Good Start + Rebounding= NU 55 Minnesota 40

Good Start + Rebounding= NU 55 Minnesota 40

This was a game where Northwestern never trailed as they jumped out to an early lead and kept on coming....Yes, you can talk about Craig Moore's 3 point shooting, and Tim Doyle's passing, but the missing ingredient for a Northwestern Big 10 win seems to have been having both Kevin Coble and Jeff Ryan, on the court together. NU's matched pair forwards combined for 22 points to win on the road.

Of course you can't ignore the play of Vince Scott
APas he hit 3 of 7 three pointers on the way to 15 points at Minnesota's Barn Saturday. Scott was credited with only 3 rebounds, but his defensive [as shown] play inside helped keep the Gophers off guard and off the scoreboard.

Tim Doyle played his normal game, 6 Points, 3 rebounds and another 6 assists, as he continued to play his usual "point forward" game. Helping was NU's use of the backdoor cut, in some cases it almost seemed like a training seminar on how to run NU's kind of offense.

Craig Moore struggled from outside the arc, hitting only 2 treys, but did finish with 8 points and led the team with 5 rebounds.. NU was perfect from the foul line, all in the first half.

Then there was the combined play of APJeff Ryan [below] and Kevin Coble -
  • Rebounding: Ryan 4 + Coble 4 = 8 rebounds
  • Scoring: Ryan 9 + Coble 13 = 22 points
  • Assists: Ryan 3 + Coble 1 = 4 Assists.
  • Steals: Ryan 4 + Coble 1 = 5
  • Dunks: Ryan 1... well you get the picture....
Ryan started the game as the other forward, and scored early He got the NU fans excited with 4 steals, one that led to a dunk.

Eventually, Coble joined Ryan on the floor as the Cats also began to practice group rebounding. Minnesota just couldn't seem to get going. APCoble looked a little rusty, missing a few early shots, but then settled down to a 6 of 12 afternoon, grabbing 4 rebounds.

Sterling Williams hit a shot to get the 2nd half underway, you could almost feel the energy drain away after the layup, Williams also had 2 rebounds in the game.

Vince Scott appeared to hurt his leg in one of those WildCat group rebounds, but he returned to hit a 3 pointer. There were some tense moments in the 2nd half however, as Ivan Tolic looked to have to finish the game. As it was, Tolic played 11 minutes before Scott reappeared to finish the game.

After the game, Bill Carmody worked his way up to the pressbox to talk with the fans....
BC: Our defense got us going, we got a few easy hoops, Timmy and Vince and Jeff - deflected some passes for layups - sort of what happened at Ohio State the other night, but then...

Our offense started clicking, and I know we got a lot of assists, [15] but I know we did on a lot of the baskets and it looked real nice to me.
Minnesota ran a lot of man-to-man defense against the Cats, quite a bit different from Ohio State's 2-3 Zone that gave NU fits. Was Carmody surprised that he didn't see more zone defense today?
BC: Yeah, in some ways, I think I showed it one time but it isn't - you know Jim Molinari's a man-to-man guy and he showed it one time, and Jeff Ryan actually drove from the top of the key to the basket and they just said, "Hey, this isn't what we do"
Talk about Jeff Ryan's layup...
BC: Yeah, he's a real good one foot jumper that guy [laughs]

No seriously, he 's not a great two foot jumper like rebounding but - he does his best - but you saw him - he stuffs the ball easily and he gets the basket and you're right, he put it up high off the glass.
Bob Hildebrand highlighted the Cats crispness on offense, but pointed out that the Cats also rebounded will in the first half.
BC: Yeah, you know that 1-3-1 forces a lot of long shots and they were taking some and sometimes those are long rebounds too, but we seemed to be getting in there but.

I think Kevin, having Kevin Coble back in there and he gives you another rebounder and
the guys feel you can score now.
Vince Scott seemed to get back on track offensively today
BC: he played well today and he made big shots.

He seemed relaxed out there offensively, and everything goes through him pretty much, whether he's down in a low post or the high post, I mean, we were really struggling - missed 4 threes in a row and they were coming back a little bit and got the ball in a low post, kind of a little jump hook - which lets you sigh and say, OK, we can put it in, it does fit
The Cats started the 2nd half going inside to Sterling Williams, had the coaches seen something in there?
BC: Yeah, I just wanted to see if we could get the ball inside because I saw the stats too in the first half for the three point shooting and I said, lets get the ball in but, what I wanted Sterling to do was take it to the basket

In other words, he's got the ball right in the 3 second zone only about 12 feet from the basket, don't just take a turn around jump shot, work your way, like you're in your back yard under the light, back your brother in and you score - that's what I wish he had done, but - its something to work on.


The second one was a nice reverse floater.
Now you finally get that first Big 10 Win in an impressive fashion
BC: Yeah, it makes everyone feel better, and coaching staff and players, everybody involved in the program and now the things that you're saying - I don't think the guys doubt youbut after a while you just say, one more thing and so you have to have wins to feel better about yourself.
Now its a rematch with Ohio State but this time at Welsh-Ryan.

Bill Carmody's Post Game comments [in italics] are taken from the WGN Post Game Show
-- are based on questions from Dave Eanet & Bob Hildebrand and may have been edited for clarity.
Official Game Statistics from Univ of Minnesota Official Site

Beat 'em All!
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Story (c) 2006 by PurpleWildcats.com/Purple Reign
Interview comments (c) 2006 by WGN Radio

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