Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Oh, there was a basketball game last night

In a battle to get out of the cellar of the MAC Conference, the Huskies struggled losing 69-63 to Ball State in Muncie.

The glaring stat in this game again was the turnovers, which have been the achilles heel of NIU for quite some time now. We turned the ball over 16 times to the Cardinals 3. NIU also only shot 7 free throws, making 6 while BSU made 11 of 17.

Do-it-all guard #32 Jake Anderson was the star yet again, scoring 24 points for the game. He also had 7 rebounds, only to be bested by Shaun Logan's 10 in this game.

Here's a nice tidbit on Jake Anderson from the Chronicle yesterday:

Patton also took time to make a point about one of the things he's learned while coaching his first year in the MAC. “It's a guard-driven league,” Patton said. “Those teams that have good guards and a good post player are good teams and can win games.”

One of those guards that has certainly stood out this season is NIU's Jake Anderson. Anderson could become the first player in school history since assists were recorded to lead the team in points, rebounds and assists. He leads the team in scoring and assists but is behind forward Egan Grafel by one rebound.

Patton said Anderson's ability to rebound has been one of the things that impressed him the most about the freshman guard's development.

“I think he's only scratched the surface of how good he's got to become to continue to grow and get better,” Patton said. “I'm not sure I quite believe he's a true point guard. And there's some things missing for that piece to be solidified in my mind. He's done a nice job and the fact that he's been allowed to play major minutes has really helped his progress.”
This Patton quote in the Northern Star sure looks like a knock on Anderson:

“Unfortunately, some of our best offensive guys are not good defenders,” Patton said. “Turnovers are just empty possessions. We didn’t do a good job forcing enough turnovers.”

It sure looks like Patton has a plan for the future. The season isn't over yet though. The Huskies travel to Eastern Michigan on Sunday. The MAC tourney starts next Wednesday in Cleveland and will likely be the #11 seed.

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