COACH: Mark Montgomery (5th year, 39-84)
2014 RECORD: 14-16 (8-10 MAC, 35th in MAC West)
MAC TOURNEY: Lost to Akron 76-52 in first round.
LEFT THE BUILDING
► Six players departed from last year’s squad, including three of the top four scorers. Among the depart were Anthony Johnson (10.8 ppg), Darrell Bowie (9.8 ppg., 5.4 rpg), Jordan Threloff (8.3 ppg., 7.3 rpg), and Pete Rakocevic (3.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg).
BACK FOR MORE:
► The Huskies bring back returning players, along with eight newcomers.
Aaric Armstead tops the list. He led the Huskies in scoring last year with an 11.1 ppg. average. The 6-5 guard connected on 41.0 percent of his shots from the field overall and hit 34.4 percent of his trey attempts.
► Travon Baker logged the third most minutes on last year’s squad. He averaged 8.0 ppg. Marin Maric chipped in 4.9 ppg. and 4.0 rpg. in 14.5 minutes per outing.
2015-16 RECORD: 11-2
► The Huskies came flying out . . .
NIU then got back on track with a double-overtime victory over Florida International and added three more wins to close out the non-conference schedule
► A preseason MAC media poll predicted NIU would finish fifth in the West Dvision, one spot ahead of Ball State.
► Northern Illinois enters conference play averaging 75.9 ppg (7th) on offense and 63.0 ppg (2nd) defensively. The Huskies enjoy a No. 2 rank in scoring margin (+12.9), trailing only Akron (+13.9)
► NIU shooters have hit 43.4 percent (8th) of their shots overall and 34.8 percent (8th) of their 3-point attempts. The Huskies are 10th in free throw percentage (67.1%)
► Northern Illinois tops the entire conference with a +7.3 rebounding margin. It is fourth in blocked shots (4.3 bpg).
► Things have gone well for NIU in the turnover department. The Huskies are second in turnover margin (+3.50) and also second in assist-to-turnover ratio.
► Three Huskies currently average double figures: Marin Maric (12.8 ppg.,8.3 rpg.), Marshawn Wilson (11.3 ppg.) and Armstead (10.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg.). Baker is just off double figures with 9.5 ppg. and four other players are chipping in with at least 4.9 ppg.
► Baker (23) and Wilson (22) lead the way in 3-point goals.
► Baker (59) and Michael Orris (44) are the Huskies assist leaders.
► Maric owns 17 blocks on the season—a team high and tied for seventh in the conference.
► Northern Illinois opens the season at home against Ohio on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET) and then plays host to Eastern Michigan Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET).