Love picked to repeat as Player of the Year
Returning Horizon League Player of the Year Loudon Love has been selected as the HoriZone Roundtable’s preseason pick to win the award again in 2021 in a poll of our writers and podcast staff. The senior led 2020 regular season champion Wright State with 15.9 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. The rest of the first team consists of Youngstown State junior Darius Quisenberry, Detroit Mercy junior Antoine Davis, IUPUI senior Marcus Burk and Green Bay sophomore Amari Davis.
Robert Morris made a strong first impression on HoriZone Roundtable voters. In addition to being selected third in the HoriZone Roundtable Preseason Poll; the Colonials placed both Senior AJ Bramah and junior Dante Treacy on the All-League Second Team. The RMU duo is joined by Oakland junior Rashad Williams, Milwaukee senior Te’Jon Lucas and Cleveland State senior Al Eichelberger on the second team.
All seven returning selections from last year’s three All-League teams were preseason picks, as was 2020 Second Team All-NEC pick Bramah. The only player who earned some sort of league-wide recognition last year and failed to earn a spot on the teams was Purdue Fort Wayne’s Jarred Godfrey, who missed the Summit League’s two All-League teams but was an honorable mention selection.
UIC and Northern Kentucky were the only schools besides Purdue Fort Wayne who failed to have a player selected. The most likely explanation for each of last year’s Horizon League Championship participants seems to be the same. Both the Flames and the Norse lost their top three scorers from last year, and both look like they may be led by incoming transfers this year. Given that the league generally overlooks transfers in its preseason polls, it makes sense that those two schools were left off.
|First Team||Second Team|
|* Loudon Love, F, Wright State (Senior)||Rashad Williams, G, Oakland (Junior)|
|Antoine Davis, G, Detroit Mercy (Junior)||Te’Jon Lucas, G, Milwaukee (Senior)|
|Darius Quisenberry, G, Youngstown (Junior)||AJ Bramah, G, Robert Morris (Senior)|
|Marcus Burk, G, IUPUI (Senior)||Al Eichelberger, F, Cleveland State (Senior)|
|Amari Davis, G, Green Bay (Soph.)||Dante Treacy, G, Robert Morris (Junior)|
|* HoriZone Roundtable Player of the Year|
Loudon Love led Wright State to a 15-3 record and a Horizon League Regular Season Championship in 2020 on his way to being named the league’s Player of the Year. Love averaged 15.9 points and 9.7 rebounds per game despite sharing the workload with Second Team All-League selection Bill Wampler, Third Team All-League selection Cole Gentry and All-Freshman Team selection Tanner Holden last year. With Wampler and Gentry graduating, Love could add more statistical production this year.
Antoine Davis went through a sophomore slump last year as his shooting numbers dropped across the board, resulting in an overall drop in scoring. Still, Davis’ 24.3 points per game was good enough for fourth in the NCAA and a First Team All-Horizon League selection in 2020. The 6-foot-1 junior’s numbers are some of the most eye-popping that anyone in the league has put up in the Horizon League recently, but if he’s going to overtake Love for the top spot he’ll need more team success.
Darius Quisenberry tested the NBA Draft waters after being selected First Team All-Horizon League last year. The 6-foot-1 guard averaged 16.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game as a sophomore while helping Youngstown State to a fourth place tie in the Horizon League. Quisenberry eventually took his name out of NBA consideration, a decision that has many projecting the Penguins for an all-time best year in Division I.
Marcus Burk earned Second Team All-Horizon League honors in 2020 after managing to put up an efficient 21.3 points per game on an IUPUI team that leaned heavily on him and teammate Jaylen Minnett for offensive production. Like Quisenberry, he tested the NBA waters before opting to return this year. Climbing out of last year’s distant last place finish would go a long way toward Burk being a potential first team selection this season.
Amari Davis won the Horizon League’s Freshman of the Year and earned a Third Team All-League spot in 2020. With the graduation of JayQuan McCloud and several high-quality role players, Davis’ usage should skyrocket this year. If he’s able to maintain a high level of efficiency, HoriZone Roundtable pollsters might be underestimating what the 6-foot-3 guard is capable of this season.
Rashad Williams missed much of his sophomore campaign due to a controversial waiver denial and prolonged appeal, but when he finally took the court for Oakland he was an immediate impact player. Williams averaged 19.5 points per game with outings of 37, 34, 29 and 28 points. Considering players who are made eligible mid-season sometimes don’t get into a rhythm until their first full season, it’s easy to see how HoriZone Roundtable voters see Williams becoming a star in the league.
Te’Jon Lucas earned Second Team All-League honors with Milwaukee in his first season after transferring from Illinois. Lucas averaged 14.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game. With Darius Roy’s graduation, Lucas may wind up an even bigger part of the offense this season. If that’s the case, don’t be surprised to see his counting statistics improve across the board.
AJ Bramah was a Second Team All-NEC pick and a member of the All-NEC Tournament team as a junior at Horizon League newcomer Robert Morris last year. The 6-foot-7 Bramah averaged 13.0 points and 7.9 rebounds per game for the Colonials. With leading scorer Josh Williams out of eligibility, Bramah will likely be the focal point of the offense this season. The senior should be a walking double-double in the Horizon League this year.
Al Eichelberger was the centerpiece of Cleveland State’s surprisingly competitive 2020 campaign, and figures to be a pivotal player again this year. The 6-foot-8 senior averaged a team-leading 14.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game a year ago. Highly touted incoming shooters D’Moi Hodge and Alec Ogelsby could open up space for Eichelberger to operate and be an even more productive player this year.
Dante Treacy is expected to continue his upward trend after being named the 2020 Northeast Conference Tournament MVP. Treacy averaged 8.7 points and 4.5 assists per game as a sophomore. With leading scorer Josh Williams graduating, it’s clear voters believe Treacy will pick up a significant amount of the scoring slack.