is NKU’s top returnee
Ky. - During the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament last March,
Northern Kentucky University displayed poise, clutch shooting, excellent
defense and an ability to pull off victories when it was considered
a big underdog.
was a trip to the championship game of the GLVC Tournament. NKU
- which entered the GLVC Tournament seeded sixth - posted wins against
third-seeded Indianapolis and second-seeded Southern Illinois at
Edwardsville before falling to Southern Indiana.
NKU head coach
Dave Bezold, whose team fell one win shy of earning a trip to the
NCAA Division II Tournament, believes the late-season run will carry
over to the 2005-06 campaign.
very well at the GLVC Tournament, and I think our returning players
now understand what it takes to succeed in that type of atmosphere,”
said Bezold, whose team finished with a 14-15 record. “We
lost several very good seniors from last season, but we return some
good players, plus we added some talented newcomers who are going
to really help us.”
NKU must replace
leading scorer Mike Kelsey (16.0 points per game) and four other
starters, but Bezold’s recruiting class and the returning
letterwinners give the Norse a solid nucleus to build around.
The top returning
player is 6-foot-4 junior forward Kevin Reinhardt, an outstanding
leaper who averaged 8.4 ppg last season. Reinhardt is at his best
when going to the basket, but he has also developed a solid mid-range
jumper. He is also an exciting dunker, and Bezold expects the former
Campbell County High School star to be a key this season.
has proven he can score going to the basket, and we will need him
to provide us with a lot of offense this year,” Bezold said.
Harrison Morton averaged 7.9 ppg and could also be a major factor.
Morton, who specializes in going strong to the basket, scored in
double figures eight times last season.
Kevin Schappell (3.3 ppg) had an outstanding offseason at the Deveroes
Summer League in Cincinnati. Schappell averaged more than 20 points
per game during the summer, and he is also an effective rebounder
on the offensive glass.
will be a factor inside
Travis Rasso will also challenge for significant playing time inside.
Rasso, a 6-8 post player, averaged 2.1 ppg and 3.0 rpg as a freshman.
- center Gavin Ludgood, guard Aaron Smith and forward Vincent Humphrey
- figure to make immediate impacts. Ludgood, a 6-8, 235-pound transfer
from Division I Florida Atlantic and former prep standout in Arkansas,
should give NKU a powerful presence in the post.
Smith, a 6-3
guard, is a long-range shooting specialist who averaged 14 ppg in
junior college. Humphrey, a 6-4 wing player who spent last season
at Valparaiso, is a versatile performer who can pass, rebound and
those three players to come in and give us quality minutes,”
Bezold said. “Gavin is very strong inside and can score, so
he will help us in the post. Aaron Smith is a tremendous outside
shooter who will help us replace Kelsey’s perimeter scoring.
Humphrey is a good athlete who can play several positions. He does
a lot of things on the basketball floor that help a team be successful.”
Mike Kimmey averaged 21 ppg at Sycamore High School last season
and could start in the backcourt. Billy Finnell, a former prep standout
at Purcell Marian High School in Cincinnati, could also contend
for time at the point.
McFarland, a former prep standout at Boone County High School, has
impressed Bezold and will challenge for significant playing time.
Sophomore guard Mark Hawkins (2.4 ppg) could also be a factor this
have a lot of youth in the backcourt, but there is talent,”
Bezold said. “We lost four key senior guards from last season,
so the newcomers are going to have to learn in a hurry.”
NKU will play exhibition
games against Xavier (Nov. 5) and Cincinnati (Nov. 12) before beginning
the regular season against NCAA Division II powerhouse Findlay in
the John L. Griffin/Lions Club Classic on Nov. 18.
Findlay, a member of
the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, advanced to
the NCAA Division II Elite Eight last season.
CLICK HERE FOR ROSTER
CLICK HERE FOR SCHEDULE