I've coached true teams, where the whole team was better than the individual players, and I've coached teams where we had one or two stars - guys who could single handedly take you over the top to a win.-- da Coach
Last night we possibly saw the reemergence of a basketball Team at Northwestern.
Yes, NU plays as a team with Vedran Vukusic on the court, but last night, the Wildcats had to play without him.
So who stepped up?
Mohamed Hachad was one player who appeared to suck it up - he scored 17, including 3 treys, grabbed 4 rebounds, and stole 2 in 30 minutes of play. Mo has been getting better every game and tonight he again showed what he can do.
Vince Scott broke out of his long range scoring slump by hitting 3 of 3 from the arc, he also had 2 rebounds, a steal and 2 assists on the night. He also passed up a couple more open 3 point looks to run the NU slow down offense.
Even Evan Seacat hit a few crucial free throws and got a layup to go with 2 boards, two assists and a steal.
In his post game interviews, Bill Carmody always talks about getting more production from the center, and that the shooters had to start making baskets.
Center Vince Scott took advantage of a few open looks, and PG Craig Moore did the same, although he's struggling with balls that seem to pop back out of the hoop.
What was missing was Vedran's signature scoring - 3 pointers down the stretch - Vedran is usually the catalyst for big comebacks with 5 minutes left. NU's last basket in the game last night came with 8:09 on the clock.
What looked good was 15 points off the bench, 10 points from the frosh, and 4 comebacks during a game that easily could have become a rout early.
Was Illinois beatable without Vukusic last night?
Probably not, but you've got to take a better feeling away from the game because the Cats had to play, and did play more like 5 guys on the court, rather than 1 and 4.
Did I mention that I've always preferred coaching a team?
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