October 2010 Archives

AND THEY'RE OFF!

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The Huskie cross country team took off for the 2010 MAC Championships this morning. As NIU tradition dictates, Huskie staff members (and one special fan!) came out to send the team off in style.

NIU-WMU FOOTBALL PREVIEW

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Lacy Banks of the Chicago Sun-Times posted his take on the Huskies upcoming contest with Western Michigan in today's paper. He recaps what has been working for Northern Illinois and what the Huskies need to do to keep "winning and advancing," as NIU head coach Jerry Kill puts it.

NIU MEN'S HOOPS PREVIEW

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The Mid-American Conference released its preseason poll and preseason All-MAC team yesterday and Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune wrote this preview story on the upcoming 2010-11 season in today's paper.

Silas gives NIU hope

Preseason All-MAC selection averaged 19.7 points and 5.3 rebounds last season

Darion Anderson, Xavier Silas

Northern Illinois' Darion Anderson talks to Xavier Silas. (Nam Y. Huh, Associated Press / November 13, 2009)


His team was under .500 last season and is decidely below the radar for the upcoming season, but Northern Illinois coach Ricardo Patton is as optimistic as most coaches this time of year.

"I think we have just as good a chance as anyone at this point," Patton said Thursday.

Chief among the reasons for Patton's positive outlook is 6-foot-5 senior guard Xavier Silas, who returns after averaging 19.7 points and 5.3 rebounds last season.

Silas was selected as a member of the preseason All-Mid-American Conference team.

HUSKIES STREAKING

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ESPN.com's Andrea Adelson has been reading up on the Northern Illinois University football program and she's sharing it with everyone in this morning's post on ESPN.com's College Football Blog. The Huskies put their five-game winning streak on the line tomorrow when the Huskies travel to Kalamazoo, Mich. to face Western Michigan (11 a.m., ESPN Regional click here for channels in your area).

NIU-AGARA FALLS

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MSOC Niagara Falls
The Huskie men's soccer team made a trip to Buffalo last week to play the Bulls. The team made a quick outing to Niagara Falls to check out the voluminous hydro-awesome creation.

ESPN TAKES NOTICE OF WIZ

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Any of NIU's opponents thus far, much of the Northern Illinois region, and the Mid-American Conference are well aware of the impact that freshman outside hitter Lauren Wicinski (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) has had on the Huskies.  The leader in points, kills, and aces during NIU's school record 23-2 run ranks No. 1 in all three categories among freshman in the nation.  A few features have been done by local media outlets, but now, ESPN has taken notice, giving "Wiz" a shout-out in its weekly update on the college volleyball scene.  Here's the link, check it out.

SUNDANCE LEARNS A NEW SPORT

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Sundance Wicks, men's basketball assistant and man of the world, learns some new tricks on the volleyball court, courtesy of Coley and Dan Pawlikowski. The Pawlikowski's are assistant coaches for the NIU volleyball team, which is currently tearing up the competition with a 23-2 record. Boom. Shaka. Laka.

POWER RANKINGS

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The Northern Illinois University football team climbed up one spot in Andrea Adelson's Non-AQ Power Rankings on ESPN.com. The Huskies, which were ranked seventh last week gained a spot after beating Central Michigan, 33-7, Saturday at Huskie Stadium. NIU ranks sixth in her latest rankings.

BREAKING DOWN SATURDAY'S WIN

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Now that the dust has settled on the Huskies' 33-7 victory over Central Michigan Saturday afternoon at Huskie Stadium, it's time to take a look back at all the coverage.

Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune posted this story and video of the post-game press conference in his recap, while Rick Armstrong discussed the dominance NIU has had over their opponents in the second half in his story in the Chicago Sun-Times. Jeremy Werner of the Daily Chronicle went a little more in-depth on second-half success the Huskies have enjoyed in his story.

POLL POSITION

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2010 Football Team.jpgThe Northern Illinois University football team received votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Poll after defeating defending Mid-American Conference champion Central Michigan, 33-7, Saturday afternoon at Huskie Stadium. With the victory, NIU improves to 6-2 on the season and 4-0 in MAC play. The last time the Huskies received a vote in the USA Today Coaches Poll was in the preseason poll released earlier this year. NIU has faced five coaches that currently vote in the coaches poll already this season, Dan Enos, C. Michigan; Al Golden, Temple; Jeff Quinn, Buffalo; Paul Rhodes, Iowa State and Ron Zook, Illinois. The Huskies play one more voter, Tim Beckman of Toledo, Nov. 9.

The Huskies will carry their five-game winning streak into Kalamazoo, Mich. when NIU faces the Broncos of Western Michigan. The game will be televised as part of the MAC Game of the Week package and can be seen on WTVO in Rockford and WPWR TV in the Chicagoland area. (Check your local listings for the channel in your area.


HARNISH PLAYING AT THE TOP OF HIS GAME

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It's no secret to Huskie fans that quarterback Chandler Harnish has been playing the best football of his career during the last five games. Steve Warden of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette chronicled the junior's season up to this point in today's paper.

Courtesy photo
Northern Illinois' Chandler Harnish has 1,087 passing yards this year.
ON CAMPUS

Norwell grad blossoms as quarterback

- A little past the halfway mark of his third season as the quarterback at Northern Illinois, Chandler Harnish admits, "It's the best time of my life."

The same could be said for the Huskies' program.

PUTTING NAMES TO NO-NAME DEFENSE

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Northern Illinois has had the top defense in the Mid-American Conference in both 2008 and 2009. After a slow start, the Huskie defense is climbing to the top of the leaderboard looking to maintain their spot at the top. What's made the Huskie defenders' accomplishments so impressive is they've done it with little or no recognition and these past few weeks they have been without their top player, safety Tracy Wilson.

Rick Armstrong of the Beacon News breaks down the Huskie defense and puts some names with this no-name defense in his article today.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

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Former men's hoops standout and NIU Athletics Hall of Fame inductee T.J. Lux was featured in today's Northwest Indiana Times. Mike Nieto caught up with the former Huskie standout to reminisce about his time in DeKalb and find out what he's doing now in this feature.

DRINKING THE KOOL-AID

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The Huskies are off to a 5-2 start and have won their first three Mid-American Conference games. The NIU players give most of that credit to NIU head coach Jerry Kill and what he and his coaching staff have been preaching to them the last three years. Jay Taft of the Rockford Register Star filed this story today on the Huskies' head man.

COFFMAN HAS CLASS

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In case you missed it, NIU defensive end Jake Coffman was named a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Coffman, one of 10 finalists for the award, was selected from a list of 30 candidates announced in August. Fans can vote online at seniorCLASSaward.com to help determine a winner. Fan votes will be combined with media and coaches' votes and Lowe's will announce the Senior CLASS Award winner on January 10 prior to the Tostitos BCS National Championship game. Voting ends Dec. 6, so get online and vote today.

EYE OPENING PERFORMANCE

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Fans got a glimpse of him against Temple two weeks ago, but NIU redshirt freshman Jordan Lynch opened some eyes with his spectacular 90-yard touchdown run against Buffalo last Saturday. As Jeremy Werner of the Daily Chronicle writes, the Huskie coaching staff knew what they had in Lynch from the start in this story.

EARLY PREDICTION FOR SATURDAY

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With Central Michigan having won three straight over the Huskies, ESPN.com's Andrea Adelson feels this is the year Northern Illinois posts its first victory over the Chippewas. You can read her prediction and analysis of the Saturday's MAC match-up in her blog post today.

HUSKIE MEN TIP-OFF PRACTICE

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The NIU men's basketball team opened practice over the weekend. Here's a report from the Huskies' first practice of 2010-11.

A QUICK CONGRATULATIONS TO SUNSEA SHAW

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In four years with both the NIU cross country and track & field teams, senior Sunsea Shaw has acquired her fair share of accolades, and this weekend she was able to add one more honor to her already successful career as a Huskie student-athlete-- Homecoming Queen. At the NIU-Buffalo homecoming football game last weekend, Sunsea ran past the competition as she was named NIU's 2010 Homecoming Queen, truly demonstrating her success as a Huskie champion in the classroom, competition and in life. Congratulations Sunsea! 

BENNETT FINDS A GREAT SHOOTER

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Kathi Bennett Rides Shooter
NIU head women's basketball coach Kathi Bennett took her team out to visit head men's coach Ricardo Patton at a local ranch where Ricardo keeps his horse "Shooter." Kathi saddled up to give it a go (picture above). Five months into Kathi's stay in the Huskie basketball suite, the two are fast becoming BFFs. Earlier in the week, Kathi road Patton's infamous "Spider," a three-wheeled motorcycle. Word is she has already started saving for one of her own.

CHEMISTRY KEY FOR HUSKIE HOOPS

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Entering head men's basketball coach Ricardo Patton's fourth season, a new theme has emerged amongst his players: chemistry. Few would doubt that the Huskies were a talented team last season, but as Jeremy Werner of the DeKalb Daily Chronicle points out in this article, the improved chemistry on the 2010-11 squad could be just the intangible NIU is looking for to bring the talent together. Here's brief snippet of Jeremy's article:

Patton said that though team chemistry is intangible, it can't be overrated.

"I think it's the hardest thing to achieve and maybe the most important thing," Patton said. "Every team's going to have guys that can shoot the basketball. Every team's going to have guys that can rebound, defend and different things. But if they don't get along, if they're not pulling in the same direction, they're always going to underachieve."

OUTSIDER'S VIEW OF THE HUSKIES

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For a guy that hasn't written about the NIU football program in roughly four years, Rodney McKissic of the Buffalo News has the pulse of the this year's squad. The Buffalo beat writer posted this outstanding piece on the state of the Huskie football after last week's 31-17 win over Temple and where the program could go this year and beyond.

QUARTERBACK OF THE DEFENSE

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Barnas-Garrett.jpgWith strong safety Tracy Wilson out of the line up the last few weeks, several members of the NIU secondary have had to step up and fill the void of arguably NIU's best defensive player. Tommy Daivs, Mike Sobol and Garrett Barnas have stepped in and performed very well. Barnas in particular has been solid as the "quarterback" of the defense writes Jeremy Werner of the Daily Chronicle in today's paper.


LYRICK PERFORMING TONIGHT

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WBB Bianca Brown JumpshotHuskie women's basketball player Bianca Brown, aka hip-hop artist Lyrik, is performing tonight at the House Café. Brown is one of multiple artists playing tonight in the FREE, FREE, FREE show. The event, dubbed "El Mensaje" (The Message), is in honor of Latino Heritage Month. Check out details on El Mensaje and The House Cafe.

NIU-NORTHWESTERN ADDED TO HUSKIE ALL-ACCESS

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Wednesday night's NIU-Northwestern men's soccer match at Lakeside Field in Evanston has been added to the Huskie All-Access line-up. That means current HAA subscribers can watch the match for no additional charge!

The Huskies are looking for their third straight win over a Big Ten team, dating back to last year's 1-0 win at Wisconsin. If NIU wins, it will be the team's longest winning streak against the Big Ten since a run of nine straight from 1997-2001.

MIDTERM GRADE

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The Huskies' impressive 31-17 victory over Temple Saturday opened the eyes of many in the Mid-American Conference and in the national media. Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com gave her assessment of Northern Illinois in her blog post today.

HARNISH FEATURES

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NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish is off to a solid start after working his way back from a knee injury and back into the starting job. Lacy Banks of the Chicago Sun-Times and Reggie Hayes of the News-Sentinel each posted a pair of features on the Huskies' signal caller. Bank's feature focuses on Harnish's confidence level, while Hayes' story talks about his road back to the starting job. 

RUNNING DOWN A DREAM

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With the two best running backs in the Mid-American Conference squaring off Saturday, the focus of the Temple-NIU football game will be on running game. Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com, who spoke with Chad Spann Tuesday, filed this post on ESPN's blog yesterday.

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Saturday's football game between Northern Illinois and Temple is being billed as a Mid-American Conference championship game preview by many in the media. Jay Taft of the Rockford Register Star breaks down the MAC heading into the Huskies' second conference game in this story.

NIU LIVE TONIGHT

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"NIU Live" airs tomorrow (Thursday) night on 670 The Score. Listen to Huskie head football coach Jerry Kill talk about last week's big win over Akron, and this week's HUGE home game against Temple. Also on the show, NIU men's soccer coach Eric Luzzi discusses his team's upcoming game with No. 1 Akron.

If you want to hear more from Coach Kill, check out "Inside Huskie Football" Thursday night at 7 p.m. You can listen on 1360-AM WLBK DeKalb, or watch the show live at Fatty's on Lincoln Highway.

Football faces the Owls, Saturday at 11 a.m. Fans can then "Reverse Tailgate" before heading to the soccer match at 3 p.m.

MAC CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW?

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Jeremy Werner writes in Huskie Wire that Saturday's football game at Huskie Stadium between NIU and Temple could be a MAC Championship preview. Here's a snippet:

While coaches have cautiously consented that Saturday will be a battle between two of the stronger MAC teams, the NIU players spoke more liberally about the significance of a Week 6 matchup that many predict will reoccur Dec. 3 in the MAC Championship game in Detroit.

Werner's mid-season assessment agrees with what many pundits espoused in the preseason - that NIU and Temple are the best in the MAC. Interested? Tickets.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

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The NIU women's basketball team had its first practice under new head coach Kathi Bennett, Monday. John Sahly of the Daily Chronicle was there and wrote this story. You can check out the NIUHuskies.com story as well.

You can also watch the video recap, courtesy of NIUHuskies.com, above.

HUSKIES ZIP PAST AKRON

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The last 10 days have been pretty good for the NIU football team. After the 34-23 win at Minnesota, Chad Spann earned honor after honor for his 223 yard day. Now with Saturday's 50-14 win at Akron to open MAC play, the Huskies are 3-2 with a three-game home stretch ahead of them.

Breaking news on Huskie Happenings: NIU has back-to-back MAC Players of the Week, as Chandler Harnish got the call today. He had a nice little Saturday... 16-for-20, 281 yards and three touchdowns nice. He took the fourth quarter off to make a trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond. After the game, The Manning Award contingent was impressed enough to put Harnish on its "trying to make the list" list.