The NIU men’s basketball team opens the season with three straight home games, plus has road games against Butler and Michigan State, in the 2018-19 schedule announced Monday.
The season starts Nov. 6 against Rockford, an NCAA Division III team. They face D-I Northern Kentucky on Nov. 9 then NAIA Illinois Tech on Nov. 17, but aren’t home against until a Dec. 5 game against UC Davis.
The Huskies will play at Butler on Dec. 8 and at Michigan State on either Dec. 29 or 30.
Mid-American Conference play starts Jan. 5 at Ohio, with the Huskies’ first conference home game a week later against Akron.
“We have a challenging 2018-19 schedule with numerous conference champions – it will definitely get us ready for MAC play,” said NIU coach Mark Montgomery, a former assistant under Tom Izzo at Michigan State. “We are playing in a great tournament at Oakland University, we have a return game to Green Bay and a couple of in-state rivals, which is always nice. When you play a Big East school (Butler) and the Big Ten champions, Michigan State, those are big, and I know that Michigan State game will be special.”
Season opens with WNIT: The Huskies announced their schedule Wednesday, which begins Nov. 8 at home against Yale.
After the tourney concludes, the Huskies head to Indiana for a game Nov. 25, then host North Dakota State at 11 a.m. Nov. 28.
They’ll play Southern and Western Illinois on back-to-back days, both in Carbondale, starting Dec. 7, and host Eastern Illinois on Dec. 17.
League play starts at home against Miami on Jan. 5.
“This is a very challenging schedule with great balance,” fourth-year coach Lisa Carlsen said. “We have Power Five schools and regional opponents as well as new teams to the slate. The opportunity to open the season in the Preseason WNIT will be great for our program. Playing a school the caliber of Yale at home in the season opener will be exciting for our players as well as our fans.”
Barbs host kickoff dinner: A DeKalb kickoff dinner and silent auction is to be held at Faranda’s in DeKalb on Aug. 18.
DeKalb Superintendent Jamie Craven will host the evening with a keynote speech by new athletic director Peter Goff. Funds will go to Thursday dinners for the team and away-game bus meals.
For information, go to feedourbarbs.com.
Scorpions to host tryouts: The Sycamore Scorpions travel team will host tryouts for the 2019 season on Saturday and Aug. 9 at Sycamore Park.
Players must preregister at htosports/scorpions_baseball. For information, contact Dedric Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.