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.