- Vaughn Dalzell
- Lead Sports Writer
Brandon Norfleet’s career started at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, where he won 2013 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East Freshman of the Year.
Norfleet (senior, communications media) transferred to IUP following his freshman year. In his first season with the team, he started 18 games and appeared in 22, averaging 11 points, four rebounds and three assists per game.
As a junior, Norfleet was lost in the shadow of senior guards Devante Chance and Shawn Dyer. But others saw him as a part of a trio of stars. During the 2014-15 season, Norfleet started 36 of his 37 games and was arguably IUP’s top all-around player.
He finished third on the team with 11.4 points per game, second with 112 assists and fourth with 158 rebounds. He made 49 percent of his shots to go along with an IUP single-season record 91 percent (69-of-76) from the free throw line.
Norfleet started his senior campaign as a 2015-16 All-PSAC West preseason pick and ended it as a member of the 2016 All-PSAC West First Team. To top that off, he was selected as the 2016 PSAC West Athlete of the Year.
Norfleet led the team to a 21-8 record this season and averaged 22.8 points per game, good enough for fourth best in IUP’s record books. Following last year’s run to the Division II national championship game, head coach Joe Lombardi and his team had the same in mind for this season. Unfortunately, a dream season ended on a buzzer-beater layup against West Chester University in the PSAC tournament semifinals. IUP didn’t earn a bid to this year’s national tournament.
But statistically, Norfleet’s season can be considered among the best in IUP history. He scored 662 points, an IUP single-season record. His 242 shots made this season ranks him second all-time. And his 130 assists are good for 19th all-time.
Norfleet scored a career-high 38 points in front of a home crowd in a victory over Seton Hill University. Norfleet scored 30-plus points five times and 20-plus 16 times. Norfleet also played the full 40 minutes in eight games this season, easily making him the most utilized player in the PSAC.
Shortly after the season ended, he was one of 20 Division II players selected to play in the 2016 Reese’s All-American game in Frisco, Texas. Each player was also a part of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), making Norfleet the fourth IUP player to be invited to the game in the last six years.
He scored five points and added four assists and two rebounds in 21 minutes of action in his team’s 120-107 win.
The other Crimson Hawks to play in the game were Darryl Webb in 2011, Ashton Smith in 2012 and Marcel Souberbielle in 2014. Each of these players went on to play professionally.
During his time at IUP, Norfleet helped IUP earn a 76-20 record while becoming one of three players in program history to have both 600 points and 125 assists in a season.
His 1,325 career points ranks 13th at IUP, and his 309 assists rank 11th.