Huskies Highlights

General Team Information:

NCAA Division: Division I

Conference: Mid-American Conference 

Past Conferences: MW Coll, Mid-Cont, MAC, and Ind

City: DeKalb, Illinois

Stadium: NIU Convocation Center

NCAA Tournaments:1982, 1991, 1996


National Championships: 0

Conference Titles: 2

Team History

Since its first season in 1900-01, the Northern Illinois men’s basketball team has been around for over 120 years. The school has been a part of a few conferences, which is more than some of the other programs that compete in the Mid-American Conference have achieved. 

The Northern Illinois Huskies would compete as an independent program for two more decades before making the transition to the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 1921. The school would stay put for a little over four decades before becoming an independent Division I school from the Division II level. 

Over the next couple of seasons, they would go back and forth from the Midwestern Conference to a Division I independent. During the 1971-72 season, the school was ranked 19th before joining the MAC. This would be the only time in the program’s history when the team got nods for a top 25 ranking.

The school committed to join the MAC in the 1975-76 season but didn’t stay there the whole way through as we know it today. Despite having a record a bit over .500 in 1982, the Huskies would play in their first NCAA Tournament under coach John McDougal. As a 12th seed, they would lose to the third-seeded Kansas State Wildcats in the opening round.

Transition to the Mid-Cont

Once again, the program was on the move a few years later. After competing as an independent, the school would make the transition to the Mid-Cont in the 1990-91 season. 

This was a welcoming sight, as the team compiled 25 wins in the regular season with 14 wins in conference play. As the program’s highest win total in its history, the odds were the highest they’ve ever been since 1982. Unfortunately, the team was knocked out in the opening round against the fifth-seeded Saint John’s Red Storm.

The Huskies would punch their ticket to the dance one last time with Brian Hammel leading the charge in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference. As a 14th seed, the Northern Illinois team stats showed that the squad gave it their all; they lost by one point against the third-seeded Texas Tech Red Raiders. 

Northern Illinois hoped to turn the tide as they hired Rashon Burno to lead the team. They will face some overwhelming NCAAB odds as the season is about to begin. 

All-Time Records

Points Scored

    • Eugene German 2,203
    • T.J. Lux 1,996
    • Donnell Thomas 1,853


    • T.J. Lux 1,110
    • Allen Rayhorn 1,077
    • Donnell Thomas 984


    • Travon Baker 356
    • Ronald Minter 353
    • Rodney Davis 332


    • James Hughes 210
    • T.J. Lux 156
    • Marcus Smallwood 146


Does the Program Have Any NCAA Tournament Wins?

The Northern Illinois Huskies made the tournament three times during its history. However, the program has failed to make it past the first round each time. The program is still searching for its major tournament win as they also lost to the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in the Vegas 16 in 2016.

Who Is the Winningest Coach in Program History?

John McDougal has the most wins in the program’s history with 136 in total. However, he has more losses on his resume during his 10-year tenure. Roland Cowell only lost twice during his lone season as head coach and ended with a record of 20-2. 

Who Is the Greatest Player in Program History?

Abdel Nader had the longest NBA career; it lasted five years as he was selected in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics. He has spent time with the Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Phoenix Suns. 

Latest NCAAB News

Back to top button

Bet like a PRO!

Subscribe now and get Weekly Expert Free Picks