Were the Cats in a Lineup Holding Pattern?
Mike Thompson
Purple Reign Toomler
Posted Dec 7, 2004
Coach Roy

Random Thoughts: You knew that when the Northwestern Wildcats come back from final exams, there was probably going to be a lineup change.

You see there's this big guy who has been playing on the NU Scout team who should become eligible for play on December 14th, and the Cats draw Chicago rival  DePaul on ESPN2 the next day.

As Ben Stein might say, "Hold on - it could be brutal..."

Do you get the feeling that some of our guys are waiting for the other shoe to drop?

You know, the arrival on the court of the big kid from Joliet, Michael Thompson?

Look how we're playing.

  • Vedran Vukusic: Leads the team in Scoring [17.2 points per game avg], and blocked shots, but is shooting a dismal 11 of 41 from the arc.
  • T. J. Parker: #2 in scoring with 11.7 ppg, but he isn't even the assist leader [tied for #2] or high in some of the other categories. He did have 3 steals Saturday, a good sign.
  • Davor Duvancic: 8.7 ppg isn't bad, and he's barely the rebound leader with 5.3 per game, but has only one basket from beyond the arc and he's been missing layups. Very un-Davor like.
  • Mohamed Hachad: Finally woke up from his foul induced trance - He's the steal leader with 9, and raised his rebounding average to 4.2 with a 7 board-2 steal game against Chicago State, but...
  • Evan Seacat can't seem to find his range from the arc [he's 7 of 25] - we started to see signs of life last Saturday, [he shot 2 for 2 with one 3], but he's got to get that 3 pointer to fall regularly.
  • Vince Scott again came off the bench Saturday and started to play better - He blocked 2 shots in that game -- seems to be playing better defense.
Then there are the newcomers.
  • Tim Doyle: the Team Leader in Assists [20] and right now is the only starter shooting better than 50% from the arc. Had 6 rebounds against Chicago State.
  • Brandon Lee: Is playing off the bench - he's made a few critical 3 pointers, but he's still learning the system and its obvious at times. Bright spots are a .500 FG average and a .444 3 point average. 2 Steals also helps his cause.
So what happens once exams are over and the grades are posted?

The two guys on the "bubble" in regards to position appear to be Duvancic and Doyle. Davor because he's been starting at center and that's where Thompson was a McDonald's All American, and Doyle because if Davor moves up front, he's got to beat out a Senior for the other forward spot.

Bill Carmody did promise that Duvancic would get a little more rest - he said that Davor needed a blow during the games - and he did get him off court a few minutes last Weekend - he's averaging 34.7 minutes a game now.

Tim Doyle has averaged just under 30 minutes a game, but he's been pulled for longer periods in recent games because of foul trouble. Carmody commented about some of his more "creative" shots last Saturday - those who want to see more penetration by the Cats would expect the passing wizard Doyle, to be the catalyst for that kind of play, and remember those 20 assists in 6 games.

My Guess?

I'd suspect that Doyle is the guy who loses out short term - With Thompson at center, and Duvancic at the other forward, Carmody then gets the big offensive setup that he originally wanted when he recruited Split, Croatia hard 4 years ago.

But don't count Timmy Doyle out. He came to NU to get floor time and in his 6 games, he's shown that he's going to be a big asset to the Cats. I can also remember Coach Carmody saying last year that sometimes Davor seems to play better when he comes off the bench.

Starting Doyle or Duvancic - I'm glad I don't have to make that decision.

-- da Coach

Agree or disagree?
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