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Basketball Tipoff: NIU vs Northwestern Preview/Game Thread

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Fightinghuskie_medium @ 9izzm3t906blvpja8jhl_medium

NORTHERN ILLINOIS (0-0) VS. NORTHWESTERN (0-0) (-14)
Opponent Blog:
Sippin' On Purple

Match-Up At-a-Glance
Arena (Capacity): Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,117)
Tip-off: 7 p.m. Central Standard Time
Radio: Northern Illinois ISP Sports Network (Flagship WLBK, 1360, DeKalb)
Television: BigTenNetwork.com
Live Stats: NIUHuskies.com/NUSports.com (Gametracker)
Social Media Coverage: Twitter.com/NIUAthletics; Twitter.com/MACMBBall
Series Record/Streak: Northwestern leads, 7-2; L1

Official Game Notes

I really, really don't know what to expect from the Huskies tonight. Now that there's a few extra days between football games, we can focus on NIU Men's Basketball a bit more. The "X Factor" will be the debut of Xavier Silas, Patton's prized recruit as a transfer from Colorado. Also, Northwestern's best player in Forward Kevin Coble will be out of the game with a foot injury.

Coble has lead NU in rebounding and scoring each of his first three years and is the Big 10's active leading scorer with 1,205 pts. This, along with the graduation of G Craig Moore (14.3 ppg LY) makes this team very different than the one the year before. Drew Crawford out of Naperville Central is expected to start as a true freshman.

This game is very important for the Wildcats, because some believe this can be the team that will make it to the NCAA Tourney for the first time in school history. A loss to NIU will probably not look good in the selection committee's eyes come March.

Here are the projected lineups (2008-09 Stats) apologies for formatting hell:

Northern Illinois

No. NAME POS HT. WT. YR. HOMETOWN PPG RPG MIN
32 Darion "Jake" Anderson G 6-2 202 Jr. Chicago, Ill. 16.9 5.4 31.5
11 Mike DiNunno G 5-11 188 So. Chicago, Ill. 11.9 2.6* 29.5
13 Xavier Silas G 6-5 201 Jr. Austin, Texas First Season at NIU
2 Najul Ervin F 6-5 219 Sr. Memphis, Tenn. 3.4 4.5 19.1
41 Sean Kowal C 6-11 248 Jr. St. Louis, Mo. 9.4 5.2 25.9

Northwestern

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown Pts. Reb. Ast.
22 Michael Thompson G 5-10 Jr. Chicago, Ill. 9.9 1.9 3.7
23 Jeremy Nash G 6-4 Sr. Chicago, Ill. 3.5 2.2 1.1
1 Drew Crawford G/F 6-5 Fr. Naperville, Ill. — — —
24 John Shurna F 6-8 So. Glen Ellyn, Ill. 7.3 3.0 1.0
12 Luka Mirkovic F/C 6-11 So. Belgrade, Serbia 3.9 3.2 1.5

Extra reading material: