks the 10th matchup between the two teams, but just the second since the 1975-76 season. NMU fell 94-63 in a 2015 exhibition game. The Spartans hold an 8-1 advantage in the series, with the Wildcats beating MSU 79-71 in the in 1960-61 season. Michigan State Head Coach, Tom Izzo, played from 1973-77 for the Wildcats and coached for NMU from 1979 until 1983 before leaving for Michigan State. Izzo is a member of the NMU Sports Hall of Fame.

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