March 21, 2014
Big things are on the horizon for NIU Athletics and we’ll spend a lot of time here in Frazier’s Corner talking about them in the coming months. But today I want to talk about our recently-completed men’s and women’s basketball seasons.
Let me take this opportunity to congratulate both teams and their coaching staffs for the hard work, heart and determination they displayed all year. After a pair of overtime first-round MAC Tournament wins, I was excited to be in Cleveland as both squads battled to the very last second to keep their seasons going. NIU was one of only four league schools to have both its men’s and women’s teams advance to Cleveland! #HuskiePride!
Mark Montgomery and the men’s basketball team engineered a tremendous turnaround to finish 15-17 this season, that’s a 10-win improvement from a year ago, the largest single-year jump in program history. I hope you got a chance to see this team play this season because they GOT AFTER IT on defense! They scratched and clawed and DEFENDED their way to wins. It was great to see them come together as a team throughout the year.
By March, I started to see a home court advantage developing at the Convocation Center. Do you realize that the team won its last five home games, including the victory over a Toledo team that came into the game with a No. 31 RPI and 25 wins? That’s how you build a winning program – protect your home court!
There is so much to look forward to with this team heading into next year. We had only two seniors on this year’s roster and will add transfers from Kansas State and Purdue who spent this season practicing with the team. I’m excited to see the further development of this program under Monty and his staff and I hope you will get on board and support this team from start to finish next season! I am convinced, the Convo, CAN be a great college basketball environment, but we are going to need you!
I’m also looking forward to seeing our women’s team take the next steps. Kathi Bennett and her staff took a team with just two seniors to 12 wins this year, a five-game improvement and we went from two wins in MAC play a year ago to six this season. NIU battled MAC heavyweights like Central Michigan, Toledo and Akron down to the wire. And did you see what Alexis Lindstrom did in the MAC Tournament win at Eastern Michigan? NINE 3s! Wow!
The team returns a solid group of players and the performance of this nucleus of young talent has me excited about this team going forward. This program, like our men, is deserving of your support. They are tough defenders and when they get it rolling on offense, watch out!
As you can tell, I’m ready for next basketball season to get here and I know our coaches and student-athletes feel the same way. They are hungry for more success and are going to put the work in to get there! I’m telling you, you are going to want to be a part of these programs! #Commit2NIU!
Stay tuned to Frazier’s Corner this spring. I look forward to using this space to talk about many of our new initiatives and want to hear from you as well!
Thanks for reading and as always, GO HUSKIES!
Sean T. Frazier
Associate Vice-President/Director of Athletics