Men’s basketball puts an end to a tough season

By Brian Earle

Year one of the Mark Montgomery era as NIU men’s basketball’s head coach didn’t get off to a good start, and year two was no different.

The Huskies (5-25, 3-13 MAC) suffered their seventh consecutive 20-loss season. This is their second 20-loss season with Montgomery at the helm.

In conference play this season, the Huskies finished last in the MAC West Division and tied for last in the MAC overall with Miami (Ohio).

In his two seasons at NIU, Montgomery has posted an overall record of 10-51 and a conference record of 6-26.

These are not the results NIU was hoping for when it signed Montgomery as head coach, nor the results Montgomery envisioned for the Huskies.

If the Huskies want to turn things around, I believe it starts with Montgomery himself.

While he is a strong-minded defensive coach, the former Michigan State assistant needs to change the philosophy on offense.

Defensively this season, the Huskies were the No. 3 team in the MAC in scoring defense, allowing just 62.8 points per game.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Huskies ranked dead last in points scored per game, scoring 54 points per game and near the bottom of every offensive category.

Earlier this season against Eastern Michigan, the Huskies set the NCAA record for fewest points scored in a half when they scored four points on one made field goal.

Under the current offensive philosophy, the Huskies will continue to be unsuccessful and struggle to put points on the board.

The Huskies show no sign of urgency on offense, as they are content to hold the ball and shoot to many 3-pointers. Montgomery needs to allow them to attack the basket and be more creative with the ball.

They need to get the ball inside and get to the free-throw line, where they have a better chance to score points.

If Montgomery is not able to fix the Huskies problem, they will be well on their way to their eighth consecutive 20-loss season and more than likely looking for a new men’s basketball head coach.