Huskies to Host SIU Edwardsville Wednesday Night

GO HUSKIES Sam Mader made his first career start last time out against Dayton
GO HUSKIES
Sam Mader made his first career start last time out against Dayton
GO HUSKIES

Dec. 4, 2012

Game Notes in PDF Get Acrobat Reader

Northern Illinois Huskies (1-5, 0-0 MAC) vs. SIU Edwardsville Cougars (2-3, 0-0 OVC)
Date / Time: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 / 7 p.m. CT
Site: NIU Convocation Center • DeKalb, Ill.
Radio: WLBK 1360-AM, 98.9-FM in DeKalb, Ill. • WJOL 1340-AM in Joliet, Ill. • WRMN 1410-AM in Elgin, Ill. • Huskie All-Access
Live Video: Huskie All-Access
Live Stats: NIUHuskies.com
Twitter Updates: @NIUscores
All-time Series: Tied, 1-1
Last meeting: Feb. 18, 2012 • SIUE 64-62

Orange Bowl Pep Rally Scheduled for Wednesday's Basketball Game

A LOOK AT THE 2012-13 SEASON
Akeem Springs leads the Huskies in scoring averaging 10.3 points per game.
Aksel Bolin is the leading rebounder for NIU; Bolin is pulling down 5.2 boards per contest.
• Freshmen have played 64.7 percent of the minutes this season for NIU; sophomores have added another 18.1 percent of the minutes.
Travon Baker leads the Huskies with 16 steals, Baker ranks third in the nation in steals among freshmen (2.67 per game).
• 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 Rakocevic) 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).

WHAT’S TRENDING
Travon Baker is coming off a career-high 17 points and a career-best tying four steals against Dayton.
Sam Mader made his first career start last time out against Dayton, Mader had his second three-block game against the Flyers.
Akeem Springs has had at least one steal in each of the last four games.
Antone Christian has missed the last four games due to a foot injury.

THE EXPERIENCE TRACKER
• Developed by StatSheet.com, “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 (1.56), behind only Arkansas-Little Rock (1.27) and Texas (1.410).
• See page five for a complete chart of the nation’s least experienced teams.

BAKER AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS IN STEALS
• NIU’s Travon Baker is currently third in the nation in steals among freshmen with 2.67 steals per game.
• Texas Tech’s Josh Gray is the nation’s freshman steals leader (3.4) while Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel ranks second (3.0).
• Baker also leads the MAC in steals per game; Miami’s Quinten Rollins is second at 2.5 per contest.
• Baker is currently tied for 27th overall nationally; LSU’s Anthony Hickey leads the country at 4.4 steals per contest.

WHAT’S BACK FOR NIU
• 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).

ABOUT SIU EDWARDSVILLE
• The Cougars are 2-3 overall on the season and are coming off a 71-57 victory over Chicago State this past Saturday (Dec. 1).
• Jerome James is the leading scorer for SIU Edwardsville averaging 17.3 points per game.
• The Cougars are in their first season as a full NCAA Division I member having completed their transition from Division II. SIUE is now eligible for Ohio Valley and NCAA postseason play.
• SIU Edwardsville was picked to finish fourth in the Ohio Valley Conference’s West Division in the preseason conference poll. Mark Yelovich was picked to the preseason All-OVC team.

ALL-TIME SERIES
• The all-time series between NIU and SIU Edwardsville is tied, 1-1.
• The Huskies won the first meeting, 90-69, on Dec. 9, 1985 in DeKalb.
• NIU and SIUE met last season as part of the ESPN BracketBusters, the Cougars earned a 64-62 victory on Feb. 18, 2012 in Edwardsville.  

THE LAST MEETING
• Northern Illinois and SIU Edwardsville were pitted against each other as part of last season’s ESPN BracketBuster.
• Mark Yelovich sank a turnaround jumper from the baseline as time expired to give the Cougars a 64-62 victory. Yelovich finished with 22 points
Abdel Nader led NIU with 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Tony Nixon also added 12 points off the bench for the Huskies.

AGAINST THE OVC
• Northern Illinois has a 52-50 record all-time against current members of the Ohio Valley Conference.
• Most of those 102 meetings against the OVC have come against Eastern Illinois (88, NIU leads 45-43). NIU has not played another OVC member more than four times (Tennessee State).
• The Huskies have never met four current members of the Ohio Valley: Jacksonville State, Morehead State, Murray State and Tennessee-Martin.

DAYTON RECAP
• NIU fell at Dayton, 60-43, in front of a crowd of 12,637, the largest of the season for the Huskies.
Travon Baker scored a career-high 17 points, 14 of which came in the second half. Baker was 5-of-7 from the field and 7-of-9 from the free-throw line. He also added four rebounds, four steals and two assists.
• Baker became the fourth different player to lead NIU in scoring this season.
• NIU attempted just 10 3-point field goals against Dayton, the fewest during Mark Montgomery’s tenure at NIU.
• Dayton’s 18 turnovers tied for the most by a Huskie opponent during the Mark Montgomery era.
Sam Mader made the first start of his collegiate career, becoming the fourth NIU freshman to start a game this season.  Mader finished with three blocks, tying a career-high.
Aksel Bolin made the 30-straight start of his career.

UIC RECAP
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.

OF NOTE…
• 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.

THE PRESEASON PICKS
• 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.