CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KCRG) - Northern Iowa came one game short of making the NCAA Tournament after falling to Bradley in the MVC Tournament title game last season. The Panthers bring back 10 players from last year's squad, including six seniors, and are hoping to use that experience to their advantage heading into the 2019-20 season.
"In terms of expectations as we talk about every year, those haven't changed for a long time; and they won't," said head coach Ben Jacobson.
"I think playing in that game and being a team during that moment was just good for us," said senior guard Isaiah Brown.
It's not just the senior leadership that will be important. The Panthers are also expecting big things from sophomore guard A.J. Green. He set a new school record by scoring 509 points as a freshman last season. On Thursday, he was named Preseason All-MVC First Team.
"He's better today than he was a year ago," said Jacobson. "When I stand here next year, I'll say that he was better than he was last year. That's just the type of young guy that he is."
Northern Iowa opens the season at home on Nov. 5 versus Old Dominion.