Montgomery Era Begins Friday Night at Purdue



Nov. 10, 2011

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Northern Illinois Huskies (0-0, 0-0 MAC) at Purdue Boilermakers (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten)

Date: Friday, November 11, 2011
Tipoff: 6 p.m. CT (7 p.m. ET - local)
Location: Mackey Arena • West Lafayette, Ind.
TV: ESPN3, Jim Barbar and Mark Adams on the call
Radio: WLBK 1360-AM DeKalb, Bill Baker and Casey Kahler on the call
Live Stats:

The Match-Up
Northern Illinois and Purdue will meet for just the second time in history in the opener to the 2011-12 season. For the Huskies, head coach Mark Montgomery will be making his debut with a roster that includes five returnees and nine newcomers. The Boilermakers will be celebrating the rededication of Mackey Arena on Friday night.

About Purdue
The Boilermakers are coming off a 26-8 season in 2010-11 and a second-place finish in the Big Ten Conference. Purdue advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament a season ago before falling to Virginia Commonwealth. Two-time All-Big Ten selection Robbie Hummel returns after missing more than a year following two separate tears of his right ACL. Matt Painter enters his seventh season as the head coach at Purdue; he has a 138-64 record during his time in West Lafayette.

Against the Boilermakers
NIU and Purdue have met just once prior to Friday night. The Boilermakers defeated the Huskies, 112-85, on Dec. 7, 1971, in West Lafayette, Ind.

Montgomery vs. Purdue
As a player and assistant coach, Mark Montgomery has met Purdue 31 times in his basketball career. While playing at Michigan State (1988-92), Montgomery and the Spartans were 6-2 against Purdue. As an assistant coach at Central Michigan (1997-2001), Montgomery went 1-1 against the Boilermakers. After returning to Michigan State as an assistant (2001-11), the Spartans had a 13-8 record against Purdue. In total, Montgomery is 20-11 vs. the Boilermakers.

Monty at Mackey
Mark Montgomery has made 15 appearances at Mackey Arena during his career. As a player at Michigan State, Montgomery was 2-2 at Purdue. During his time as an assistant coach at Central Michigan, Montgomery went 1-1 on the road against the Boilermakers. In his 10-year tenure as an assistant at Michigan State, the Spartans were 3-6 in West Lafayette.

NIU Against the Big Ten
Northern Illinois is 7-42 all-time against current members of the Big Ten Conference. NIU’s last contest against a Big Ten foe came in the 2010-11 season opener when the Huskies fell, 97-78, at home against Northwestern. The Huskies’ last win against a Big Ten team came on Dec. 14, 1999, when NIU won 55-51 at Wisconsin.

What’s Back for the Huskies
Just five players return for NIU from the 2010-11 roster and the Huskies return the following percentages of production with those players:
33.8 percent of minutes played
32.0 percent of points scored
31.8 percent of rebounds
26.6 percent of assists
39.7 percent of blocks
27.4 percent of steals

One of 56
Mark Montgomery is one of 56 new head coaches in NCAA Division I, and one of three new coaches in the Mid-American Conference. Montgomery joins Rob Murphy of Eastern Michigan and Rob Senderoff of Kent State as newcomers to the sidelines in the conference.

Postseason Experience
The four coaches on the NIU staff (Mark Montgomery, Jon Borovich, Todd Townsend and Lou Dawkins), have made a combined 30 postseason appearances during their time in Division I college basketball, including 22 trips to the NCAA Tournament. The Huskie staff has a combined four Final Four appearances (three by Montgomery as a coach at MSU and one by Townsend as a player at Marquette).

Hoosier State Homecoming
Tim Toler is the lone player on the Huskie roster to hail from Indiana. The Indianapolis native has made one previous appearance in his home state while at NIU. Last year at Ball State (March 5, 2011), Toler recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The Familiar Five
Northern Illinois returns only five players from last season’s roster (Aksel Bolin, Antone Christian, Tony Nixon, Tyler Storm and Tim Toler). Combined the quintet has appeared in 206 games entering the 2011-12 season.

Hello My Name Is…
A total of nine new faces are a part of the NIU roster for the 2011-12 season. The Huskies signed a pair of players, DeAndre Barnette and Zach Miller, last November. Four additional players joined the fold during the spring signing period, Marquavese Ford, Keith Gray, Kevin Gray and Abdel Nader. In addition, two recruited walk-ons were added to the Huskie roster, Stian Berg and Jeremiah Jackson, as well as Brandon Hayes who made the team during open tryouts in September.

A First Since 1990
When the Huskies signed Abdel Nader last spring, he became the first Chicago Tribune All-State selection to sign with Northern Illinois since Mike Lipinsky in 1990. Nader was named to the Chicago Tribune All-State First Team along with Wayne Blackshear (Louisville), Ryan Boatright (Connecticut), Anthony Davis (Kentucky) and Chasson Randle (Stanford).

Bringing in Winners
Among the six freshmen NIU signed for this season, all have come from winning high school programs. As seniors, the group had a combined record of 163-24, all six won conference championships, one (DeAndre Barnette) won a state championship and three more (Keith Gray, Kevin Gray and Zach Miller) had third-place state tournament finishes.

Nader Named Lindy’s MAC Newcomer of the Year
Abdel Nader was named the Mid-American Conference Newcomer of the Year by Lindy’s in their 2011-12 College Basketball Preview magazine. Nader averaged 23.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game as a senior at Niles North High School, leading the school to its first-ever conference and sectional championships.

Huskies Picked to Finish 5th in MAC West
NIU was picked to finish in fifth-place in the Mid-American Conference West Division in the conference preseason media poll. Western Michigan was selected to win the MAC West, followed by Ball State, Central Michigan, Toledo, NIU and Eastern Michigan. In the MAC East, the media projected Kent State as the division winner, followed by Akron, Ohio, Miami, Buffalo and Bowling Green.

Looking Ahead
Northern Illinois will return home on Monday, Nov. 14, when the Huskies host defending Horizon League regular season champion UW-Milwaukee. Game time for the home opener is scheduled for 7 p.m.



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