Scoring needs to come in other areas for Huskies

By Brian Thomas

Someone needs to step up and score some points for NIU men’s basketball.

The Huskies are in desperate need of another scorer, as they’ve had low-point production all season.

NIU averages just 55 points per game, which is only better than Eastern Michigan, who averages 52.7 points per game.

The Huskies season-high in points came when they scored 79 points against Central Michigan. There have been seven occasions when NIU was unable to even put up 50 points.

A reason for the lack of scoring has been the Huskies’ poor shooting this season. NIU has the worst shooting percentage and free throw percentage in the MAC, shooting just 36 percent from the field, while shooting 65 percent from the free throw line.

The Huskies are also second to last in the MAC in three-point shooting, as they shoot 29 percent from behind the arc.

On top of their poor shooting this season, the Huskies lost their top scorer, senior Tim Toler, who led the team in scoring with 10.8 points per game, due to a rule violation.

Without Toler, the Huskies have become a one-dimensional team, not being able to get the ball inside and relying solely on jump-shots and three-point shooting. Based on their poor shooting percentage, they can’t afford to do that and need to get the ball inside more.

This is where both Keith and Kevin Gray need to step up and score more points for the Huskies. If they can learn to stay out of foul trouble, they could fill that whole left by Toler and provide some offense in the post for NIU.

Since the departure of Toler, the Huskies have really relied on freshman Abdel Nader to score and carry the load offensively. Nader is NIU’s leading scorer by averaging 10.3 points per game. After Nader, there is a noticeable drop-off in production, as the next highest scorer is sophomore Aksel Bolin, at just 5.4 points per game.

Keith and redshirt sophomore Antone Christian are next in line as they average 5.2 and 5.1 points, respectively.

The bottom line is simple; one of these young players needs to step up and help Nader on offense.

But for now, the Huskies will have to wait for that second scorer to emerge.