Northern Illinois vs. Purdue
College Basketball Pick: Northern Illinois +26.5 (November 11th 2011)
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Early in the college basketball season, linesmakers do not have a lot to go on so recent history comes into play and that can become a benefit for us. Case in point is Purdue, which finished 26-8 last season but was bumped in the second round of the NCAA Tournament by VCU. It was a tough ending in the careers of JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore and their presence will be missed, especially early on in the season. This is still a talented team but the line tonight may be looking too much into the past.
Forward Robbie Hummel returns to the lineup following a second ACL injury on his right knee and all indications are that he is 100 percent and hopefully he can remain injury free this season. Starting point guard Lewis Jackson returns as do four other players who averaged at least 19 minutes per game but this is a team with a lot of inexperience. Teams such as this use this part of the season to try and find a comfort level and build rotations and chemistry as they are not at the point of being dominating.
Northern Illinois has a school-record string of five consecutive 20-loss seasons so it was time for a change. The Huskies brought in former Michigan St. assistant coach Mike Montgomery and his arrival brought in early dividends. He landed a strong recruiting class led by Abdel Nader who originally committed to New Mexico but changed his mind and came to DeKalb. He was a First Team All-State player in high school where he averaged 23.8 ppg and 8.6 rpg.
Tim Toler will be back in the frontcourt for the Huskies, and will give them a much needed presence inside as he averaged 9.9 ppg and 5.5 rpg last season. This team is extremely young but that is a positive for a team that that has gone through so many losing seasons. That is another reason we are getting such a generous line. Don’t expect head coach Curtis Painter to be running up the score as he has one goal in mind. “We have a lot of versatility but need to see how guys are able to play alongside one another” 3* (547) Northern Illinois Huskies -Matt Fargo. Get more college basketball picks from Matt every day at Touthouse.com