CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — UNI men’s basketball has been tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the 2023-24 Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) title by the Blue Ribbon College Basketball magazine.
Panther guard Bowen Born was also selected as one of five players named to the all-conference team.
A native of Norwalk, Iowa, Born earned NABC First Team All-District and Second Team All-MVC honors in 2022-23, leading the Panthers with 17.9 points per game in 32 starts. His 573 total points on the season were tenth-most in a single-season in program history as he shot 40.8% from the floor, 36.7% from beyond the three-point arc and 83.7% from the free throw line.
Born scored a career-high 34 points against Bradley in the quarterfinal round of the MVC Tournament last season, and dished out a career-best eight assists against Towson. Notably, he scored a pair of three-point baskets at the buzzer to force overtime and double overtime at Drake back in February.
UNI enters the 2023-24 season returning much of its core from a year ago, including MVC Most Improved Team captain Tytan Anderson, who led the conference with 11 double-doubles and defensive rebounds per game (6.4). Also returning is MVC All-Freshman team forward Michael Duax, sharpshooter Landon Wolf, and guards Nate Heise and Trey Campbell.
The Panthers also bring in four new faces, including freshmen Wes Rubin, RJ Taylor and Kyle Pock, as well as Loyola-Chicago transfer Jacob Hutson.
BLUE RIBBON MVC FORECAST
- Missouri State
- Indiana State
- Murray State
- Illinois State
- Southern Illinois
- F – Malevy Leons, SR, Bradley
- F – Donovan Clay, SR, Missouri State
- G – Tucker DeVries, JR, Drake
- G – Bowen Born, JR, UNI
- G – Rob Perry, SR, Murray State
PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Tucker DeVries, JR, Drake
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Isaiah Swope, JR, Indiana State