Its Not the French Connection

You might try to blame a couple of guards for the <b>Cats</b>' dismal 5-6 preseason record...not so fast ...<br> This year the <b>Wildcats </b>faced replacing 3 Seniors and a player who quit and it just might be that the team misses those 4 more than you might think...

The Loss to graduation of Jennings, Blake and Burke hurt more than you think...
And Jimmy Maley's decision to give up basketball also impacted the 2003-04 Wildcats.

Consider that after Jitim Young [13.4] and T.J. Parker [11.4], the next 4 names on the final scoring chart in 2002-03 were: Aaron Jennings [11.3 ppg], Winston Blake [7.3 ppg], Jason Burke [6.9 ppg]  and Jimmy Maley [4.6]. Add up the numbers -- Those 4 had 30.1 points a game inside or up front, almost half of NU's 62.6 point average.

If you compare the "French Connection" [Young, Parker, Hachad] so far this year to all of last year, they're playing about the same, maybe a bit better:
  • Rebounding: average 13 per game this year vs 9.5 last year.
  • Scoring 33 points per game vs 29.1 last year
  • Steals 4.45 vs 3.8 last year
But Jitim's numbers so far this year are way ahead of last year, right? OK, just look at Parker and Hachad --
  • 6.3 rebounds per game vs 4.4 last year
  • 14 points per game vs 15.7 last year
  • 2.5 steals a game vs 2.2 last year.
The only stat that's down is the scoring -- Parker is running the team at point, his scoring average is down 5 from last season..

So despite what you might think, statistically Hachad and Parker are playing about the same as last year. What's missing is the play of the "other" forwards -- Last year, Blake and Burke gave the team about 14 points a game -- even with Vedran Vukusic averaging 15, Jitim's 19 and Evan Seacat's 6 points per game [mostly from outside the arc], the Cats just aren't getting enough points out of the front court to get ahead of the competition.

We're playing about the same defense: Last year we allowed 65.7 ppg, this year the average so far is also 65. But last year, our largest point total given up prior to starting the Big 10 season was 74. This year we've already allowed a 90 point game and an 80 pointer, something that drives Bill Carmody crazy.

The answers?

Better D against good teams would help. A few doubles from the middle, our post guys average less that 7 a game. Maybe a stepped presence by Parker or Hachad.

Everything you read about the Big 10 so far is that the league is down a bit, but the Cats seemed even further down than last year. We're playing shorthanded, its true, but someone has to start scoring inside or up front or its going to be a long season.
The Cats open the Big 10 Season in Michigan this Wednesday -- game time 6 PM CST and its on ESPN+ Local

You can send your comments or "back door" information
to Coach Roy

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Beat 'em All!
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Copyright 2003 by PurpleWildcats.com/Purple Reign

Purple Wildcats Top Stories

\r\n","mobileBody":"
And 's decision to give up basketball also impacted the

Consider that after [13.4] and [11.4], the next 4 names on the final scoring chart in 2002-03 were: [11.3 ppg], [7.3 ppg], [6.9 ppg]  and [4.6]. Add up the numbers -- Those 4 had 30.1 points a game inside or up front, almost half of NU's 62.6 point average.

If you compare the \"French Connection\" [] so far this year to all of last year, they're playing about the same, maybe a bit better:
But 's numbers so far this year are way ahead of last year, right? OK, just look at and --
The only stat that's down is the scoring -- Parker is running the team at point, his scoring average is down 5 from last season..

So despite what you might think, statistically and are playing about the same as last year. What's missing is the play of the \"other\" forwards -- Last year, and gave the team about 14 points a game -- even with averaging 15, Jitim's 19 and 's 6 points per game [mostly from outside the arc], the Cats just aren't getting enough points out of the front court to get ahead of the competition.

We're playing about the same defense: Last year we allowed 65.7 ppg, this year the average so far is also 65. But last year, our largest point total given up prior to starting the Big 10 season was 74. This year we've already allowed a 90 point game and an 80 pointer, something that drives Bill Carmody crazy.

The answers?

Better D against good teams would help. A few doubles from the middle, our post guys average less that 7 a game. Maybe a stepped presence by or .

Everything you read about the Big 10 so far is that the league is down a bit, but the Cats seemed even further down than last year. We're playing shorthanded, its true, but someone has to start scoring inside or up front or its going to be a long season.

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