NIU in Action Wednesday Afternoon in Maryland

GO HUSKIES Jeremy Landers is one of three seniors on the 2010-11 Huskie team.
Jeremy Landers is one of three seniors on the 2010-11 Huskie team.

Nov. 24, 2010

Complete Game Notes in PDF Format

NIU (1-2) vs. Maryland Eastern Shore (1-3)
Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010 - Noon (CT)
Princess Anne, Md. - Hytche Athletic Center - 5,500

Link to UMES Video Stream and Information

Location: DeKalb, Illinois
Founded: 1895
Enrollment: 24,397
Affiliation: NCAA Division I
Conference: Mid-American (West Division)
Colors: Cardinal and Black
Arena: NIU Convocation Center
President: Dr. John Peters
Assoc. VP/Athletic Director: Jeff Compher
Ticket Information: 815-752-6800
2010-11 Record/MAC Record: 1-2/0-0
2009 Record: 10-20
MAC Record/Finish: 6-10, 5th
Head Coach: Ricardo Patton
Alma Mater/Year: Belmont/1980
Record at NIU/Years: 27-64/4th
Career Record/Years: 211-224/16th
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 7/8
Starters Returning/Lost: 2/3


1 Bryan Hall (6-1, 168, G, Jr.)
24 Jeremy Landers (6-2 185, G, Sr.)
5 Tim Toler (6-7, 270, F, Jr.-TR)
12 Nate Rucker (6-6, 245, F, Fr.)
13 Xavier Silas (6-5, 198, G, Sr.)

All-Time: NIU leads 1-0
In Princess Anne: First Game
Streak: NIU, 1
Series Results
12-22-09 - 87-69 (W) - DeKalb




Viewing NIU-UMES
The Northern Illinois game versus Maryland Eastern Shore can be seen online through UMES' website at The live video stream will be accompanied by the UMES radio call.

NIU-UMES on Radio
On radio, fans can listen to the Northern Illinois-UMES game on the Huskies' flagship station, WLBK AM 1360 in DeKalb. The NIU-ISP Radio Network broadcast kicks off with the pregame show at 11:45 a.m. (CT). Hall of Fame broadcaster Bill Baker is in his 31st season as the play-by-play voice of the Huskies and is joined by Casey Kahler, in his fifth year as NIU's color analyst.

"NIU Live" Radio Show
Each week, join NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher, host Andy Garcia and Northern Illinois coaches, including men's basketball coach Ricardo Patton, for "NIU Live" on WSCR 670 AM The Score in Chicago. The 30-minute show features a weekly update with Huskie basketball coaches, as well as interviews with other NIU coaches and all the latest news from Northern Illinois athletics. This week's show will air on Thursday, Nov. 24 from 12-12:30 a.m.

Huskie All-Access
Fans across the country can hear all NIU live radio broadcasts, including basketball games and can watch every home men's and women's Northern Illinois basketall game live on Huskie All-Access at All-Access subscribers pay just $6.95/month or $49.95/year to receive all NIU radio game and show broadcasts, as well as all home men's and women's basketball, wrestling and other live action. Subscribers also have access to post-game press conferences and special video features.
Get all of the latest NIU Athletics news and information, statistics, press releases and more online every day at, the official athletics website for Northern Illinois University.

Key Links

NIU HEAD COACH Ricardo Patton
Ricardo Patton is in his fourth season at Northern Illinois and his 16th season as a collegiate head coach. Patton owns a 211-224 career record with a 27-64 mark in his fourth year at Northern Illinois.

Prior to his arrival at NIU, the Tennessee native spent 12 seasons as the head coach at the University of Colorado where he led the Buffaloes to six postseason appearances, including a pair of NCAA Tournament bids. Patton won 184 games at CU and ranks second all-time at the school in victories. Six of the school's nine postseason appearances occurred under Patton's leadership. He won 18 or more games six times and had four 20-plus win seasons.

Patton coached a pair of future NBA players at Colorado, including CU All-American and NBA All-Star Chauncey Billups.

The Belmont College ('80) graduate was a successful assistant coach at Colorado (1993-96), Tennessee State (1991-93), Arkansas-Little Rock (1990-91) and Middle Tennessee State (1989-90) before being elevated to interim and then permanent head coach at Colorado. During his time at both Tennessee State and Middle Tennessee State, the teams won an Ohio Valley Conference title.

Patton played two seasons of college basketball at Belmont where he earned All-America honors in his senior season. He was inducted into the Belmont Sports Hall of Fame.

Prior to beginning his coaching careeer, Patton worked for five years as a studio cameraman at CBS affiliate WTVF-TV in Nashville.

He is an avid golfer and holds a fifth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Patton's diverse interests include motorcycle riding and horseback riding. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two sons, Ricardo Jr. (21), an NIU graduate, and Michael (20), a senior on the Huskie basketball team.

Patton's emphasis on developing young people extends from the basketball court to the classroom and community. The basketball team's most recent Graduation Success Rate of 79 percent is 13 points higher than the national average for men's basketball.


The Match-Up
Northern Illinois makes its longest road trip of the season when it travels to Princess Anne, Md. to take on the Hawks of Maryland Eastern Shore in a return game after the Hawks' visit to NIU last December. NIU is looking to build on its first victory of the season, an 81-57 win over Cardinal Stritch at home last Sunday, while UMES is also coming off its first win of 2010-11, versus Kean (86-68) on Saturday. Catch the Northern Illinois ISP Sports Network broadcast of the game on WLBK AM 1360 in DeKalb.

About UMES
After opening the season with losses to Tulane (92-61), Columbia (108-74) and American (65-58), UMES broke into the win column with a 86-68 victory over Division III Kean last Saturday at home. The Hawks have three players averaging in double figure scoring in Kevin White (12.5 ppg), Dishawn Bradshaw (12.3) and Hillary Haley (11.3). UMES is being outscored by 13 points per game and out-rebounded by an 8.2 margin in its first four games. They are shooting at a 42.7 percent margin from the field.

Recapping Stritch
Xavier Silas scored a career high 34 points, shooting 6-of-9 on three-pointers, to lead Northern Illinois to its first win of the season, an 81-57 victory over Cardinal Stritch University, Sunday, Nov. 21 at the NIU Convocation Center. The Huskies started slowly before going to Silas on the offensive end and building a lead of as many as 19 points in the first half. NIU picked up its effort on the defensive end in the second half, holding Stritch to just 28.6 percent shooting and forcing 13 turnovers in the half.

The Last Meeting
Junior Xavier Silas scored 19 points and guard Darion "Jake" Anderson recorded his second double-double of the year with 15 points and 10 rebounds as the Huskies claimed a 87-69 victory over Maryland Eastern Shore on Dec. 22 at the NIU Convocation Center. The Hawks took an early 3-0 lead but then saw all five Huskie starters score during a 12-5 run in the game's first five minutes. Northern Illinois shot 62.5 percent from the field during the run and went on to lead 44-30 at halftime. UMES fought back, climbing within 10 points in the game's final five minutes, but the Huskies' 50-26 rebounding advantage was too much to overcome. NIU finished the game by hitting 48.5 percent of its field goal tries and had its season highs for points (87), steals (12) and field goal percentage in the game.

On the Road
NIU is looking for its first road victory of the season in Maryland after falling to Bradley, 66-63, in its only previous road game of the year. Last season, Northern Illinois went 3-13 on the road with all three of its road wins coming in January. The Huskies will play 15 road games and 14 home games in 2010-11.

Coaching Connection
The Hawks are coached by Frankie Allen, one of Ricardo Patton's mentors in the collegiate coaching business. Patton spent two seasons on Allen's staff at Tennessee State in 1991-9 and 1992-93. As a member of Allen's staff, Patton helped bring future NBA star Carlos Rogers to the Tigers.

MAC Honor
NIU senior Xavier Silas picked up Northern Illinois' first Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week honor of the season on Monday after scoring 56 points in the Huskies' games against Bradley and Cardinal Stritch last week. Silas scored a career-high 34 points in just 24 minutes of action versus Cardinal Stritch on Sunday as he made 11-of-17 field goals overall and six-of-nine shots from three-point range. The Austin, Texas native scored 22 points in just 25 minutes in the Huskies' narrow 66-63 loss at Bradley last Tuesday while hitting seven of his 11 field goal attempts and all six of his free throws. He added six rebounds in that game and totaled 10 for the week. In the two games, Silas shot 64.3 percent from the field (18-of-28) and 57.1 percent from three-point range (57.1 percent).

Free Throw Streak
NIU senior Xavier Silas has started the season a perfect 24-of-24 from the free throw line in three games and he is working on a string of 38 straight free throws made dating back to last year's penultimate game versus Toledo (March 4, 2010). Silas made his last nine free throws versus Toledo beginning with 31 seconds left in the first half. He then hit all five of his tries in the MAC Tournament first-round game at Eastern Michigan. This year, he went 12-of-12 from the line versus Northwestern and hit all six of his tries at Bradley and versus Stritch. The Northern Illinois record for consecutive free throws made in a season is 33 (by Todd Peterson in 2005-06) but there does not appear to be a record for consecutive free throws made in a career.

New Starters
Northern Illinois opened the Cardinal Stritch game with its first "new" starting line-up of 2010-11 as freshman Kyree Jones and sophomore Tony Nixon started the game in the backcourt. Jones started for the first time in his career and finished the contest with five points and a career-high three assists. Nixon started five games a year ago.

What Adjustment?
Jones was not the only freshman in the starting line-up last Sunday as Nate Rucker started his third straight game at forward. So far, Rucker has made the adjustment to college basketball look easy as the Huskies' 6-6, 245-pound rookie is averaging 9.3 points and seven rebounds per game through the first three games. He ranks tied for seventh in the MAC in rebounding and is fourth in the league in field goal percentage. Rucker recorded his first career double-double in his second career game as the Memphis native scored 14 points and led NIU with 10 rebounds at Bradley.

Charity Stripe Turnaround
A year ago, Northern Illinois shot just 64.6 percent from the free throw line (445-of-689) as eight of the 12 players with more than two free throw attempts on the season hit less than 60 percent from the line. In 2009-10, NIU ranked 290th in the country and 11th in the MAC in free throw percentage despite Xavier Silas' 81.1 percent mark which ranked fourth in the league. So far in 2010-11, the Huskies have turned that performance around. Not only is Silas one of the national leaders with a perfect 100 percent mark, Northern Illinois leads the MAC's team free throw rankings at 75 percent (54-of-72).

Silas Starts Strong
Northern Illinois senior Xavier Silas has picked up where he left off a year ago as he is averaging 27.0 points per game to lead the Mid-American Conference in the early-going. Silas ranked second in the MAC in 2009-10 with 19.7 points per game and was a preseason all-league pick this year. Silas has scored 25, 22 and 34 points in NIU's three games this year. Silas scored 25 or more points in six games a year ago, hit the 20-point mark 12 times and scored in double figures 22 times in 25 games played. He scored 493 points in 2009-10 despite missing five games due to a hand injury suffered in the season opener.

In addition to his free throw streak and perfect (24-of-24) mark this season, Silas made 159-of-196 free throws last year to rank fourth on the NIU charts for free throws made in a season and 10th in free throws attempted. His 81.1 shooting percentage from the free throw line last year ranks 12th on the single season list. Silas` top single game free throw shooting performance last year was a 15-for-15 effort at Ball State to set the NIU single game record. The 12-for-12 game at Northwestern tied for fifth on the top single game performances list.

Hall on the Boards
Huskie point guard Bryan Hall helped lead a dominating effort on the boards for Northern Illinois at Bradley with a career-best seven rebounds. Hallaveraged only 1.0 rebound per game a year ago. Northern Illinois out-rebounded the Braves by a 46-32 margin.

Nixon Steps Up
With NIU leading scorer Xavier Silas on the bench for 13 minutes in the first half at Bradley, sophomore Tony Nixon stepped up to make four-of-six field goals and score nine of his 11 points in the half to fill the scoring role for the Huskies. Nixon hit double figures for the fourth time in his career and tied his career high with three assists on the night.

Silas a Senior CLASS Candidate
Xavier Silas has been named one of just 30 candidates for the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for men's basketball. The award honors seniors playing Division I basketball who have demonstrated high achievement in the areas of community, classroom, character and competition throughout their collegiate careers.

New Faces
NIU's 2010-11 roster features six new names and the debut of a redshirt freshman. The Huskies added junior college transfers Tim Toler and Cameron Madlock along with freshmen Nate Rucker, Aksel Bolin and Kyree Jones, with non-scholarship player Tre Edwards the most recent addition. Redshirt freshman Antone Christian has seen his first collegiate action this year.

Full Roster
With forward Cameron Madlock set to return from a foot injury, Huskie head coach Ricardo Patton will have a full roster to work with against UMES. The 6-9, 215-pound forward sat out the Huskies' last two games after playing 14 minutes versus Northwestern. Meanwhile, Lee Fisher continues to see more time after missing most of the preseason with an ankle injury. Kyree Jones did not play in the preseason and Nate Rucker is still not at 100 percent after breaking his leg in a high school playoff game in Tennessee last year.

Near and Far
The Huskies' 2010-11 roster is made up of players from near and far with four in-state products - Lee Fisher, Bryan Hall, Tyler Storm and Tony Nixon - and five players from the neighboring states of Indiana (Kyree Jones, Tim Toler) and Wisconsin (Jeremy Landers, Cameron Madlock, Tre Edwards). At the other end of the spectrum are Aksel Bolin, from Asker, Norway, Texas native Xavier Silas and Colorado's Michael Patton.

Tennessee Ties
Northern Illinois' current roster includes a pair of players from Ricardo Patton's home state of Tennessee in freshman Antone Christian (Nashville) and Nate Rucker (Memphis). Patton is from the Nashville area, attended Belmont College in Tennessee and coached in the state. The Tennessee connection continues next year as one of two signees for 2011-12 is from the Volunteer state.

Tremendous Attendance
A crowd of 4,001 saw the Huskies tussle with Northwestern in the 2010-11 season opener, marking the largest basketball crowd at the NIU Convocation Center since 2005, when NIU and Kansas State played a 75-70 overtime game in front of 5,389.

Newest Huskies
Northern Illinois signed a pair of players for 2011-12 on Nov. 10. Zach Miller, a 5-9 guard from Glenbard East High School in Chicago, and DeAndre Barnette, a 6-4 wing from Liberty Tech in Jackson, Tenn., inked with the Huskies following successful junior seasons at their respective schools and equally as impressive summers. Miller helped lead the Rams to the Class 4A sectional final as a junior as he averaged 14.1 points, 3.1 steals and 7.2 assists per game. He was the DuPage Valley Conference Player of the Year. Barnette led Liberty Tech to the Tennessee Class 2A title game and was named to the all-tournament team at the state tourney.

Toler's Touch
Junior college transfer Tim Toler had an impressive debut as the 6-7, 270-pound forward made five-of-seven shots and totaled 12 points in 26 minutes of action versus Northwestern. Toler's touch around the basket is not a surprise, he made 37 percent of his threes at Danville Area C.C. and shot 77 percent from the line.

Challenging Slate
Northern Illinois will face six opponents that played in the 2010 postseason with games against NCAA Tournament participants Temple (Dec. 18), Missouri (Dec. 27) and Ohio (Feb. 5) along with National Invitation Tournament (NIT) teams Kent State (Feb. 12) and Northwestern. Akron earned a trip to the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) last year.

It's About the Kids
On Oct. 29, the Huskie Men's Basketball team took part in one of its favorite community service activities of the year as a prime attraction of the "Kishwaukee YMCA Spooky Sports Halloween Party" held at the NIU Convocation Center. An estimated crowd of 4-5,000 people - children and their parents - attended the free event, during which the NIU basketball team was on the floor shooting with the kids and showing them some basic basketball skills. It's the second straight year that the men's basketball team has helped "host" the Halloween event, which also featured games, a haunted house and trick or treating stations.

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