2012-2013 Season Preview: Northern Illinois

Filed under Season Preview on November 8th, 2012
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The 2012-2013 season kicks off for Northern Illinois basketball on November 9 against Nebraska-Omaha. Expectations are for the Huskies to match last season's performance. They keep a group that played 60% of last season's minutes and will look to make up the rest with the contributions of seven incoming freshmen.

The biggest gap for Northern Illinois to fill will be on the offensive side, as the team lost 52.9% of their assists. After that comes three-point shooting, where they drop 43.2%.

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Last season, Northern Illinois finished with a final overall record of 4-25 and placed 12th in the MAC West with a conference record of 3-13. The Huskies would go on to lose to Western Michigan 71-54 in the MAC tournament. Northern Illinois will feel the loss of last year's seniors Tim Toler (23 minutes per game), Tyler Storm (14 MPG), and DeMarcus Grady (4 MPG). The Huskies will also have to get by without Marquavese Ford (18 MPG), Zach Miller (18 MPG), Stian Berg (17 MPG), Jeremiah Jackson (4 MPG), and DeAndre Barnette (3 MPG), who left the team.

Returning for the Huskies are junior Aksel Bolin (1.3 assists/game), sophomore Abdel Nader (10.4 points/game), sophomore Kevin Gray (2.8 points/game), senior Tony Nixon (5.5 points/game), and junior Antone Christian (5.2 points/game).

The Huskies get incoming freshmen including 6-3 Akeem Springs, 5-10 Travon Baker, 6-6 Darrell Bowie, 6-1 Daveon Balls, 6-9 Sam Mader, and 6-1 J.J. Cravatta. Also joining the team are 6-4 senior Brandon Hayes and 6-11 junior Pete Rakocevic (transferred from Sacramento State). The first MAC game for Northern Illinois is at Miami (OH) on January 9th.

Season Preview Notes:
  • Since 2002, Northern Illinois has an overall winning percentage of 34.4%.
  • The Huskies have an average conference finish of 7.6 over the last 5 seasons. Over the past 16 the team has an average finish of 5.5.
  • The average final RPI (last year) of opponents on this year's schedule is 191.6.
  • This year's opponent with the highest RPI from last year is Ohio (#44).
  • This year's opponent with the lowest RPI from last year is Loyola (Chicago) (#308).
  • The last time Northern Illinois returned more than 61% of the team's statistical production was 2009-2010.

Tags: Tim Toler, Tyler Storm, DeMarcus Grady, Marquavese Ford, Zach Miller, Stian Berg, Jeremiah Jackson, DeAndre Barnette, Aksel Bolin, Abdel Nader, Kevin Gray, Tony Nixon, Antone Christian, Akeem Springs, Travon Baker, Darrell Bowie, Daveon Balls, Sam Mader, J.J. Cravatta, Mike Davis, Brandon Hayes, Pete Rakocevic

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Season Preview: NIU should not be significantly better or worse than last year. Read our Season Preview
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MAC Standings

OverallConf
1 Toledo 27-7 14-4
1 WMU 23-10 14-4
3 Buffalo 19-10 13-5
4 Akron 21-13 12-6
5 Ohio 25-12 11-7
6 Emich 22-15 10-8
 7NIU 15-17 8-10
7 Miami (OH) 13-18 8-10
9 Kent State 16-16 7-11
10 Bowling Green 12-20 6-12
11 CMU 10-21 3-15
12 Ball State 5-25 2-16
Last updated: Apr 10th, 2014

2013-2014 Roster

#23 Aaric Armstead Fr G 6-5 190
#2 Aaron Armstead Jr G 6-4 195
#5 Travon Baker So G 5-10 160
#11 Daveon Balls So G 6-0 170
#32 Aksel Bolin Sr G/F 6-7 220
#10 Darrell Bowie So G/F 6-6 220
#3 A. Christian Sr G 6-2 205
#15 J.J. Cravatta So G 6-1 185
#21 Keith Gray Jr F 6-8 225
#13 Kevin Gray Jr F 6-8 225
#4 D. Highsmith Fr G 6-2 190
#33 Anthony Johnson Jr G 6-3 190
#34 Marin Maric Fr C 6-10 240
#55 Michael Orris So G 6-2 195
#0 Pete Rakocevic Jr C 6-11 245
#42 Jordan Threloff Jr C 6-9 255