Transfer portal patience pays off for Horn, NKU Hoops

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Three key targets signed, sealed & delivered

As it turns out, the prolific hard rock band Guns N’ Roses had it right all along.  In the 1988 hit song “Patience,” Head Coach Darrin Horn found just the right formula for solving this offseason’s transfer portal… “Take it slow and things will be just fine… Patience, all we need is patience.”  Keeping his cards close to his vest while targeting just the right players needed, Horn and crew stayed true to their task today and signed three key players to next season’s roster.

Three huge positional holes to fill, three huge signings secured…the Norse metaphorically shot 100% from the field today with no turnovers.  Though they lost some nice talent in the form of graduates and their own outgoing portal transfers, the 2023-24 iteration of Norse hoops will be flush with incoming talent with legitimate star potential. 

New to the returning Horizon League championship squad will be:

  • Keeyan Itejere, Soph., Forward – 6’9”, 215 lbs. – Marquette University
  • Cade Meyer, Soph., Forward – 6’8”, 205 lbs. – Green Bay
  • Michael Bradley, Senior, Point Guard – 6’0”, 175 lbs. – Mercyhurst University (D-II)

Summary profiles of these three players were assembled in Tuesday’s HoriZone Roundtable article titled, “NKU closing in on game-changing transfer portal signings,” which assessed five players NKU were believed to be actively recruiting – the article managed to correctly predict three of these players who joined the team today. 

While these three players were introduced to readers Tuesday morning, below some extra bites can be found on each player to add as “addendums” to what is already known about the new Norse signees:

Keeyan Itejere

The Marquette University transfer brings with him three full seasons of eligibility to Highland Heights. 

According to Horn in his interview earlier today after the announcements – “Keeyan is a great addition to our program.  He is an elite athlete and a major presence at the rim with tremendous size and upside. He joins NKU with a winning pedigree and has been well coached by one of the best coaches in college basketball (Shaka Smart/Marquette).  Keeyan has a mature approach, strong work ethic and was raised to be a high character young man.  We are thrilled to welcome Keeyan to NKU.” 

Cade Meyer

The Green Bay transfer will have three years of eligibility remaining once he steps foot on campus.  After playing two full seasons (and starting every game) for the Horizon League rival Phoenix, Meyer is well on his way to scoring 1,000+ points in his college career – he already has 598 points under his belt coming into his third collegiate season. 

Little known fact…Meyer actually played for the varsity hoops squad at Black Hawk HS as a freshman before opting to transfer to Monroe HS for the remainder of his high school career.  As a Wisconsin All-State player, Meyer was heavily recruited out of Monroe HS by many D-I colleges, but chose to stay home to start his college hoops career.

Michael Bradley

The seasoned fifth-year senior has shown poise and continuous development over his four-year career at D-II Mercyhurst University.  He started 100 of a possible 101 games during his career at MU, good for a starting rate of 99% across all possible games played.  Over the course of his career, his per-game scoring averages (freshman to senior) … 9.0 – 8.3 – 10.1 – 14.9 … At Mercyhurst, Bradley dished out 386 career assists, good for an average of 3.82 assists per game over his 101 games played. 

In arguably his best game as an MU Laker, Bradley went off for 31 points on 12/13 shooting from the field (4/5 from 3-land), 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 0 turnovers in a 20+ point win over fellow Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) rival Clarion University.     The signing of these three new players tightens up the 2023-24 Norse roster and gives Horn and his staff a bit more flexibility in recruiting, as there are no longer any glaring needs to immediately address.  These experienced, high-quality transfers – along with the four incoming freshmen guards signed the past few months – potentially leaves a little more room for 2-3 additional incoming players.

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