MARQUETTE, Mich. – Juniors Naba Echols (Memphis, Tenn./Mitchell) and Isaiah Johnson (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) from the Northern Michigan University Men's Basketball team were named to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men's Basketball All-GLIAC First Team while sophomores Myles Howard (Chicago, Ill./Marian Catholic) and Sam Taylor (Chicago, Ill./Thornton) earned GLIAC All-Defensive Team honors.
A preseason All-GLIAC selection, Echols tied for the team's lead with 17.5 points per game and led the squad by averaging 3.4 assists a game. Echols achieved double figures in all but four games he played in this season, and reached at least 20 points 12 times. Scoring a season-high of 30 points against Ferris State, he finished the year averaging 27.2 points in the team's final four games. He tied for the team's lead by shooting 83 percent from the free throw line and finished second in three-point shooting percentage. His 47% from the field was among the best on the team as well. Against Wayne State University, Echols became the 30th NMU player to achieve 1,000 points in his career.
Johnson earned first team honors after averaging 17.5 points per game and also led the team with 5.5 rebounds per game. Johnson finished second on the team in blocked shots and steals while tying for the team's best three-point shooting percentage, hitting 41% of his threes. The only player to start every game this season, he finished third on the team in assists. At Wayne State, Johnson scored a career-high 30 points and hit double figures 25 times this season, including nine games of reaching 20 points.
Howard led NMU with 1.8 blocks per game, finishing the season with 49 blocks, and affected many more opportunities from opponents. He finished second in the GLIAC in both blocks and blocks per game. Howard posted a season-high of five blocks against College of St. Rose and notched four blocks against Saginaw Valley State University, Ferris State University and Lake Superior State University. Against LSSU, Howard blocked three-straight shots on three-straight Laker possessions, which NMU turned into seven points.
Taylor led the Wildcats with 40 steals on the season, averaging 1.4 per game. Typically guarding the other team's point guard, Taylor continually made it difficult for teams to get into their offense. Taylor finished with season-highs of four steals on two occasions, achieving the mark against Lewis University and again against Michigan Technological University. He achieved at least one steal in 22 games this season.
Echols and Johnson are the first NMU players to earn All-GLIAC First Team honors since the 2007-08 season. Howard and Taylor give the team their first selections on the All-Defensive Team since current assistant coach Terry Nash achieved the honor in 2016. NMU returned to the GLIAC Tournament for the first time since 2007 and also posted their first winning season since 2006-07.