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NKU basketball officially adds two more to 2018 recruiting class

Northern Kentucky men's basketball coach John Brannen, center, celebrates after the team's matchup against Kentucky was announced for the NCAA men's basketball tournament, Sunday, March 12, 2017, in Highland Heights, Ky. NKU secured an automatic berth after winning the Horizon League championship to become the second team since 1970 to be selected for the tournament in its first eligible season. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Northern Kentucky University head men’s basketball coach John Brannen announced on Wednesday that Silas Adheke and Adrian Nelson have officially become members of the defending Horizon League regular-season champion Norse for the 2018-19 season.

Adheke and Nelson join Trevon Faulkner (Harrodsburg, Kentucky/Mercer County) and Bryant Mocaby (Derby, Kansas/Derby HS) who signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period in November.

"We are very excited to announce our spring signees of Silas and Adrian," said Brannen. "Along with Trevon and Bryant, we focused on recruiting young men who come from winning programs. Silas, Adrian and Bryant all finished the season in the semifinals of their state or national tournaments. Trevon went to the regional championship game. ... Our fans will enjoy watching these future Norse."

A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and powerhouse Hamilton Heights Christian Academy, Adheke joins NKU after helping lead Eastern Florida State College to a 30-5 overall record and the National Junior College Athletic Association national semifinals. The 6-foot-9 forward played in all 35 games, averaging 7.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He enters as a redshirt sophomore, after sitting out his freshman year at Evansville before playing last season at EFSC. He’ll have three years of eligibility and is able to compete immediately. Adheke was named to the Missouri Valley Confrnc Honor Roll for posting at least a 3.2 GPA while at Evansville.

"Silas brings a maturity, physicality, toughness and a level of athleticism to our frontcourt," said Brannen. “I’m really excited about his addition. He played at Evansville his first year before transferring to one of the nation’s top junior college programs in Eastern Florida. Silas’ physicality and toughness will translate well to our league."

Nelson comes to Northern Kentucky following a successful prep career at Pickerington Central High School in Pickerington, Ohio, where he was a teammate of current Norse Jalen Tate. He is a physical, 6-foot-6 forward with rim-rattling capabilities, which were on display last December during the second quarter of Pickerington Central’s game against Groveport Madison when he broke a rim while dunking, earning the No. 4 spot on ESPN’s Top Plays. Nelson averaged 14 points and nine rebounds per game as a senior, earning First Team OCC and District 11 honors.

"Adrian is another winner who took his team to the state tournament in Ohio," noted Brannen. "He has dynamic athleticism with great length and tremendous upside with his ability to play multiple forward positions. Adrian comes from a great family and we coveted him for a long time in the recruiting process."

While adding these players, NKU also had two sophomores transfer out since the 2017-18 season ended: forward Carson Williams and guard Mason Faulkner.

NKU is a combined 46-21 (.687) and is the winningest program in the Horizon League with a 30-10 (.750) mark against league opponents over the last two years. The Norse have won both a regular-season (2018) and tournament championship in league play during that time, and they played in the 2017 NCAA Tournament and 2018 NIT.

Information provided by NKU Athletics.

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