There's a lot to feel good about.
The Bill Carmody era at NU has led to some pretty good recruiting classes, and some pretty good games - especially at home.
Playing the latest version of the now fabled Princeton offense, and
featuring a usually effective matchup zone defense, the Cats have
become respectable at the worse and maybe a candidate for post season
Cats did lose maybe their most important player last year to graduation
as Guard Jitim Young - the on and off court leader of the team - took
his game to the next level in Greece, but the man who is still the Big
Gun in junior forward Vedran Vukusic [shown playing some defense against Illinois].
Vedran is recognized by most observers as the Cats MVP so far this
year, even with a slow start. He's the scoring leader right now, and is
up there with assists to boot.
One player who has changed the game at Northwestern is also a target of many of Vukusic's inside passes. Junior Center Mike Thompson
[left] has given the Cats an inside presence at both ends of the floor,
and an underneath scoring threat, something the Cats haven't had since
Evan Eschmeyer graduated. Thompson does need to add a few more shots to
his arsenal - maybe a hook and a turnaround jumper - and continue to
improve on freethrows.
Leading the NU offense is junior guard T.J. Parker - he's been
slowed by a bout with the flu, but seems to have shaken off the illness
to give the Cats a man who can drive the lane. Helping T.J. at point is
a surprise - walkon senior guard Michael Jenkins, who according to the coach, might actually run the complex offense better than Parker.
The other forwards, although they're both playing hybrid positions, are senior forward/center Davor Duvancic and soph forward/guard Tim Doyle.
Duvancic can be counted on to provide a steadying influence on the
offense when he's in. Doyle is an outstanding passer and very
aggressive on defense. Both have flirted with starting, and both play
well off the bench.
At the other guard is junior Mohamed Hachad. [Pictured above
with Thompson] He's an aggressive jumper, and ball stealer - he's
the pickpocket on the team right now - and seems to be playing through
some injuries. He's having a little trouble making shots right now, if
he gets going, the Cats will really start to score.
There are a few other guards around - junior Evan Seacat and frosh Brandon Lee
seem to have dropped out of the rotation. Seacat has had trouble
getting his 3 point shot to drop and Lee hasn't recovered from a Mike
Thompson elbow in practice. Seacat was NU's "mad bomber" last year, and
Lee showed a lot of promise early in the season. You'd like to see both
step up and really start to play.
Another man somewhat lost in the rotation is Soph center Vince Scott,
although he's come in to back up Thompson in some games and has burned
minutes. Scott still commits too many fouls [like the one pictured
right] - probably trying to make too much happen, but you have to see a
little improvement over last year and he'll be around after Thompson
According to the coach, the problems with the Cats revolve around
turnovers and some defensive mistakes. The Cats are turning the ball
over too much - last year they averaged under 9 a game. This year that
number is over 15.
On defense, the Cats are failing to keep their man in front.
The Coach says that both issues were to be the topic of practice this week as the Cats prepared for Penn State.
Chat in the Free Chat room
MSN Privacy Legal Advertise on MSN About our ads RSS
© 2013 Microsoft |