Northern Kentucky picked as favorites in Horizon League Preseason Poll; Warrick and Vinson named All-League selections

Photo from Violet Lewis, NKU Athletics
(Photo courtesy of Violet Lewis--NKU Athletics)
INDIANAPOLIS – The Northern Kentucky men's basketball program was picked to finish atop the Horizon League standings for the second year in a row and Marques Warrick and Sam Vinson were All-League selections (also for the second season in a row) as the Horizon announced its preseason poll and award winners on Tuesday. The results were based off voting by Horizon League coaches, athletics communication directors and members of the media.
To go with being the Horizon League favorites for the second time in school history, it is also the seventh consecutive year in which NKU was picked to finish among the top-three of the preseason poll.
Northern Kentucky took the top spot in the conference with 18 first-place votes and 435 points overall. The selection comes off the heels of the Norse being chosen as the Horizon League favorite and No. 11 mid-major program in the nation by The Almanac.
"The goal is to make the NCAA Tournament, and to do that, you have to win three games in March in the conference tournament," head coach Darrin Horn told Matt Cox of The Almanac. "We embrace that. We also remember it was a two-possession game coming out of the last media timeout against Houston (in the NCAA Tournament). That makes you think about what you might be capable of."
To go with the team honors, Warrick was a Preseason All-League First Team honoree while Vinson joined him as an All-League Second Team selection. It is the second straight year in which the duo earned First Team and Second Team honors, respectively.
Warrick, a senior guard from Lexington, Kentucky, earned First Team honors after one of the best individual seasons in program history in 2022-23. He averaged 18.8 points, 2.6 assists and 2.3 rebounds over 35 contests (all starts). His 659 points scored ranked first in NKU's NCAA Division I history and second in school history for most points scored in a single season. On the national level, Warrick finished the year 21st in all of NCAA DI basketball in points, 40th in made field goals (226), 48th in points per game (18.8 per contest), 58th in three-pointers made (87) and 99th in three-pointers per game (2.49).
Overall, Warrick has recorded 1,589 points, 238 rebounds, 210 assists and 102 steals over his first three years with the program. He is currently ranked ninth all-time in school history in career points and trails NKU legend Drew McDonald by just 477 points for the top spot in school history heading into the year.
Warrick was named an All-League Second Team selection in 2022-23.
Vinson, a junior guard from Fort Thomas, Kentucky picked up Second Team honors after a stellar season in 2022-23. The local product averaged 11.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.4 steals per game over 32 contests (all starts). He also totaled 76 swipes on the year, a mark that ranked first in NKU's NCAA DI era and second all-time in school history. On the national scene, Vinson finished 11th in the NCAA in total steals and 12th in steals per game.
Over his first two years with the Norse, Vinson has totaled 735 points, 277 boards, 200 assists and 142 steals. He is already ranked 11th all-time in school history in career steals through just 64 career games played.
Vinson was named an All-Defensive Team and All-League Third Team selection to end 2022-23.

Northern Kentucky gets the year underway with an exhibition contest against Mount St. Joseph on Wednesday, November 1 at 7 PM ET inside Truist Arena. The Norse then start the regular season with road trips out to Middle Tennessee (Monday, November 6) and Washington (Thursday, November 9), before returning to Highland Heights for the home-opener versus DePauw on Tuesday, November 14 at 7 PM.
2023-24 Under Armour #HLMBB Preseason Poll
Pl.        Team – Pts. (First-place votes)

1.         Northern Kentucky (18) – 435
2.         Milwaukee (10) – 397
3.         Wright State (12) – 392
4.         Cleveland State (1) – 362
5.         Youngstown State (3) – 342
6.         Oakland – 280
7.         RMU – 186
8.         Purdue Fort Wayne – 166
9.         Detroit Mercy – 132
10.       IUPUI – 116
11.       Green Bay – 96
Preseason All-League First Team (alphabetical order by school)
Tristan Enaruna, Cleveland State
BJ Freeman, Milwaukee
Marques Warrick, Northern Kentucky
Trey Townsend, Oakland
Trey Calvin, Wright State
Preseason All-League Second Team (alphabetical order by school)
Jlynn Counter, IUPUI
Sam Vinson, Northern Kentucky
Tanner Holden, Wright State
Brandon Noel, Wright State
Brandon Rush, Youngstown State

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