Hoop squad prepares for a tough holiday


A much needed Christmas break is just around the corner for the majority of NIU students, but as we hop in our cars and head for home, the men’s basketball team will be preparing for a holiday schedule that could make for an unhappy new year.

The Huskies are 1-1 with a cup cake win over Div. III Aurora (93-77) and a humiliating loss (80-57) to a Kent State squad which is picked to finish eighth in the Mid-American Conference.

The Huskies kick the holiday schedule off by hosting Akron, a team which head coach Brian Hammel is 0-2 against and then traveling up to Minnesota to take on Moorhead State on Christmas eve.

If the Huskies don’t get their early season rebounding and shooting problems straightened out between now and Dec. 28 when Marquette rolls into town, then the doghouse could be the scene of a slaughter.

Marquette (2-1) is averaging eight more rebounds a game than their opponents, has held their opponents under 40 percent from the field and has shot 50 percent from the field so far this season.

When the Huskies get done with Marquette, NIU will travel to the south side of Chicago and lock horns with a feisty Chicago State squad (0-2) which doesn’t appear to be any cake walk.

On Jan. 5 the Huskies will play their first game of the new year against Texas A&M (1-1) in the doghouse.

The Aggies are yet another team on the Huskies schedule that are not that good on paper but have the potential to cause the Huskies headaches.

The Huskies only have three days after the A&M game to get ready for the start of the Mid-Continent Conference schedule.

On the 8th, conference powerhouse UIC (1-1) will be in town and the Huskies will need plenty of water to keep the Flames from catching fire and scorching the Huskies’ hopes of winning a conference title.

After hosting the Flames, the Huskies travel to Green Bay to take on UW-GB.

The Phoenix are 1-2 on the season with their two losses against Purdue and Wake Forest, both Top 25 teams.

The Huskies finish the holiday schedule at Valparaiso on the 15th looking to avenge the first round conference tournament loss dealt to them last year by the Crusaders.