Norse Face Tough Test in Season Opener at Wisconsin, Sign New Cath Standout

The Northen Kentucky University mens' basketball season tips off on Friday as the Norse travel to Wisconsin to take on the third-ranked Badgers at 9pm.

The Norse were picked to finish fifth in the preseason Atlantic Sun polls by both the head coaches and the members of the media. Last season NKU finished eighth, but they return all but one player from a year ago. They were just 2-12 on the road in 2013-14.

NKU must find a way to neutralize preseason AP All-American Frank Kaminsky. The seven-foot senior chose to return this season for his last year at college rather than head to the NBA.

Wisconsin will be without center Duje Dukan who is forced to sit the first two games of the season after a review of the senior's eligibility. Forward Sam Dekker is coming back from an ankle injury but says that he is good to go against the Norse, as reported by ESPN.com.

Norse Get Commitments on Early Signing Day

NKU also received signed letters of intent from three players who will join the program next year.

Newport Central Catholic standout forward Drew McDonald, who intends on playing both golf and basketball next season for NKU, should be able to help the program almost immediately.

“Drew brings needed size and is a multi-skilled player that fits very well in our system,” said head coach Dave Bezold in a new release. “He is capable of playing with his back to the basket or stepping out and shooting the three.”

Brennan Gillis, a 6'7'' forward from Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, also signed to play for NKU. Gillis was named first team all-state as a junior after averaging 16.6 points per game.

Danville-native Hagen Tyler also decided to attend Northern Kentucky University. The senior from Boyle County averaged over 23 points and eight rebounds a season ago.

-Bryan Burke, associate editor

Photo: Victor E. Viking