MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) -- Senior Myles Howard (Chicago, Ill.) has been named to the Preseason All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Preseason Team as the GLIAC preseason rankings were announced.
Howard was named to the GLIAC's All-Defense Team for the second-straight season last year after leading the GLIAC with 2.9 blocks per game. The senior notched a career-high seven blocks against Davenport University and Saginaw Valley State University, and added six at Michigan Technological University. He finished the season with 78 blocks and now has 173 blocks in his career. He also led the team with 7.0 rebounds per game. His offensive role continued to expand throughout the year, reaching double-figures three times, and he posted a career-high 14 points against the University of Wisconsin Parkside.
Senior Sam Taylor (Chicago, Ill.) returns for his senior year and has joined Howard on the All-Defense Team the past two seasons. Taylor led the team with 1.7 steals and averaged 8.7 points. Senior Marcus Matelski (Boyne Falls, Mich.) adds to the senior group with strong shooting from the perimeter.
Other returners also come back and look to fill the scoring void left from losing the league's top two scorers from last year. Junior Alec Fruin (Beloit, Wis.) and sophomore Troy Summers (Grayling, Mich.) showed off offensive talent in the final games of the 2018-19 season, with Fruin scoring 17 points at Purdue University Northwest and Summers scoring double-figures in six of the final 11 games. Also returning is sophomore Dolapo Olayinka (Chicago, Ill), who comes back after injury forced him to miss most of the 2018-19 season.
Sophomores Marcus Krachinski (Perronville, Mich.), Carson Wonders (Iron Mountain, Mich.) and Naseer Turner (Chicago, Ill.), come back after gaining playing experience last year. Redshirt freshmen Hart Holmgren (Ishpeming, Mich.) and Ben Wolf (Naperville, Ill.) also come back and want to make an immediate impact on the season.
Along with the returners, the Wildcats have added five new players to their team. Reece Castor (Brampton, Mich.) , AJ Makinen(Waterford, Wis.), Xzavier Jones (Milwaukee, Mich.), Justin Kuehl (Iron Ridge, Wis.) and Noah Parcher (La Crosse, Wis) each will each look to contribute their freshman season.
The Wildcats were selected to finish sixth in the North Division.
The team is also under new leadership as Matt Majkrzak takes the helm. Majkrzak and the Wildcats look to build on last season's GLIAC Tournament Semifinals appearance but must overcome the loss of Naba Echols and Isaiah Johnson, who led the GLIAC in scoring last season and were both Top Ten scorers in NMU Men's Basketball history.
NMU opens the season Saturday, November 9 at the GLIAC/Great Lakes Valley Conference Crossover by taking on Lewis University at McKendree University. NMU then will take on McKendree Sunday, November 10.