Northwestern's home court advantage continued to be hot, even as the weather [and Indiana's Shooting] in Chicago was blowing cold.
The Wildcats were forced to use Michael Jenkins, a walk-on, to fill in for 3 year starter T.J. Parker who had arrived on campus with the flu.
The team stepped up, played their offense, and led by Mohamed Hachad [pictured] shut down the Hoosier scorers....
You had to be worried when you saw the starting lineups for tonight's game with Indiana...
There it was on the game tracker - 6 names listed, and T.J. Parker's didn't have the little yellow box that indicated he was starting. Fans
sat on the edge of their seats until the pregame came on and NU coach Bill Carmody explained that T.J. [and center Ivan Tolic] had arrived with a stomach bug and probably wouldn't play.
It didn't matter.
Center Mike Thompson [18 points], Forward Vedran Vukusic  and Guard Mohamed Hachad  all scored in double figures. Michael Jenkins, Tim Doyle and Davor Duvancic each added 8 and Vince Scott hit a 3 at the end of the game.
Jenkins also led the team in rebounding  and had a couple of steals. Vukusic and Duvancic each provided 5 assists, many to Thompson who made some really neat plays under the basket.
On defense, the gold star goes to Hachad - who spent most of the night on the other end of the court shutting down Indiana's leading scorer, Bracey Wright . Wright finished with 7 and missed all 4 of his 3 point attempts. Frosh guard A.J. Ratliff led the Hoosiers with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Miscellaneous Stats of Note:
- NU Free Throws 15 of 21 [71%],
- Points off Turnovers - 27,
- Indiana Turnovers - 18
- NU starts the season with a win for the first time in 22 years - since 1983
After the game, NU coach Bill Carmody sounded a little happier than he's been for a while, especially when you consider
the rebounding of the Senior Guard, Jenkins...
BC: They just told me, he had 7 rebounds and led the team, but he's been consistently good in practice and we were
trying to figure out who to start and my assistants all said Mike's the guy, so I just listened to them.
Dave Eanet asked what aspect of the game did he like the best.
BC: I thought we ran our offense, we didn't turn the ball over, I don't know how many turnovers we had , we had
7, so that's good.
Dave Kaplan - Points off Turnovers. 27 to 8 tonight. They're a very
athletic club, but your guys were really able to manufacture things
Now they don't press too much so we shouldn't have many more than that.
I just liked, I though we got for the most part, pretty good shots. When I was doing a little too much talking and coaching over there, we
got a little messed up but when they just did what they know what to do, I thought our offense went pretty well and we got pretty decent
BC: Yeah, its seemed in the first half, we've been stressing stripping the ball from the guy and Timmy Doyle and Mike Jenkins were just all over them. It seemed to get a lot of balls that - if you didn't get them, they're probably going to be layups or fouls so that really helped us out in the first half to get us that ...
First half defensive intensity was outstanding too.
BC: We played well and we made a couple of bad mistakes where they knocked down 3 - what were they 3 for 9 in the first half and two of them could have been prevented. That was things we talked about - you talk about them, but when you're out there in the arena, its a little different, but I was happy with the effort.
What do you take on the road now as you head to Michigan State and then Michigan - the free throw shooting?
BC: Mike actually made a couple there too, didn't he? [Thompson was 4 of 8 from the line]
It looked like Vukusic took a pounding tonight
He knocked down a few. He's been on the line, in case anyone's been wondering, for about 24 straight hours so I'm glad he knocked down a few - I just thought he played a good game.
And you know we haven't mentioned Vedran who was sort of OK too. [chuckles]
BC: I guess he just fell on his hip. It wasn't - you always think of the shoulders with Vedran but he fell on his hip,
so he'll be sore tomorrow but he banged some big 3s there. Almost all the passes that went in to Mike Thompson were from Vedran - almost every single one came from that kid - and Timmy Dowle - it was a good effort. It was just good.
What does it do starting the Big 10 with a Win?
BC: Well you have to win at home. Must Win at Home.
So the 8-5 [1-0] Wildcats head off the East Lansing to face #19 Michigan State, who easily handled Penn State 84-58 on the road Wednesday night.
We did that and last year we were 6 and 2 in the Big 10 and you just try to win every single home game and then you try to steal a few on
the road. Its rough.
Carmody's Post Game comments [in italics] are taken from
the WGN Post
with Dave Eanet
& David Kaplan
and may have
been edited for clarity
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