Huskies Head North for Canada Trip

DEKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois University men’s basketball team is set to head north to Canada this week as the Huskies embark on a six-day, three-game foreign trip. NIU’s first game is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 2 at the University of Windsor, the Huskies will also face the University of Ottawa (Aug. 4) and Toronto Metropolitan University (Aug. 5).

The trip north gives the Huskies the opportunity to get a head start on the 2022-23 season as NIU has the opportunity to hold 10 full practices prior to its departure.

Stay in touch with the Huskies on their trip via social media. Twitter: @GoHuskiesMBB and Instagram: @NIUHuskieHoops.

NIU Canada Trip Schedule
Tuesday, Aug. 2: at Windsor — 6 pm CT/7 pm ET
Thursday, Aug. 4: vs. Ottawa (at Toronto Metropolitan) — 6 pm CT/7 pm ET
Friday, Aug. 5: at Toronto Metropolitan — 6 pm CT/7 pm ET

NIU Head Coach Rashon Burno Talks About the Trip to Canada

On what he has seen from the practices leading into the trip…
“The trip in itself is really predicated on the 10 practices. We wanted to get a chance to see our guys in competition. I love the guys, I love the energy, I love the athleticism, the talent is there. We are trying to help these guys forge unbelievable relationships off the floor and the 10 practices allow you to do that a lot earlier that when the season starts.

“The guys are very talented, Zarique Nutter6-foot-6, three/four (small forward/power forward), David Coit is going to be a prolific scorer at the point guard position, can really shoot it and run the team, Taku Youngblood is an unbelievable talent with a 6-foot-10 wingspan, he can really get out in transition and finish. Xavier Amos is uber-talented, but still a freshman, good player, his upside is tremendous.

“In these 10 practices, you learn a lot, but if give you excitement knowing that by January we are going to be good and I am excited about that.”

On the growth of the returnees…
“I met with Darweshi Hunter right before the end of the school year, gave him some goals, and he has knocked it out of the park. He has had unbelievable focus and is in great shape, he worked on his mobility and is looking like a different player. Anthony Crump is looking like a different player. Kaleb (Thornton) is playing extremely well at the point guard spot, playing alongside David (Coit), he is really pushing KT a lot harder than he was pushed last year.

“I’m excited about those guys returning, they were able to get a ton of experience playing last year, outside of Zion (Russell), and those guys are eager to get going. They set the tone for some of the new guys to understand what practice should look like.”

On what you are looking for from the three games in Canada…
“We are going to look for different combinations, we will be two players down, Yanic (Konan Niederahuser) and Duro (Oluwasegun Durosinmi) won’t be on the trip. We will try some different things but anytime you lineup to compete you are trying to win. This is about getting these guys reps together, but we want to win, and it would be misleading if I said we weren’t trying to win three games.”

On the benefits of this trip off the court…
“I think they are more valuable than the games. Being able to practice, be in the locker room, on the road for a 4–5-hour bus ride, hotels, all of that is tremendous. You can really get to know the guys away from the game of basketball, doing some fun things. That is the point of these foreign tours, they give you a leg up, they allow you a head start on building that rapport. We are going to try to get full usage out of it, we have a lot of things planned, we are going to spend a lot of time together and really get to know each other so that we have a head start when school starts, and we are getting closer to the regular season.”

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