MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Junior Naba Echols (Memphis, Tenn./Mitchell) was named to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Preseason All-GLIAC Team as the Northern Michigan University Men's Basketball team opens the 2017-18 season this weekend with two games.
Echols returns to the Wildcats after leading NMU with 17.6 points a game, shooting 48 percent from the field, and 42 percent from the three-point line. He also finished fourth in the GLIAC from the free-throw line, shooting 88 percent on the season.
Northern Michigan hosts St. Norbert College Saturday at 1 p.m. in an exhibition game to kick of this year. They then will host Bay College in a scrimmage at 1 p.m.
Video of both games will be available. Radio and live stats will be provided for Sunday's game as well.
Follow @NMU_Wildcats on Twitter continued updates throughout the weekend.
Seven of the team's top players from last year are returning for this season. In addition to Echols, sophomore Sam Taylor (Chicago, Ill./Thornton), senior Jordan Perez (Greendale, Wisc.), junior Isaiah Johnson (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.), sophomore Marcus Matelski (Boyne Falls, Mich.) and sophomore Myles Howard (Chicago, Ill./Marian Catholic) return after logging significant minutes last season. Sophomore Will Carius (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley) also returns after making eight starts in ten games before losing the remainder of the season to illness. Sophomore Ian Hodges (Flint, Mich./Holly) returns for his sophomore season and will seek an expanded role after averaging eight minutes in 23 games last season.
Perez leads the way:
Perez enters the season as the lone senior and will be looked on to provide leadership. Last season, he finished second on the team with 12.3 points a game and 2.2 assists per game.
The man in the middle:
Howard returns for his sophomore season looking to make a larger impact inside. During his freshman campaign, he started six games while averaging nearly 18 minutes a game. With a season of experience, his role appears to be expanded to provide more scoring and rebounding inside for the Wildcats.
Junior Transfer Max Prendergast (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids West Catholic/Grand Rapids CC) and senior transfer Eddie Torres (Muskegon, Mich./Cumberland CC) joins the Wildcats after gaining experience at the junior college level. Prendergast comes in looking to add more depth to the low post. Torres joins a talented group of perimeter players and will provide more experience and size to the guard position.
The Wildcats welcome six freshmen to the team this season, Carson Wonders (Iron Mountain, Mich.), Marcus Krachinski (Powers, Mich./North Central), Anthony Bethea (Muskegon, Mich.), Dolapo Olayinka (Chicago, Ill./Mather), Alec Fruin (Beloit, Wisc./Turner) and Troy Summers (Grayling, Mich.).