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NKU's McDonald Picked as Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year

Drew McDonald is the Horizon League men's basketball preseason player of the year for the second straight season.

The Northern Kentucky senior and Newport Central Catholic product will helm a team this season that is expected to finish second in the league, according to a preseason poll.

The Norse finished behind Wright State in the preseason poll.

McDonald, a Cold Spring native, was also selected for the Horizon League's preseason First Team. He led the conference and was eleventh in the nation with eighteen double-double performances, averaging 17 points and 9.6 rebounds per game last season.

Currently, McDonald is the 11th all-time leading scorer in NKU history, and fifth in rebounds.

Sophomore Jalen Tate was selected for the Horizon League preseason Second Team. In his freshman year, Tate was named to the conference's All-Defensive and All-Freshman Teams, averaging 5.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.4 steals per game.

The preseason polls are voted on by head coaches, athletic department communications personnel, and members of the media. 

Mid-Major Madness has also released its preseason prospectus, selecting McDonald as the Horizon League preseason player of the year, citing his increase in scoring output each year of his college career and rebounding acumen. Graduate transfer Zaynah Robinson garnered a nod on the publication’s second team following a junior campaign at NorfolkState where he averaged 13.5 points, 4.5 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.

NKU finished last season as champions of the Horizon League regular season champions, earning a berth in National Invitation Tournament (NIT). It marked the second straight year that the Norse played in the post-season, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament after winning the conference tournament in 2017.

2018-19 Horizon League Preseason Poll

Pl.           School (1st-place votes) – Score based on votes

1.            Wright State (25) – 377

2.            Northern Kentucky (10) – 356

3.            UIC (4) – 310

4.            Oakland – 239

5.            Green Bay – 238

6.            IUPUI – 188

7.            Cleveland State – 175

8.            Milwaukee (1) – 140

9.            Youngstown State – 104

10.          Detroit Mercy – 73

-Staff report