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Huskie Happenings

NIUHuskies.com, the official online home for Northern Illinois Athletics, is pleased to announce the launch of a new blog, "Huskie Happenings." The section includes links to a daily newsstand, online chats, feature stories and interviews, game-day and multimedia information, promotions, calendars and much more. We hope this will become your first and last stop everyday for all the information you crave about Huskie Athletics!

HOOD KEEPS ON HITTIN'

Jordin Hood has not stopped hitting yet, or winning awards. After garnering Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week twice and earning a spot on the All-MAC second team this past season, Hood took home the Prospect League Player of the Week honor in his first week of competition after going 10-for-25 (.400) with three home runs and 16 RBI for the Quincy Gems. Through 12 games, Hood is hitting .314 with four doubles, a triple, three home runs (leads league), 20 RBI and five steals. Follow Hood all summer long as he helps the Gems compete for a Prospect League title by going to www.quincygems.com and www.prospectleague.com.

TOWNSEND JOINS MEN'S BASKETBALL STAFF

Chicago native Todd Townsend, a former assistant coach at Northeastern and director of basketball operations at Marquette, was added to the Northern Illinois men's basketball staff Wednesday, head coach Ricardo Patton announced. Townsend, who will serve as an assistant coach, replaces former associate head coach Dennis Gates, who accepted a similar position at Nevada.  You can check out the DeKalb Daily Chronicle's story RIGHT HERE

In other men's basketball news, assistant coach Will Smith was elevated to recruiting coordinator, effective immediately.  Smith was the first player recruited by Patton at the University of Colorado.  After serving a combined four years as the Director of Basketball Operations at both Colorado and NIU, Smith was promoted to the assistant coaching post with the Huskies in May 2008.

PHIL STEELE'S PRESEASON PREDICTION ROLL-IN

Phil Steele, one of the mainstream preseason college football specialists, has released his annual College Football Preview, a 328-page monster in 2009.  While the website isn't updated, we'll try to give you a glimpse of how NIU stacked up in all areas based on the magazine, which we received in the mail this week.  Here goes:

PHIL STEELE'S 2009 MAC-WEST FORECAST
(1) Central Michigan
(2) Western Michigan
(3) Toledo
(4) Northern Illinois
(5) Ball State
(6) Eastern Michigan

NOTEWORTHY: Despite picking the Huskies fourth, Steele does predict that NIU will be bowl-eligible again at the end of the season.

PHIL STEELE'S 2009 ALL-MAC TEAMS (NIU REPRESENTATION)
1st Team: Guard Jason Onyebuagu, Kicker Mike Salerno
2nd Team: Center Eddie Adamski, Tackle Trevor Olson
3rd Team: Defensive end Brandon Bice
4th Team: Linebacker Alex Kube, Cornerback Patrick George
Honorable Mention: Wide Receiver Marcus Lewis, Linebacker Pat Schiller, Free Safety David Bryant

OUR THOUGHTS: On the surface, it certainly appears that David Bryant's Honorable Mention selection seems low.  After all, he is the returning tackler from the MAC's most stout defense in 2008.  Head coach Jerry Kill has stated publically on more than one occasion that Bryant will most likely be NIU's next NFL Draft choice.  Mike Salerno and Jason Onyebuagu are both poised for breakout seasons, and are picked right where they belong in our opinion.  

MORE NOTES: Mike Salerno was tabbed the nation's 18th-ranked kicker, the only MAC specialist to appear among the top-20 ... Eddie Adamski is Steele's 28th-ranked center -- he rated the nation's top-44. 
Event Calendar
Women's Track
Tuesday, Apr 22 vs Penn Relays
Baseball
Wednesday, Apr 23 vs Milwaukee
Softball
Wednesday, Apr 23 at Loyola
Softball
Wednesday, Apr 23 at Loyola
Women's Track
Wednesday, Apr 23 vs Penn Relays
Women's Track
Thursday, Apr 24 at Penn Relays
Women's Track
Thursday, Apr 24 at Hillsdale Gina Relays
Baseball
Friday, Apr 25 at Western Michigan
Softball
Friday, Apr 25 vs Kent State
Softball
Friday, Apr 25 vs Kent State
Women's Track
Friday, Apr 25 at Penn Relays
Women's Golf
Friday, Apr 25 vs MAC Championship
Women's Track
Friday, Apr 25 at Hillsdale Gina Relays
Men's Tennis
Friday, Apr 25 vs Buffalo
Baseball
Saturday, Apr 26 at Western Michigan
Softball
Saturday, Apr 26 vs Buffalo
Women's Golf
Saturday, Apr 26 vs MAC Championship
Baseball
Sunday, Apr 27 at Western Michigan
Softball
Sunday, Apr 27 vs Buffalo
Women's Golf
Sunday, Apr 27 vs MAC Championship
Baseball
Tuesday, Apr 29 at UIC
Baseball
Wednesday, Apr 30 vs Northwestern
Men's Golf
Friday, May 2 vs Mid-American Conference Championship