Wright State voted HL preseason favorite

Sports

INDIANAPOLIS – After securing its first outright regular season championship in program history last season, Wright State has been voted the preseason favorite to capture the 2020-21 Horizon League men’s basketball championship and Loudon Love was selected as the Preseason Player of the Year as the Horizon League released the 2020-21 #HLMBB Preseason Poll and All-League Teams on Thursday. Voting was done by the League’s head coaches, sports information directors and select media.

Love is the reigning #HLMBB Player of the Year after finishing Horizon League play averaging a double-double, ranking sixth in scoring at 17.8 points per game, while also finishing third in rebounds at 10.2 per game. In addition, the junior was 38th in the country in rebounds (9.7), 10th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (3.9) and recorded a 20-rebound effort against Detroit Mercy on Jan. 5. Overall in 2019-20, he registered nine 20-point games and tallied 11 double-doubles, good for second in the League. Love also ranked sixth during #HLMBB play shooting 47.5 percent from the floor and also got it done defensively as he was tied for first at 1.78 blocks per game. This also marks the third-straight season Love is a member of the Preseason All-Horizon League first team.

Wright State captured 37 first-place votes to finish with 517 total points to claim first place in the poll for the third-straight season. WSU ended last season 25-7 overall, tied for the 15th-most victories in the country, and 15-3 during League play. The Raiders were tabbed No. 15 in the final CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll.

Joining Love on the Preseason All-Horizon League First Team are Detroit Mercy’s Antoine Davis, Green Bay’s Amari Davis, Markus Burk of IUPUI and Darius Quisenberry of Youngstown State.

Antoine Davis continued his scoring prowess during his sophomore campaign as he led the Horizon League and ranked fourth in the country with 24.3 points while also ranking top-10 in 3-pointers per game and free-throw percentage. Amari Davis was the #HLMBB Freshman of the Year last season and finished the season top-10 in scoring at 15.9 points per game and second in field-goal percentage shooting 51.4 percent from the floor. Burk was named to the All-Horizon League Second Team in 2019-20 after finishing second in the points during League play with just over 23 points per game while hitting 2.7 3-pointers per contest. Quisenberry scored 18.2 points in HL play a year ago and finished fourth in assists, while also totaling seven 20-point games, including a 41-point performance at home against Wright State.

The Preseason All-Horizon League Second Team is represented by five different institutions and led by 2019-20 All-Horizon League Second Team selection Te’Jon Lucas of Milwaukee and third team selection Algevon Eichelberger of Cleveland State. Joining the duo are Oakland’s Rashad Williams, newcomer AJ Bramah of Robert Morris and Youngstown State’s Naz Bohannon.

Lucas ranked top-15 during Horizon League play last season in scoring at 15.1 points per game and first in assists at 5.3 in his first season with the Panthers. In 2019-20, Eichelberger finished top-10 during HL play in scoring at 15.2 points per game, top-10 in field-goal percentage at 45.9 and top-15 in rebounds at 5.5. Williams played in only 15 games last season for the Golden Grizzlies due to the NCAA transfer rule but made an immediate impact averaging 19.5 points and four triples per game. Bramah averaged 13.4 points and a team-best 8.2 rebounds per game last season for RMU en route to being tabbed All-NEC second team. Bohannon ended last season averaging almost 13 points per game during HL play, shooting a League-best 53.9 percent from the floor and pulling down 8.9 boards per contest.

Coming in second in the preseason poll with 423 total points and three first-place votes is Youngstown State, the only team to have multiple players on the preseason all-League teams, followed closely in third place by the two-time defending tournament champion Northern Kentucky with 413 total votes and the final four first-place votes.

RMU is fourth in the preseason poll with 345 points coming off a 20-win season and a NEC tournament title, just ahead of fifth-place UIC with 312 total points after the Flames reached their first Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship Game since 2004.

In sixth place in the poll is Oakland, who earned the No. 6 seed at the Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship last season. Cleveland State is No. 7 in the preseason poll coming off a 7-11 record during #HLMBB play last season, its most wins in League play since 2014-15.

Green Bay came in eighth in the poll with 253 points, followed by Detroit Mercy with 185 points and Milwaukee with 172. HL newcomer Purdue Fort Wayne finished 11th in the poll coming off last season where the Mastodons went 14-19 overall and finished seventh in The Summit League with a 6-10 mark. The Dons are led by Jarred Godfrey who earned All-Summit League Honorable Mention last season after averaging 15.6 points and 3.5 assists and recorded a Summit League-best 41 steals. Rounding out the poll is IUPUI with 114 points.

The regular season will start on Wednesday, Nov. 25, and Horizon League play is scheduled to begin on Saturday, Dec. 19, with all 12 teams in action. The 2021 Horizon League Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship is scheduled to culminate at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis. More information on the championships will be released at a later date.

2020-21 #HLMBB Preseason Poll Results
Pl. School (1st-place) – Votes

  1. Wright State (37) – 517
  2. Youngstown State (3) – 423
  3. Northern Kentucky (4) – 413
  4. RMU – 345
  5. UIC – 312
  6. Oakland – 288
  7. Cleveland State – 283
  8. Green Bay – 253
  9. Detroit Mercy – 185
  10. Milwaukee – 172
  11. Purdue Fort Wayne – 127
  12. IUPUI – 114

Preseason Horizon League Men’s Basketball Player of the Year
Loudon Love, Wright State

Preseason All-Horizon League First Team (alphabetical order by school)
Antoine Davis, Detroit Mercy
Amari Davis, Green Bay
Marcus Burk, IUPUI
Loudon Love, Wright State
Darius Quisenberry, Youngstown State

Preseason All-Horizon League Second Team (alphabetical order by school)
Algevon Eichelberger, Cleveland State
Te’Jon Lucas, Milwaukee
Rashad Williams, Oakland
AJ Bramah, Robert Morris
Naz Bohannon, Youngstown State

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