The NIU Huskies hosted the program's annual media day for the men's and women's basketball teams with a few weeks until the regular season begins around the country for college basketball.
Mark Montgomery is in his fifth season as Huskies men's basketball coach, and spoke at length about the team's returning talent, mixed with a talented freshman class that includes Rockford Auburn alum Laytwan Porter. The 13 Sports Authority spoke to Coach Montgomery one-on-one about Porter's role for the upcoming season.
"With Laytwan Porter, very competitive young man. Unbelievable passer, has great vision. He competes. He can run that pick and roll. He's very unselfish but also a capable scorer. Look for Laytwan to learn from Michael Willis and Tray Baker. Definitely he'll be in the playing group and he can be a spark for us," Coach Montgomery said.
The NIU men's hoops team's season opener is on November 13 against Cal State-Northridge in DeKalb.
The NIU women's team begins a new era this season as Lisa Carlsen takes the reins of the Lady Huskies. Carlsen brings a decorated coaching run at Lewis University and is eager to introduce a faster style of basketball to the roster.
"I told the kids when I first got here we wanted to be two things in the MAC. We wanted to be the best conditioned team and the most unselfish team," Coach Carlsen said. "With that comes a lot of changes on the court, which is elevating our conditioning level. Most of the kids would tell you they think I was hired as a track coach instead of a basketball coach. That's not true. We put a basketball in their hands. They like the open court. They like the ability to run up and down and score the ball. We continue to push forward in those areas."
The NIU women's basketball season begins on November 13 at SIU-Edwardsville.