Huskies Set for Tip-Off Marathon Game at Valparaiso

GO HUSKIES Kevin Gray and the Huskies to appear on ESPN Tuesday morning
Kevin Gray and the Huskies to appear on ESPN Tuesday morning

Nov. 12, 2012

Game Notes in PDF Get Acrobat Reader l 24 Hours to Tip-Off

Northern Illinois Huskies (0-1, 0-0 MAC) at Valparaiso Crusaders (1-0, 0-0 Horizon)
Date / Time: Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 / 7 a.m. CT
Site: Athletics-Recreation Center• Valparaiso, Ind.
Television: ESPN (College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon),
Radio: WLBK 1360-AM in DeKalb, Ill. • WJOL 1340-AM in Joliet, Ill. • WRMN 1410-AM in Elgin, Ill. • Huskie All-Access
Live Stats:
Twitter Updates: @NIUscores
All-time Series: Northern Illinois leads 14-10
Last meeting: Dec. 20, 2011 • Valparaiso 59-48

• Northern Illinois returns its top-five scoring letterwinners and top-six rebounders from a season ago.
• 10 of the 15 players making up the Huskie roster this season are underclassmen.
• Of the five upperclassmen on NIU’s roster, one will sit out this season following a transfer (Pete Rakosevic) and another has never played a Division I game (Brandon Hayes).
• NIU will make its first appearance in the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon, playing Valparaiso at 7 a.m. CT on Tuesday, Nov. 13. The Huskies are one of two MAC schools, along with Kent State, that will appear in the marathon.
• The Huskies will play 10 teams that appeared in postseason play a season ago: Valpo (Horizon League regular season champs, NIT), Dayton (NIT), Milwaukee (CBI), Washington (Pac-12 regular season champs, NIT Final Four), UMass (NIT Final Four), Akron (MAC regular season champs, NIT), Bowling Green (CIT), Buffalo (CIT), Kent State (CIT) and Ohio (NCAA Sweet 16).

• With its six-man returning nucleus from a season ago, the Huskies return more than 60 percent of their production for 2011-12 in most statistical categories.
• The following are NIU’s percentages returning from last season: minutes (60.7 percent), scoring (62.6), rebounds (63.1), assists (47.0), blocks (71.2) and steals (57.1).
• By comparison, here are the numbers that returned at the beginning of last season from the 2010-11 campaign: minutes (33.8 percent), scoring (32.0), rebounds (31.8), assists (26.6), blocks (39.7) and steals (27.4).

• Valparaiso opened the season with an 85-54 home victory over Georgia Southern on Friday night (Nov. 9).
• Bryce Drew is in his second season as head coach of the Crusaders; Drew went 22-12 in his first season as head coach, winning the Horizon League regular season with a 14-4 record.
• Valparaiso returns all five of its starters from last season, including leading scorer Ryan Broekhoff (14.9 ppg in 2011-12).
• The Crusaders are the preseason favorite in the Horizon League; Broekhoff and Kevin Van Wijk were selected to the Horizon League Preseason All-Conference First Team.
• Bryce Drew took over as head coach for his father, Homer, last season. Bryce’s brother, Scott, is the head coach at Baylor.

• Valparaiso defeated NIU, 59-48, last season in DeKalb (Dec. 20, 2011).
• The Huskies led the contest, 39-38, with just nine minutes to play until the Crusaders went on a 14-3 run.
Abdel Nader led the Huskies with 12 points; Keith Gray added nine points and seven rebounds.
• Ryan Broekhoff led Valparaiso with 19 points, Will Bogan added 18 for the Crusaders.

• Northern Illinois leads the all-time series against Valparaiso, 14-10.
• NIU dominated the beginning of the series, winning 13 of 15 meetings prior through Jan. 11, 1993.
• Valparaiso has won eight of nine meetings since that Jan. 11, 1993 matchup, including five-straight.
• The last NIU victory in the series came on Feb. 5, 1994, a 69-63 win in DeKalb.
• Valparaiso has won four-straight home games in the series; NIU’s last win at Valpo came on Feb. 15, 1992 (81-75).

• Northern Illinois is 92-98 all-time against current members of the Horizon League.
• Following a game against Judson University (Nov. 18), the Huskies will play back-to-back games against the Horizon League (Loyola-Chicago Nov. 24 and UIC Nov. 27). NIU will also face UW Milwaukee on Dec. 7.
• NIU was a member of the Horizon League, then known as the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, from 1994-97. Valparaiso was not a league member at that time.

• The Huskies fell on the road to Nebraska Omaha, 77-64, in the season opener this past Friday (Nov. 9).
• Eight players made their first appearance in a college game, including two in the starting lineup: Travon Baker and Akeem Springs.
• Freshmen combined to play 122 minutes for the Huskies against Nebraska Omaha.
• Underclassmen, freshmen and sophomores, combined to play 165 minutes in the contest.
• Northern Illinois outrebounded Nebraska Omaha, 35-28.
• The Huskies went to the free-throw line 30 times against the Mavericks, the most for a NIU team during Mark Montgomery’s tenure as head coach.
• NIU forced 18 Nebraska Omaha turnovers, the most by an opponent during Mark Montgomery’s tenure.
• The Huskies did not record a blocked shot for just the third time in the last two seasons.
• All seven freshmen that played for the Huskies scored, led by 10 points from Daveon Balls.

• Northern Illinois defeated Aurora, 89-56, in its lone exhibition game of the season (Nov. 3).
• Six Huskies scored in double figures against the Spartans, led by 12 points from Kevin Gray and Mike Davis.
Keith Gray posted a double-double against Aurora, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds in just 17 minutes of action.
Akeem Springs and Travon Baker each made their unofficial collegiate debut in the starting lineup. Springs scored 10 points in 19 minutes of action while Baker scored two points and dished out five assists in 20 minutes.
• Also making unofficial debuts were Darrell Bowie (10 points, four rebounds, 24 minutes), Daveon Balls (eight points, four assists, 23 minutes), Sam Mader (eight points, eight rebounds, 20 minutes), J.J. Cravatta (11 points, 18 minutes) and Mike Davis (12 points, 17 minutes).

• Northern Illinois did not win a game last season in which the Huskies allowed more than 69 points.
• The Huskies were 3-4 in games decided by five points or less last season.
• NIU did not play an overtime game last season. Its last overtime contest came on Feb. 26, 2011, a 75-70 victory at Toledo.
• The Huskies shot a better field goal percentage than their opponents in four of their five victories last season. NIU also had a better 3-point shooting percentage than its opponents in all five victories a year ago.
• NIU outrebounded its opponents 18 times last season, including in four of its five wins.

• Northern Illinois will participate in ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon on Tuesday, Nov. 13. The Huskies will play at Valparaiso at 7 a.m. on ESPN.
• The Huskies will be taking part in ESPN’s fifth annual event for the first time. NIU is one of two schools from the MAC, along with Kent State, to compete in this year’s event.
• NIU is one of eight schools playing in the Tip-Off Marathon for the first time, joining: Davidson, Detroit, Harvard, Houston Baptist, New Mexico, Valparaiso and Xavier.
• The full schedule for the Tip-Off Marathon is as follows (all times central):
Monday, Nov. 12
11 p.m. - West Virginia at Gonzaga
Tuesday, Nov. 13
1 a.m. - Davidson at New Mexico
3 a.m. - Houston Baptist at Hawaii
5 a.m. - Stony Brook at Rider
7 a.m. - Northern Illinois at Valparaiso
9 a.m. - Harvard at Massachusetts
11 a.m. - Temple at Kent State
1 p.m. - Detroit at St. John’s
3 p.m. - Butler at Xavier
5 p.m. - College GameDay covered by State Farm (live from the Georgia Dome – Atlanta, Ga.)
6 p.m. - Michigan State vs. Kansas (Champions Classic, Georgia Dome)
Approximately 30 min following MSU/KU - Duke vs. Kentucky (Champions Classic, Georgia Dome)

• NIU was picked to finish fifth in the MAC West in the preseason conference media poll. Toledo was picked to win the MAC West, followed by Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Ball State, NIU and Central Michigan.
• The MAC East was picked to finish as follows: Ohio, Akron, Kent State, Buffalo, Bowling Green and Miami. Ohio was also picked as the favorite to win the MAC Tournament.
Abdel Nader was one of five played named to the West Division Preseason All-MAC Team. Joining Nader are Ball State’s Jesse Berry, Toledo’s Rian Pearson and Julius Brown and Western Michigan’s Nate Hutcheson.

• NIU finished the season with a 5-26 record, 3-13 in Mid-American Conference play.
• The Huskies won their first MAC Tournament game since 2003, defeating MAC West Champion Eastern Michigan, 55-52, on the road to advance to Cleveland.
• NIU saw 55.9 percent of its minutes played by freshmen, the sixth-highest percentage in the country.
• Northern Illinois led the MAC in offensive rebounds, ranked second in rebounding defense and was third in rebounding margin.
Abdel Nader was named to the MAC All-Freshmen Team, NIU’s first All-Freshmen honoree since 2009.



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