Huskies to Visit Dayton Saturday

GO HUSKIES Aksel Bolin and the Huskies face Dayton for the second time in school history
Aksel Bolin and the Huskies face Dayton for the second time in school history

Nov. 30, 2012

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Northern Illinois Huskies (1-4, 0-0 MAC) at Dayton Flyers (4-2, 0-0 Atlantic 10)
Date / Time: Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 / 8 p.m. CT (7 p.m. CT)
Site: UD Arena • Dayton, Ohio
Radio: WLBK 1360-AM, 98.9-FM in DeKalb, Ill. • Huskie All-Access
Television: WHIO (locally in Dayton -- video available at
Live Stats:
Twitter Updates: @NIUscores
All-time Series: Dayton leads 1-0
Last meeting: Feb. 15, 1967 • Dayton 101-60

Akeem Springs leads the Huskies in scoring averaging 10.6 points per game. Springs has scored in double figures twice this season.
Aksel Bolin is the leading rebounder for NIU; Bolin is pulling down 5.6 boards per contest.
Sam Mader is shooting a team-best 58.6 percent from the field, third-best in the Mid-American Conference.
• Freshmen have played 63.6 percent of the minutes this season for NIU; sophomores have added another 19.0 percent of the minutes.
Daveon Balls leads NIU with 11 assists.
Travon Baker leads the Huskies with 12 steals.
• 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 had never played a Division I game until this season (Brandon Hayes).
• NIU made its first appearance in the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon, playing Valparaiso at 7 a.m. CT on Tuesday, Nov. 13. The Huskies were 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).

Akeem Springs is averaging 12.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game over the last three games.
• After grabbing just one rebound in the season opener, Aksel Bolin is averaging 6.8 rebounds per game over the last three games.
Darrell Bowie has scored a new career-high in each of the last three games.  
Sam Mader is 12-of-18 (66.7 percent) from the field in the last three contests. Mader is also shooting 75.0 percent from the free-throw line during that stretch while averaging 10.3 points per game.  
Aksel Bolin has had two steals in each of the last three games.

• Developed by, “The Experience Tracker” looks at the experience per minute played by every team in the country.
• Each team’s number is generated by taking the sum of minutes each player plays, multiplied by their class (1-freshmen, 2-sophomores, 3-juniors, 4-seniors) divided by the total of team minutes.
• Northern Illinois is currently the third-least experienced team in the country (1.57), behind only Arkansas-Little Rock (1.27) and Texas (1.41).
• See page five for a complete chart of the nation’s least experienced teams.

• Northern Illinois leads the MAC in defensive rebounding percentage (79.7 percent).
• The Huskies are second in the MAC in rebounding defense (30.0), rebounding margin (+5.4) and defensive rebounding percentage (77.8 percent).
• NIU ranks third in the MAC in steals per game (9.0).
Sam Mader ranks third in the league (58.6 percent) in field goal percentage.
Travon Baker is currently tied for third in steals per game (2.4). Ohio’s D.J. Cooper leads the conference with 2.7 steals per contest.
Aksel Bolin ranks 13th in the MAC in rebounding (5.6).
Daveon Balls is currently 13th in the MAC in assists (2.8) and tied for 15th in 3-point field goal percentage (40.0 percent).

• 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).

• Under second-year head coach Archie Miller, the Flyers have a 4-2 record. Dayton took fifth-place at the Charleston Classic, defeating Boston College and Auburn, but is coming off a 62-61 home loss to Weber State.
• Kevin Dillard is averaging 15.7 points per game, leading four Flyers averaging in double figures. Dillard began his collegiate career at Southern Illinois.
• The Flyers went 20-13 last season and earned a bid into the NIT.
• Dayton was picked to finish eighth in the preseason Atlantic 10 poll, Kevin Dillard was a preseason first team all-league selection.

• NIU’s Brandon Hayes and Dayton’s Kevin Dillard both attended Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Homewood, Ill.
• Huskie assistant coach Jon Borovich spent four seasons as an assistant coach (2007-11) and two seasons as Director of Basketball Operations (2003-05) at Dayton.

• The Huskies and Flyers have met just once prior to Saturday, a 101-60 Dayton victory on Feb. 15, 1967 in Dayton.

• NIU brings a 9-20 all-time record against current members of the Atlantic 10 into Saturday’s contest.
• Saturday’s game with Dayton is the first of two games against Atlantic 10 schools this season for the Huskies. NIU will host Massachusetts on Dec. 29.
• The last time NIU played an Atlantic 10 opponent was on Dec. 18, 2010, an 84-74 loss at Temple.
• NIU’s last victory against the A-10 came on Nov. 25, 2006, an 85-74 home victory over Duquesne.
• The most common A-10 foe for NIU is Butler, the Huskies have a 3-6 all-time record against the Bulldogs.
• There are five schools from the Atlantic 10 (Fordham, George Washington, Rhode Island, Richmond and Saint Louis) that NIU has never played.

Sam Mader scored a team-high 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting, and 4-of-5 from the charity stripe, in a 58-46 home loss to UIC.
Darrell Bowie scored a career-best six points.
• The Huskies outrebounded the Flames, 36-34.
• The NIU bench outscored the UIC bench, 28-4.

• NIU dropped a 53-46 decision to the Ramblers on Nov. 24 at the NIU Convocation Center.
• The Huskies held Loyola to just 16 first half points, NIU didn’t allow a point in the final eight minutes of the half.
Akeem Springs led NIU in scoring for the second-straight game, Springs finished with 15 points while also grabbing a career-high six rebounds.
• NIU changed its starting lineup for the first time this season, inserting Daveon Balls for Travon Baker.
Daveon Balls dished out a career-best four assists with no turnovers in his first career start.
Tony Nixon saw his first action of the season against Loyola, playing 10 minutes off the bench.
• The Huskies were outrebounded for the first time this season, losing the battle on the boards, 34-31.
Darrell Bowie scored a career-high five points.

• 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.

• 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.



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