Marcotullio Improving Overseas

The summer is a crucial period for a college basketball player. College coaches are kept away from their teams, so players are left preparing for the upcoming season on their own. While Northwestern players prepare for 2011 in local gyms or at Welsh-Ryan Arena, junior guard Alex Marcotullio is traveling around Europe with the Great Britain Under-20 team.

With time winding down and Great Britain trailing by one point, Alex Marcotullio hit a shot that would've made the royal couple smile. Marcotullio grabbed an offensive rebound and hit a buzzer-beating hook shot to beat Israel.

For the second summer, Marcotullio is playing with the Great Britain Under-20 team. He is traveling all around Europe and taking on some of the best competition around.

"It's a fantastic experience," said Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody. "You're playing against really good guys. International competition is fantastic."

For Marcotullio, playing international competition provides another chance to improve. In the summer of 2010, Marcotullio used his summer in Europe to improve on what was an up-and-down freshman season.

As a sophomore, Marcotullio gradually improved, especially at the end of the season. With Jershon Cobb hurt, Marcotullio picked up the slack and scored double-figures in four of the Wildcats' last five games.

"He just grew so much," Bill Carmody said. "As a freshman, he was really good in the pre-conference, then he sort of hit the wall. This year, he just got stronger and stronger and when JerShon got hurt, he played more minutes. I thought he had a great end of the year. The last ten games, I thought he was terrific."

This summer, Marcotullio is building on a strong season with Northwestern. With Great Britain, Marcotullio has averaged 14.3 points per game and is becoming a major scorer.

The Wildcats have a vacancy at point guard with the departure of Michael Thompson. Simultaneously, they've lost a major scoring threat. As Bill Carmody points out, the job of a point guard is much different now, and he hopes Marcotullio can step into Thompson's role.

"The way things are now, point guards are scorers too," Carmody said. "In the NBA and college, you don't find that old, traditional ‘just start the offense and never be heard of again'. Marcotullio is getting 15 (points) over there in a lot of these games. I think he's probably going to scores for us more. I also like him neck-up."

The hope is that—much like he did last season—Marcotullio can use his experience overseas to have a strong season with the Wildcats. When Bill Carmody is searching for a starting point guard, you can bet Alex Marcotullio will be considered.

"He's smart, he's tough, and he knows the offense inside-out," Carmody said. "He's got more responsibilities (without Juice Thompson), but I think he's up to that challenge."

Purple Wildcats Top Stories