Kansas State waiting for Huskie roadshow

By Jeff Kirik

It would be an understatement to say the odds are against the NIU men’s basketball team tonight.

The 6-18 Huskies will take the court against the 15-7 Kansas State Wildcats tonight at 7:35. NIU is coming off a 92-84 road loss to SIU while KSU, which has been ranked in the nation’s top-20 much of the season, has dropped three consecutive contests.

NIU coach Jim Rosborough said he knows KSU will be ready to play after the trio of losses, but said he also looks at the game as a chance for his team to prove something.

“It is a great opportunity for us—against a team that’s probably going to go to the NCAA’s—to go in and play well.

“They’ll be irritated. They’ll be mad because they’ve lost three in a row.”

All-American candidate Mitch Richmond heads the Wildcats with a 24 points-per-game average. Among the 6-foot-5 forward’s top performances is a recent 41-point barrage against Oklahoma.

Last year, KSU visited the Huskies at the Rockford MetroCentre and took home an 81-79 win. Richmond scored 20 points for KSU, which needed a layup by William Scott with six seconds remaining to seal the win. Rodney Davis led NIU with 24 points.

Rosborough said the key to the game should be NIU’s ability to control the pace and its ability to hit the perimeter shot.

“We’ve got some people who can shoot it,” he said. “They’re going to play a 2-3 zone against us. I don’t think it will be as uptempo a game as this (Saturday’s SIU game).”

NIU’s senior guards Davis and Randy Norman have led the Huskies in scoring most of the season. Once again the senior duet will have to play a big role in the game if the Huskies are to stay in the game with the explosive Wildcats. Norman, Davis and sophomore guard Brett Andricks will be faced with the task of busting KSU’s strong zone defense.

The Huskies have been weak on the road in 1987-88, winning only one of their 11 games away from home. That win was an 80-78 win over Drake Jan. 2.