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NIU men's basketball seniors honored on senior night

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Posted: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 11:23 pm

Everything seemed to be in the right place Wednesday evening at the NIU Convocation Center.

It was Senior Night for the Huskie men's basketball team.

Wearing their NIU jumpsuits, seniors http://www.niuhuskies.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/landers_jeremy00.html" target="_blank">Jeremy Landers and http://www.niuhuskies.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/patton_michael00.html" target="_blank">Michael Patton walked with family members toward Athletic Director Jeff Compher, where they were greeted with a framed jersey and a standing ovation.

Of course, they saved the best for last. NIU guard http://www.niuhuskies.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/silas_xavier00.html" target="_blank">Xavier Silas walked with his mother and father, Vanessa and James, to accept his cased jersey from Compher. Except, unlike Landers and Patton, Silas wasn't in his pre-game Huskie get-up. Instead, he was wearing a Huskie-red blazer and a black tie and suit.

The seventh-ranked scorer in the nation, with 22.3 points a game, didn't get the OK to play in his last home game, as he's still recovering from an ankle injury.

After Silas shook hands with Compher, the four "X-MEN," Silas' fan club, cheered, "thank you X, thank you X."

Exactly what were they thanking him for?

Was it for the two seasons he poured his heart into?

Could it have been the 43 times in 49 games he scored in double figures?

Or was it for literally carrying an NIU team that didn't have the supporting cast around him to succeed?

For whatever reason, those four Huskie fans were grateful, as were the other 1,231 in attendance, who didn't join in on the chorus of praise and instead clapped and cheered in their own way.

For a player that's been so decorated and well-perceived as being humble about his talents, you'd think Silas would garner a sardine-like pack of fans to the Convocation Center on the night he was being honored.

Instead, it was just another typical home-court night for NIU at the Convo, as some sections were barely filled in.

Silas has been bestowed a lot of praise since transferring from Colorado two seasons ago. He received the same praise, despite not playing Wednesday night, from the small crowd that came out.

But for a player that is supposedly so loved, the fan base sure had a strange way of showing it for the two years he was here.

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