Husky hoops hys­teria is in full force this week, as the North­eastern men’s bas­ket­ball team kicks off the season on Friday night against cross-​​town rival Boston Uni­ver­sity at a sure-​​to-​​be rau­cous Matthews Arena. The Huskies have high hopes for the season and a bar­rage of exciting activ­i­ties have been planned to get fans in on the action.

Tickets for opening night are avail­able for stu­dents on myNEU and on GoNU​.com/​t​i​c​k​ets for fac­ulty and staff. The excite­ment sur­rounding the game has been height­ened by last season’s opener, in which the Huskies defeated the BU Ter­riers in an over­time thriller, 82–74.

Bas­ket­ball players fired-​​up fans on Sat­urday night at Matthews Arena during the first inter­mis­sion of the men’s hockey game. North­eastern cheer teams will invade the dining halls all this week to fire up fans for the start of the season.

Stu­dents, fac­ulty and staff can also get an early look at the team at the annual open prac­tice on Tuesday from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. at the Cabot Phys­ical Edu­ca­tion Center. There, fans will get a behind-​​the-​​scenes pre­view of this year’s team and how the Huskies are preparing for the home opener. Did we men­tion the free coffee and donuts?

At Friday night’s opener, the Office of Alumni Rela­tions will launch the Spot, a family-​​friendly gath­ering area on the floor at the end of Matthews Arena. Mod­eled after the suc­cessful Fan­Fest events, the Spot offers free admis­sion for alumni and their fam­i­lies, as well as stu­dents age 21 and older, from 6–7 p.m. and again at half­time. Family-​​friendly activ­i­ties and give­aways are also planned.

This season, the men’s bas­ket­ball team boasts a tal­ented group of returning vet­erans including guard Joel Smith and second-​​year stars Quincy Ford and Reggie Spencer. Last season, Ford earned a spot on the CAA All-​​Rookie team and the 2012 Col​legeIn​sider​.com Mid-​​Major Freshmen All-​​America team.

The Huskies have added a tal­ented group of ver­sa­tile freshmen, including guards David Walker from Ohio, Zach Stahl from Min­nesota and Der­rico Peck from Georgia. Center Dinko Mar­shavelski, who hails from Bul­garia, will return after missing last season because of an injury.

The Huskies will hope for a mid­season boost with the return of senior and co-​​captain Jonathan Lee, who suf­fered a pre­season injury. Lee has also been selected as one of only 30 can­di­dates nation­wide for the Senior CLASS Award, which honors stu­dent ath­letes who excel both on and off the court.

In August, the team posted an impres­sive 6–1 record on an eight-​​day exhi­bi­tion tour through Canada. North­eastern Ath­letics has launched the four-​​part video series “Huskies Unleashed,” pro­viding fans with a behind-​​the-​​scenes look at the team’s tour up north and its prepa­ra­tions for the season. The third episode was unveiled last week, and the final episode will be revealed on Wednesday on the Ath­letics Face­book page.

Head coach Bill Coen said the Cana­dian tour served as a great oppor­tu­nity to build team chemistry.

We learned a lot about our­selves on the court in terms of our bas­ket­ball abil­i­ties, but maybe even more impor­tantly we got closer as a unit and devel­oped great bonds that we’re going to need as we face adver­sity this season,” Coen said.

The team will make nine tele­vi­sion appear­ances this season, including a nationally-​​televised matchup on NBC Sports with CAA rival George Mason on Jan. 3. CBS Sports Net­work will broad­cast two North­eastern games from the Great Alaska Shootout on Friday, Nov. 23, and Sat­urday, Nov. 24.

Throughout the season, fans can look for men’s bas­ket­ball cov­erage on News@Northeastern and GoNU​.com, and receive live-​​in-​​game Twitter updates by fol­lowing @GoNUmbasketball.