Image by purpleeagles.com
By Franklin Heinzmann
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – As the temperature begins to dip, students will look to the schedule to see that the opener to the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams and the hockey team are approaching. While some of the aforementioned succeeded and some floundered last season, each team had bright spots on their roster. Those players will come into this season and attempt to repeat the greatness they displayed, if not exceed it. Here are some Purple Eagles to keep in mind for this winter:
Hockey – Ludwig Stenlund
The Swedish forward had an impeccable 2018-19 season as he led the Purple Eagles with 24 goals and 43 points. Stenlund’s goal total was good for second in all of Division-I hockey, and he was named the Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Year. His performance last season also garnered him an invite to New York Islanders development camp in June. Stenlund and the Purple Eagles will look to have another strong season and, once again, make a deep run in this year’s AHA Tournament.
Women’s Basketball – Jai Moore
Moore will look to leave a lasting legacy in Purple Eagles lore as she’s coming into her senior season. The 5′ 8″ guard had a great 2018-19 season as she led the Purple Eagles with 17.5 points per-game, good for second in the MAAC. Moore also finished in the top-five in the MAAC in field goal percentage (.369) and free throw percentage (.748). She also got the nod for the All-MAAC First-Team. Moore and the Purple Eagles will try to improve on their eighth place finish in the MAAC.
Men’s Basketball – Kobi Nwandu
Purple Eagles fans may not yet be familiar with Nwandu. The 6′ 6″ forward is a transfer from Le Moyne College, new head coach Patrick Beilein’s old stomping grounds, and led the Dolphins with 16.6 points per-game. He would have led the Purple Eagles had he played last year at the Gallagher Center. Nwandu was a staple in the Dolphins lineup as he started 24 games. Nwandu and other transfers like guard Shandon Brown, forward Italo Cicotti, and forward Nicholas Kratholm will set out to improve upon their 13-19 record from last season.
Statistics as of Oct. 18, 2019