View from the Stands: NU 63 ASU 61

Both the Wildcats and the Sun Devils spent the week studying for semester finals, but it is a good thing that it wasn't finals week for basketball.<br><br> Mike's analysis? <br><b>The Cats are exciting, but are still a work in progress—with emphasis on progress.</b>

With much of their pre-Big 10 season complete, I would like to grade the Cats on that progress.
DEFENSE B
INTERIOR DEFENSE D
TURNOVERS C-
REBOUNDING D-
OFFENSE B+
THREE-POINT SHOOTING A
TEAM SPEED A
LAST SECOND SHOTS A+

Tonight's game had all the excitement you would want and more.Both teams looked like they had the week off.They played a sloppy first 5 minutes with neither team able to take advantage of the others mistakes.

The Cats then scored on three straight three-point shots to take an eight point lead they never gave up for the rest of the half.This was in spite of Davor Duvancic picking up his second foul with over 12 minutes remaining in the half.Vince Scott came in and played a very respectable 9 minutes.

The offense didn't miss a beat during this time.Ivan Tolic even came in for a few minutes in each half.He looked very ragged but was a needed large body in the second half.

The second half opened up with NU making three straight lay-ups to take a 14 point lead.The offense up to this point was running well.The Cats were able to run the fast break off steals and rebounds to make some easy baskets.

Unfortunately, the Sun Devils started to drive to the basket and get some easy shots.Sophomore pre-season AP All-American Ike Diogu played like an all-American.He was a power in the lane. He had 14 rebounds including 7 offensive rebounds, many of which led to easy second-chance baskets.He even hit a three-pointer with a couple of minutes to go to tie the game.NU had no answer to him.

Fortunately, the Wildcats have TJ Parker.With 4.6 seconds to go in a tie game, TJ drove the length of the court and shot a leaner from the free throw line at the buzzer to win the game.

The whole team mobbed him. They looked like a rugby scrum.This win should go a long way in building up the team's confidence.

They played well all game.ASU was able to come back in the second half by playing into NU's weaknesses.Low post defense will be a continuing weakness until Ivan Tolic can play more than 2 or 3 minutes at a stretch.

Still, count this game as another step in the right direction for the Cats.They need a few more like this before the Big Ten season starts.They also need the crowds the Big Ten games will bring.

It is hard to get excited by a half-empty arena.Come on down and see a game!!The Wildcats are worth the price.This will not be the last game to be decided by a last second shot this year.

The excitement has just begun!!


Michael Jackson is a Wildcat Fan
who can be found cheering for his team from under the basket.

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Purple Wildcats Top Stories

\r\n","mobileBody":"With much of their pre-Big 10 season complete, I would like to grade the Cats on that progress.

Tonight's game had all the excitement you would want and more.Both teams looked like they had the week off.They played a sloppy first 5 minutes with neither team able to take advantage of the others mistakes.

The Cats then scored on three straight three-point shots to take an eight point lead they never gave up for the rest of the half.This was in spite of picking up his second foul with over 12 minutes remaining in the half. came in and played a very respectable 9 minutes.

The offense didn't miss a beat during this time. even came in for a few minutes in each half.He looked very ragged but was a needed large body in the second half.

The second half opened up with NU making three straight lay-ups to take a 14 point lead.The offense up to this point was running well.The Cats were able to run the fast break off steals and rebounds to make some easy baskets.

Unfortunately, the Sun Devils started to drive to the basket and get some easy shots.Sophomore pre-season AP All-American played like an all-American.He was a power in the lane. He had 14 rebounds including 7 offensive rebounds, many of which led to easy second-chance baskets.He even hit a three-pointer with a couple of minutes to go to tie the game.NU had no answer to him.

Fortunately, the Wildcats have .With 4.6 seconds to go in a tie game, TJ drove the length of the court and shot a leaner from the free throw line at the buzzer to win the game.

The whole team mobbed him. They looked like a rugby scrum.This win should go a long way in building up the team's confidence.

They played well all game.was able to come back in the second half by playing into NU's weaknesses.Low post defense will be a continuing weakness untilcan play more than 2 or 3 minutes at a stretch.

Still, count this game as another step in the right direction for the Cats.They need a few more like this before the Big Ten season starts.They also need the crowds the Big Ten games will bring.

It is hard to get excited by a half-empty arena.Come on down and see a game!!The Wildcats are worth the price.This will not be the last game to be decided by a last second shot this year.

The excitement has just begun!! 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