NIU Men's Basketball Welcomes Akron On Wednesday Night

GO HUSKIES Junior point guard Ryan Paradise and his teammates will battle Akron on Wednesday night.
GO HUSKIES
Junior point guard Ryan Paradise and his teammates will battle Akron on Wednesday night.
GO HUSKIES

Jan. 22, 2007

Akron at Northern Illinois Game Notes in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

DeKalb, Ill.- The Northern Illinois men's basketball team has finished its first run through the Mid-American Conference West division and will make its pass through the East for the next three weeks, beginning with Wednesday's showdown against Akron at the NIU Convocation Center.

NIU (4-13, 1-4 MAC) is coming off a 76-60 loss at the hands of MAC West leading Toledo on Sunday (Jan. 21), as the host Rockets forced 33 Huskie turnovers which led to 38 points. NIU senior center James Hughes topped the Huskies with a game-high 17 points, while junior forward Zach Pancratz came off the bench to post 13 tallies.

Akron picked up a 66-59 victory over Buffalo on Sunday (Jan. 21) afternoon, as seniors Romeo Travis and Cedrick Middleton each posted 12 points in the victory. The Zips also received 11 points apiece from Nick Dials and Nate Linhart.

THE SERIES -- Akron holds a 16-6 advantage over the Huskies in their all-time series.

THE COACHES -- Rob Judson is in his sixth season at the helm of the NIU men's basketball team, and has a career-record of 71-91 including last season's Mid-American Conference West Division championship. Judson is 1-4 in five appearances against Akron. Akron head coach Keith Dambrot is in his third year as the Zips' skipper and has led UA to a mark of 55-24 on the campaign. Dambrot is 1-1 all-time against the Huskies.

CENTURY CLUB -- Today's contest against Akron marks NIU senior guard Mike McKinney's 100th appearance in a Huskie uniform.

ZIPPY FOR THE ZIPS -- NIU junior guard/forward Zach Pancratz is averaging 10 points and three rebounds in two career games against Akron.

THE LAST TIME -- Despite an 18-point performance from sophomore wing Ben Rand, NIU was unable to overcome the host Zips as Akron earned the 86-73 triumph over the Huskies on January 14, 2006. Akron reserve guard Cedrick Middleton topped five Zips in double-figures with 17 points, including four three-pointers. Akron knocked down 12 three-pointers on the evening.

CALLING ALL ALUMNI -- NIU men's basketball is holding its annual `Alumni Game' on January 27 at 11 a.m. in the NIU Convocation Center. To participate or attend please RSVP to Northern Illinois SID Emeritus Mike Korcek at 815-753-9559 or email him at mkorcek@niu.edu.

INJURY UPDATE -- Junior wing Ben Rand underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to remove scar tissue from his right knee on Thursday, January 4. This is the same knee that Rand had ACL reconstruction surgery on March 31, 2006. Freshman point guard Cody Yelder underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Dec. 28 to correct damaged meniscal cartilage that presented itself during the Lamar contest on Dec. 20. Huskie redshirt junior Jarvis Nichols joined Rand and Yelder on the injured list as he suffered a broken left foot in practice on Jan. 4.

DOUBLE DUTY -- Northern Illinois has totaled four double-doubles this season including:

James Hughes (20 points, 12 rebounds) at Eastern Michigan on Jan. 9;

Mike McKinney (19 points, 13 rebounds) at Marist on Dec. 29; Shaun Logan (15 points, 11 rebounds) at Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 22;

James Hughes (22 points, 10 rebounds) against Duquesne on Nov. 25.

MAC TELECONFERENCE -- The MAC will hold a weekly teleconference for men's basketball coaches on Monday's during the basketball season. Each coach will be available for approximately seven minutes. The media session for NIU head coach Rob Judson begins at 9:16 a.m. (CST) every Monday. For information on how to join in on the teleconference, please contact NIU Assistant Media Relations Director Matt Brendich.

BLOCK PARTY -- Senior center James Hughes currently sits in second place in Huskie history with 183 career blocks. The reigning MAC Defensive Player of the Year needs 17 more swats for the school-record of 200, currently held by Allen Rayhorn (1978-82).

SEEKING 1,000 -- Senior guard Mike McKinney enters Wednesday's contest against Akron with 937 points. McKinney, who is currently averaging 13.2 points-per-game, is on pace to reach the 1,000-point plateau against Bowling Green on February 7.

SHOOTING STROKE -- Senior center James Hughes is currently the school-record holder for career field-goal percentage, as the Silvis, Ill., native has converted 57.8% (352-for-609) of his career field-goal attempts.

CRUNCH TIME-- Junior point guard Ryan Paradise is a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line with less than two minutes remaining in a contest. He is also averaging a team-best 1.5 points in the final two minutes of a game. As a team, NIU is shooting 57.1% (36-for-63) from the field in the final two minutes of a contest.

20/20 VISION -- A NIU player has tallied 20+ points in a half two times this season, as senior center James Hughes scored 24 of his career and game-high 27 points in the Huskies 72-70 loss against Georgia Southern on December 8th. Junior guard / forward Zach Pancratz accomplished that feat on December 2 nd as he scored a career-high 22 points, including six treys, in the second half of NIU's 72-62 loss against Winthrop.

CONTROLLING THEIR BENCH -- In five MAC games this season, the opponent's bench is outscoring the Huskie reserves, 25.4 points-per-game to 11.0 for NIU.

HIGH PERCENTAGE SHOT -- NIU shot a team-season best 63.2% (24-for-38) against Toledo on Sunday (Jan. 21) afternoon, marking their best field goal percentage since a 65.0% (26-for-40) outing in a 67-66 loss to the Rockets on January 24, 2006. The Huskies followed that performance last year with their best defensive outing of the season, holding Central Michigan to 32.7% (16-for-49) shooting on their way to the 49-43 win over the Chippewas on January 26, 2006.

DISHING DIMES -- NIU senior guard Mike McKinney needs three more assists to reach 200 helpers for his career.

TREY BIEN -- NIU junior guard / forward Zach Pancratz has knocked down at least one three-pointer in the Huskies' last three contests.

CRASHING THE BOARDS -- NIU junior college transfer Shaun Logan, who currently leads the Huskies in rebounding (6.0 rpg.), is on pace to be the first Huskie to lead the team in rebounding in his first season since T.J. Lux (1995-2000) grabbed 8.7 boards-per-game as a frosh in 1995-96.

UP NEXT -- The Huskies welcome Kent State to the NIU Convocation Center on Saturday (Jan. 27) for a 2 p.m. (CST) tip-off.