Whiteside’s 23 points ices win

By Jeff Kirik

GLEN ELLYN, Ill.—If the NIU men’s basketball players accomplished nothing else here Thursday, they at least should be in better shape.

With a depleted unit of 11 players to work with, new NIU coach Jim Molinari brought his Huskies back to his alma mater—Glenbard West High School—for a preseason intrasquad scrimmage. And when the final buzzer sounded, a Donald Whiteside-led group wearing white jerseys had claimed a 64-46 win over Donnell Thomas and his red shirts.

Both teams showed signs of weariness as a result of a limited number of substitutions. The lack of players even forced a student manager to suit up. The situation was not helped by the fact that the team had practiced earlier in the day and that only three timeouts were called in the contest.

The 5-10 Whiteside was one of the few Huskies who seemed unaffected by the extra conditioning. The junior point guard, turned in the night’s top performance, scoring 18 of his game-high 23 points in the second half. Whiteside was especially effective in the final period when he consistently broke free for long-range bombs. He nailed four three-point shots in the game.

“Donald did a good job tonight,” said Molinari, who watched the game while assistant Rob Judson coached the white team and Bill Harris and DeWayne Kelly guided the red crew. “He ran the offense well for the white team, and he took good shots within the offense.”

The game might have been a good indicator of what to expect from the Huskies this year as Molinari’s Big Three—Whiteside, Thomas and Antwon Harmon—each played a large role in the game.

Thomas, a junior forward, used a variety of medium-range shots to tally a red-team-high 21 points. He was the only player to reach double figures on a squad that consisted of Thomas, Andrew Wells, Stacy Arrington, David Mitchell and Randy Fens.

armon, meanwhile, owned the area around the key, sinking several free-throw-line jumpers on his way to 15 points. Mike Hidden, who is academically ineligible for the fall semester, also contributed 15 points for the winning group, which was rounded out by Brent Varner, Mike Beck and Phil Leib.

A reception was held at the Glen Ellyn Holiday Inn before the game, during which Molinari spoke to members of the DuPage County chapter of the HUSKIES Athletic Association.