Nov. 4, 2002
NKU TO MEET UC THIS SATURDAY
Norse to play Bearcats in exhibition at 6:05 p.m.
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University mens basketball team will travel across the Ohio River to meet the University of Cincinnati at 6:05 p.m. this Saturday in an exhibition game in the Shoemaker Center.
NKU posted a 19-8 overall record last season. The Norse finished with a 15-5 record in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and tied Lewis University for second place in the regular-season league standings.
NKU earned the No. 2 seed in the GLVC Tournament last season, but the Norse dropped a 93-87 decision to No. 7 seed University of Wisconsin-Parkside in the first round of the GLVC Tournament at Evansville, Ind.
NKU welcomes back three starters and seven letterwinners from last season. The Norse must replace all-time scoring leader Craig Sanders, who finished his career with 2,007 points. Sanders, a first team All-GLVC selection who averaged 20.3 points per game last year, also connected on a school-record 350 three-point field goals during his four seasons at NKU.
The Norse must also replace leading rebounder and shot-blocker Carl Mitchell, who averaged 13.0 ppg, 6.8 rebounds per game and blocked 53 shots last season.
ALL-STAR CANDIDATE: NKUs top returning player is senior guard Brenden Stowers, who earned honorable mention All-GLVC accolades last season after averaging 13.2 ppg. Stowers led NKU in assists (3.3 apg) and steals (2.18 spg) a year ago. He also made 52.3 percent of his field goal attempts last season and scored in double figures 22 times.
FATHER-SON HISTORY: Stowers enters his senior season with 810 points, and he is looking to join his father, Jeff Stowers, in the Norses 1,000-point club. Jeff Stowers scored 1,410 career points for NKU from 1972-76 and ranks No. 10 on the Norse all-time scoring list.
When Brenden Stowers reaches the milestone later this season, it will mark the first time in Norse history a son has joined his father in the 1,000-point club. Jeff Stowers is also a member of the NKU Athletics Hall of Fame.
LEAPING FORWARD: Senior forward Bobby St-Preux averaged 11.5 ppg last season, and he ranked No. 2 on the team in rebounding at 5.5 rebounds per game. One of the best leapers in the GLVC, St-Preux also had 21 blocked shots last season, and he made 57.1 percent of his attempts from the field.
SUPER SOPH: Sophomore guard Mike Kelsey averaged 7.6 ppg last season, and he ranked No. 3 on the team in three-pointers made with 42. The Elder High School graduate scored in double figures in four of his last five games last season, including a career-high 24 points against Bellarmine University.
IMPACT TRANSFERS: NKU senior forward Quentin Smith, a 6-foot-5 transfer from Morehead State University, is expected to make an impact this season. While at Morehead State in 1999-2000, Smith averaged 5.2 points and 1.8 rebounds in five games.
Prior to Morehead State, Smith averaged 17.4 points and 8.0 rebounds per game at Cincinnati State in 1998-99. He was named the Region 12 Most Valuable Player in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference and was a member of the All-Region 12 first team. Smith also scored 1,003 points in two seasons at Cincinnati State.
A 1997 graduate of Mount Healthy High School in Cincinnati, Smith was named to the All-Metro second team in 1997 after averaging 18 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.
The Norse also add 6-10 senior center Chris Seabrooks, who played at the University of Pittsburgh prior to transferring to NKU last year. While at Pitt in 1999-2000, Seabrooks averaged 10.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game and had 30 blocked shots.
In 2000-01, Seabrooks averaged 6.0 points and 4.7 rebounds in seven games for the Panthers. He also shot 64.3 percent from the field that season. He sat out as a redshirt last year.
NKU AGAINST DIVISION I OPPONENTS: NKU has not played a regular-season game against a Division I opponent since the 1994-95 campaign, when the Norse dropped an 85-63 decision at the University of Toledo.
THE SERIES AGAINST UC: NKU and UC met seven times in regular-season contests from 1981-1988, and the Bearcats hold a 7-0 lead against the Norse in the all-time series.
After the 1988-89 season, however, UC dropped the series against NKU to boost its strength of schedule. The Bearcats do not play non-Division I opponents in the regular season because of the RPI ratings that help determine NCAA Tournament berths.
Ken Shields was in his first season as head coach at NKU the last time the Norse played UC in a regular-season game on Nov. 27, 1988. The Bearcats were coached by Tony Yates that season and pulled out a 75-63 win over the Norse in the Cincinnati Gardens.
LAST SEASONS EXHIBITION AGAINST UC: On Nov. 10, 2001, Jason Maxiell scored 13 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as UC defeated NKU, 81-53, in an exhibition game in the Shoemaker Center.
UC took a 6-0 lead less than two minutes into the game on two Leonard Stokes scores and an Immanuel McElroy layup, all off of NKU turnovers. Two Craig Sanders jumpers cut the lead to 6-5, but the Bearcats scored the next eight points, six from McElroy, to take a 14-5 lead at the 15:21 mark.
After another Sanders three-pointer cut UCs lead to 16-11, the Bearcats scored 19 of the next 21 points to go ahead 37-15 with 5:39 left in the half. Stokes and Steve Logan each had seven points during the run and Maxiell had six boards. The margin remained 22 into the half, with UC holding a 46-24 advantage.
UC opened the second half with a 9-2 run to go up 29 at the 17:01 mark. After a Maxiell basket off a Logan assist gave the Bearcats a 66-34 advantage, NKU went on an 11-3 run, keyed by dunks from Jesse Rupe and Bobby St-Preux, to cut the lead to 24 with 6:20 left.
Sanders ended up with a game-high 18 points, while St-Preux had 15 points and two steals. Brenden Stowers had a team-leading three assists and four steals, and Rupe and Carl Mitchell each had seven rebounds.
NKU PICKED FOURTH IN GLVC PRESEASON POLL: NKU is picked to finish fourth in the GLVC preseason coaches poll. Defending NCAA Division II national runner-up Kentucky Wesleyan College is picked to capture its sixth consecutive GLVC championship.
Lewis University, which captured the GLVC Tournament title last March, is picked No. 2 in the poll. Southern Indiana is tabbed No. 3, followed by NKU.