Soon after he was named the Horizon League’s preseason player of the year, Youngstown State guard Kendrick Perry made sure to remind everyone of the award’s most important word.
“I wanna thank everyone for the preseason love, but it is just the preseason,” he said on his Twitter account. “[There’s a] lot more work to be done!! But we’re ready.”
A two-time first team All-Horizon League selection, Perry ranked second in the conference in scoring last year with 17.3 points per game.
He also tied for the league lead with 1.9 steals per game, ranked fifth with a .845 free-throw percentage, sixth with 4.1 assists per game, and 10th with 5.5 rebounds per game.
“This is a tremendous and well-deserved honor for Kendrick,” YSU coach Jerry Slocum said. “He is what is good about college athletics and it’s gratifying to see a young man of his caliber receive this honor.”
Youngstown State was picked to finish fifth in the nine-team league behind Green Bay, Wright State, Cleveland State and Oakland. The Penguins received one first-place vote in the poll.
Perry, the first YSU player to be voted Horizon League preseason player of the year, will look to become just the 13th player in league history to earn first team all-conference three different times.
“I’m very appreciative of this honor,” Perry said. “Like I said before, individual accolades come with team success and my sole focus is to help my team win as many games as possible.”
Perry was joined on the all-conference list by YSU senior forward Kamren Belin, who was named to the preseason second team. Belin, a 2013 all-newcomer team selection, averaged 11.1 points per game last season, including a 12.3 points per game scoring average against Horizon League opponents. He made 57 3-pointers last season and shot 40.7 percent from behind the arc, which ranked fifth in the league.
Valparaiso was sixth in the preseason poll with 205 points and UIC was seventh with 151. Detroit and Milwaukee were picked eighth and ninth with 141 and 69 points, respectively.
The Phoenix narrowly edged the Raiders in the voting, earning 390 points to WSU’s 389. Led by the inside-outside duo of Alec Brown and Keifer Sykes, Green Bay put two players on the preseason first team for the first time since joining the Horizon League 20 years ago.
Oakland’s Travis Bader and Wright State’s Cole Darling rounded out the first team. The second team had Cleveland State’s sophomore duo of Anton Grady and Bryn Forbes joined by three seniors: Belin, Milwaukee’s Jordan Aaron and UIC newcomer Kelsey Barlow.