Charles Belt on NMU men’s basketball playing Michigan State

Northern Michigan University men’s basketball assistant coach Charles Belt joined the SportsPen with Blake Froling and Jake Durant to talk about the Wildcats’ upcoming exhibition game with Michigan State on Tuesday, October 30.

NMU men’s basketball to face Michigan State in exhibition

MARQUETTE, Mich. — Northern Michigan Men’s Basketball will tip-off the 2018-19 season by visiting Michigan State University in an exhibition game Tuesday, October 30.

“We are extremely excited and thankful to be to playing Michigan State this season,” Head Coach Bill Sall sald. “Coach Izzo has been very supportive of the NMU Basketball program and I can’t thank him enough for giving our team this awesome opportunity. It is my hope that we will be able to attract a large group of alumni and NMU fans to meet us at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center.”

This will be the sixth matchup between the Wildcats and Spartans, and just the second meeting since the 1975-76 season. NMU visited Michigan State to begin the 2015-16 season.

NMU enters this year coming off a season that saw the team post a winning record plus a return to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament. The Wildcats return a majority of their 2017-18 squad, including two First Team All-GLIAC selections, seniors Naba Echols (Memphis, Tenn./Mitchell) and Isaiah Johnson (Whitefish Bay, Wis.), and All-Defense Team honorees in juniors Myles Howard (Chicago, Ill./Marian Catholic) and Sam Taylor (Chicago, Ill./Thornton).

Ticket information and game time will be provided at a later date.

Courtesy of Northern Michigan University athletics

Rae Drake returns to Tech men’s basketball coaching staff

HOUGHTON, Mich. – Michigan Tech Head Coach Kevin Luke is pleased to officially announce that Rae Drake will join the men’s basketball staff as an assistant coach for the 2018-19 season. Drake was an assistant coach with the men’s program for five seasons (2005-06 to 2009-10) and then spent one year with the Tech women’s basketball team when they advanced to the NCAA Division II National Championship game in 2010-11.

“We are excited that Rae is coming back to help the program,” Coach Luke said. “He has been an asset at every program where he has been a coach. Rae is very knowledgeable, intense, loves the competition and the challenge and we are looking forward to having him help us.”

Drake launched the Bay College women’s basketball program as the head coach in 2017-18, guiding the team to a 14-11 record in their inaugural season. The Norse won four of five games down the stretch to cap the year and secure a winning record.

In Drake’s first stint as an assistant coach for the Tech men’s program, he played a key role in scouting and player development. During those five years, the Huskies advanced to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament four times and finished second in the North Division in 2007-08.

Drake helped guide the women’s basketball program to the national title game in 2011, finishing the season with an overall record of 31-3. The Huskies claimed both the GLIAC North Division regular season championship and the GLIAC tournament crown during the 2010-11 campaign.

Prior to arriving at Tech, Drake coached Upper Peninsula high school boys’ basketball for 23 years. He spent nine seasons as the head coach at West Iron County where he complied a 121-72 record, including seven conference championships and two district titles. He previously served 14 years as an assistant coach at Iron Mountain.

The Huskies finished the 2017-18 season with an overall record of 15-14 and advanced to the their 21st appearance in the GLIAC Tournament under Head Coach Kevin Luke. Tech reached the semifinals for the 17th time in 2017-18 and has three tournament titles during that stretch.

Photo courtesy Michigan Tech athletics