LET THE PROGNOSTICATING BEGIN
It's never too early to start thinking about 2009 Huskie Football, which means it's never too early to start predicting how the 2009 season will play out. Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports get us going with this look at 2009 in the MAC. I'll save you the click: 4th in the west, behind CMU, WMU and BSU.
CARAVANS COMING TO A CLOSE
Saving the greatest for the latest, the 2009 Huskie Coaches Caravans will wrap-up with the DeKalb-Sycamore edition at Johnny's Charhouse tomorrow (aka Thursday). The event gets rolling at 5 p.m., and goes until 7, so swing by after work to rub elbows with an all-star line-up that includes head football coach Jerry Kill, head men's basketball coach Ricardo Patton, and head women's basketball coach Carol Owens.
SAVING ITS BEST FOR LAST
The Huskie men's golf team traveled from Nebraska to North Carolina, and played tournaments in Florida, Texas and Oklahoma in 2008-09. In the end, it was a season-ending stretch of events in Indiana that prepared Northern Illinois to make its best showing at the Mid-American Conference Championship since NIU re-joined the league in 1998.
The Huskies' fifth-place finish at the MAC Championships at the Brickyard Crossing Course in Indianapolis came after a final round team score of 287, NIU's lowest of the four-round event. Junior Matt Triplett led Northern Illinois at the MAC tournament with a 15th place finish after four solid rounds, while both Andrew Frame and Max Hosking placed in the top 25.
Frame and Hosking, along with sophomore Jeff Dick and junior Tim Kay, made up four-fifths of the Huskie line-up for most of the season as all but Dick (eight events) played in nine of NIU's 10 tournaments on the year. Dick finished the year with the lowest scoring average among Huskie players with a 74.1 mark, with Hosking one stroke higher at 75.1 and Frame and Kay close behind at 75.6 and 75.7, respectively.
Dick was Northern Illinois' top finisher in three events, Frame led the squad in three and Hosking in two while Triplett saved his best for last.
The Huskies got off to a fast start in the fall portion of the schedule with top five finishes in each of their first four events. NIU took fourth place (of 12 teams) at the Nebraska Fairway Club Invitational and earned the same finish in a 13-team field at the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational. At the Oral Roberts Shootout in Oklahoma, Northern Illinois took third in a 12-team field before scoring a tournament victory at the Davidson Invitational in North Carolina.
During the fall, NIU earned wins over Nebraska, Cincinnati, Oral Roberts and Butler, as well as league Bowling Green and Ohio.
After a long Illinois winter spent practicing indoors, the Huskies began their spring season slowly. The FAU Spring Break tournament in Boca Raton, Fla. was highlighted by Dick's final round 66, tying Alex Wagner for the lowest round of the year by a Huskie golfer. But by mid-April, facing tough fields at the adidas Hoosier Invitational, hosted by Indiana, and the Boilermaker Invitational at Purdue, the team once again appeared to be rounding into form. At Purdue, Northern Illinois placed ahead of Michigan State as well as a pair of MAC schools as the squad built confidence for the league tournament.
In addition to its strong finish at the Mid-American Conference Championship, Northern Illinois saw senior Alex Wagner graduate at the end of the spring, while Frame and Kay made up two-fifths of the Academic All-MAC team for men's golf. The two also were named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District second team squad by CoSIDA.
Where will the Huskies' win over No. 2 SMU rank on the list?
Coming soon to Huskie Happenings, we're going to count down the greatest moments of the 2008-09 season, and we need YOUR HELP! Whether it's a standout touchdown grab, amazing upset victory, or first-class finish at the basket, we need your nominations for the best moment of this last season. Send your best of 2008-09 to firstname.lastname@example.org. One lucky nominator will win a Huskie Prize Pack, so get your top moments in today!
LIGHTS, CAMERA, HUSKIES