After a sketchy opening act on Saturday, the Milwaukee Panthers begin their Division I schedule on the road at Northern Illinois University.
The Huskies got blasted by Purdue, 96-34, in their season opener. Tim Toler was the only Husky to score in double digits, knocking down 11 points and four rebounds in just 18 minutes of play. The Huskies turned the ball over 28 times to only seven assists on their way to an awful start.
The big story coming out of this game is the return of Kaylon Williams, who sat out the season-opener with a one-game suspension. Williams’ joining the lineup means that Paris Gulley and Ja’Rob McCallum can get back to what they should be doing: playing shooting guard.
Williams won’t be the only one looking to make an impression. Sophomore Kyle Kelm had a difficult game on Saturday, pulling down seven rebounds but failing to put up any offensive numbers in the close victory. Kelm had difficulty with a thin front court from SMSU, and will want to bounce back and get physical in the lane.
Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter will be looking to stem the flow of easy lay-ups for opposing players. SMSU ran the same drive down the left side for much of the second half and scored a significant amount of their points inside five feet. If the Panthers are to impose their will on NIU as Purdue did, they will need to cut off the driving lanes by improving their help defense.
NIU may be coming off a crummy season, but will likely be excited to get coach Mike Montgomery off to a running start in their home opener.