da Coach at the Fast Break Tip Off Dinner

Probably the fastest growing organization surrounding <b>NU Basketball</b> is the <b>Northwestern Fast Break Club</b> <p>Tuesday night, over 150 NU fans gathered at Norris Center to meet the 2004-05 team, and hear from NU Roundball Coach <b>Bill Carmody</b>. <p>Here's some highlights, and a quick practice wrapup...

Lets touch on practice first:
There isn't much to say, given that the cats have had 8 practices so far, but here are a few quick impressions:
Ivan Tolic: Could play for the football team. Not only is he as tall as Zach Strief, he's up to 280. I noticed him working on shots under the basket during warmups, and taking a few 3's. He certainly doesn't look like a guy with 4 knee surgeries, but Bill Carmody noted that he's got trouble moving from the key to the key.

T.J. Parker: Was working on his 3- pointers and move to the basket. He was making more 3s than he missed.

Brandon Lee Seems to be learning fast. Was working on his moves around the top of the key.

Mike Thompson Everyone wants to know what he's going to do - even the coaches! Is a big presence - Assistant Coach Craig Robinson was working with him [and Vince Scott] on their hook shot.

Tim Doyle Another newcomer who is a pretty decent ball handler - he was working on 3 pointers from the left corner. Carmody seems high on him as one possible replacement for Jitim Young [who is now playing in Greece].

Vince Scott Has bulked up - is moving well, has a lot of competition inside now and appears to have taken the challenge.

On to the dinner:

The comments of both Coach Carmody and AD Mike Murphy probably should be considered off limits, but here's a sense of what they said.

Murphy sounded excited about the potential of this year's basketball program, and the growth of the Fast Break Club. He's looking for good things this year.

Carmody has a different sense of humor - he likes to rib his players, and lots of it came out during his remarks. The basics of his remarks can be boiled down into this:

He and the Coaches still don't know exactly what they've got. He noted that they have 4 starters returning, and some other players with a lot of experience, but they've only been practicing for a few weeks - 8 practices. He hinted that until Thompson can actually play in a game, he isn't sure what the starting lineup will be.

The first glipse of this year's team will be the exhibition with DePauw, but even then he's not sure what we've got for 2004-05.

Players he expects to step up include Davor Duvancic who appears to be playing more consistantaly this year. Among the newcomers, he likes Tim Doyle's style but again he has to see him in action.

He talked a bit about how NU has had a whole bunch of Freshman starters during his tenure, and how he's trying to instill the thought of starting in this year's crop of freshmen. Carmody likes the play of the 3 frosh and you can tell that they are "his" kind of players.

One last note - Tolic is the team's campus rep for almost every committee that involves athletes. Carmody noted that Ivan Tolic just might be the "face" of the basketball team on campus.

That's about it - we need to really give former player and Fast Break Club President Kip Kirkpatrick a round of applause for all his efforts - the dinner this year attracted twice as many fans as last year. If the crowd doubles again, Norris won't be able to hold the crowd!

Everyone who spoke talked about the buzz on campus and how they hope for more students at the games.

All the team has to do now, is win a couple.

First up is and exhibition with Depauw November 11th. They're coached by an NU Alum so it will be a homecoming and the first real look at the NU Wildcats.

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