Men’s basketball start preseason practice

By Michael Urbanec

The men’s basketball team is back on the court for practice for the first time since March, when they suffered an early exit in the Mid-American Conference tournament.

The Huskies got bounced by Kent State in a 61-59 heartbreaker but aim to right the ship this season after going 13-19 and finishing last in the MAC last season.

Head Coach Mark Montgomery said the team wants to establish its identity early this season.

“We have to make sure we’re better on the defensive end,” Montgomery said. “It’s a new year; we have to establish ourselves.”

NIU returns three starters from last year’s backcourt, including All-MAC second team junior Eugene German, who led the MAC with 20.6 points per game.

Also returning are senior guard Dante Thorpe and sophomore guard Gairges Daow. Thorpe flashed the ability to be a do-it-all guard, averaging 10.1 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game and 1.8 assists per game while shooting over 50 percent from the field and 69 percent from the free throw line.

“I think we have a good mixture of young guys heading into the season,” Montgomery said.

“We really look forward to an exciting season and getting people to the Convo to see what we offer.”

The first basketball game will take place Nov. 6 in DeKalb against Rockford, the time has yet to be determined.