Northwestern Wildcats play their version of the Princeton offense, and...
everyone takes really good care of the ball and...
All of NU's big men are healthy and in the house, the Cats have a shot at winning -- Even on the road.

But Saturday, the Michigan State Spartans played their game and showed why they just might wind up Big 10 Champions
"> Northwestern Wildcats play their version of the Princeton offense, and...
everyone takes really good care of the ball and...
All of NU's big men are healthy and in the house, the Cats have a shot at winning -- Even on the road.

But Saturday, the Michigan State Spartans played their game and showed why they just might wind up Big 10 Champions
">

We were unable to stop them: MSU 87 NU 58

It was that kind of game: <br><br> When the <font color="#663366"><b>Northwestern Wildcats</b></font> play their version of the Princeton offense, and...<br> everyone takes really good care of the ball and...<br> All of <b>NU</b>'s big men are healthy and in the house, the <b>Cats </b>have a shot at winning -- Even on the road.<br> <br> But Saturday, the <font color="#006600"><b>Michigan State Spartans</b></font> played their game and showed why they just might wind up Big 10 Champions<br>

Hey Termy, what happened to the Wildcats today?
  • We played a better team, on their home floor, where they rarely lose.
  • We played without T.J. Parker, who started but could not continue playing after 5 minutes because of his illness
  • We played without Davor Duvancic, who is also ill.
  • We played a long stretch without Vedran Vukusic, who left the game in severe pain with a shoulder injury.  Fortunately, it wasn't a recurrence of the shoulder injury that plagued him for two years but a severe bruise.
  • We got into serious foul trouble with Mike Thompson, and Vince Scott had to play for a huge part of the game.  Tolic wasn't an option - he didn't travel either.
  • We committed 9 turnovers in the first ten minutes (and 12 in thefirst half) largely because MSU's defense was so good that we had a number of shot clock violations when, without TJ, we didn't have a good look during the offensive possession.
  • Mohamed Hachad and Michael Jenkins also found themselves in foul trouble.
That's about it...

T.J. Parker started, but could only play 5 minutes as he fought off the effects of influenza that has knocked out 3 other players so far this week.  Senior forward Davor Duvancic - who has been starting and running the "big man" part of the NU offense stayed in Evanston, fighting off the bug that sent Junior center Ivan Tolic to the hospital earlier in the week. Frosh guard Gary Lee also didn't make the trip.

AP - Al GoldisThe players who were left did shoot 56% from the floor and 65% from the line, but allowed 19 turnovers and 24 points off those turnovers. MSU stole the ball 12 times during the game, setting up a whopping 60 shots on net for MSU compared to only 32 for the Wildcats. Four Spartans, guard Maurice Ager [18], center Paul Davis [17], guard Alan Anderson [13] and reserve Kelvin Torbert [Pictured - 12] shot in double figures. Davis also grabbed 9 rebounds.

For the Cats, junior center Mike Thompson led with 16 points and 4 rebounds. Vedran Vukusic scored 12 in his 25 minutes of play.

After the game, NU Coach Bill Carmody was asked about all the things that happened to the Cats today...
BC: You can't play a game the way Michigan State team, its a heck of a good team. And the entire evening we're never able to stop them.

They basically, the way that I saw it, they were doing what they wanted to do, sometimes they made 'em sometimes they missed 'em, most of the time they made 'em, and we were very sloppy with the ball. For a team that - they pick up full court, but its not real hard, its more passive than anything.

I know we had 12 turnovers at halftime so that's far too many,
What happened to T.J. - he only played 5 minutes.
BC: It couldn't handle it, so he had to sit down - he was very weak, he wasn't dizzy but he was weak.
What about Vedran Vukusic?
BC:  It didn't pop out [his shoulder], it was hit really hard and bruised pretty well so it limited his mobility, I guess his motion there. Although I noticed he banged a 3 for us and he posted the guy up, probably bang a few other of our guy's shoulders.
Bob Hildebrand commented that he thought both Mikes - Thompson and Jenkins had solid games...
BC: I thought that Mike Jenkins ran the team very well and we tried to do certain things - you know you've got to give them credit that they defend very well.

They're very fast, but again, Mike turned it over a little bit [Thompson had 5, Jenkins 2] but he scored around the basket.

If we were persistant, it seemed like we could get the ball down to him - not in the first 5 seconds, or 10 seconds, if we worked it around for 20 seconds or so, we started getting it in to him at the end of the first half.
Thompson was limited by picking up 4 fouls by early in the 2nd half...
BC: and then I just figured - it didn't seem like we were going to win the game so I wanted to give Vince some minutes because - lets see what the guy can do out there on an away court and the offense - it was basically, can you run your offense.

And we could with him in there but, defensively as a team we were unable to stop them.
You could talk about MSU's offensive output, but they took control of the game early using defense - making it difficult for NU to get a good shot.
BC: We probably had 3 - 35 second calls -- they came out and played real tough defense.

You know I told our guys, even with that it was only about 8 - 4 or something, so I said, you know the way you're going to win this is its going to have to be an ugly game, and so a 35 second call once in a while - well that's OK if you keep trying 'em out and trying 'em out - eventually no one can play defense like that for a long time and if you get 55 points against them - what did we get, 58? - that's OK, if you don't turn the ball over 15 - 17 times whatever we did.

Actually the shots we took, we probably made a good majority of them, but we just didn't get enough.
Even with all the problems, the Cats were only down 11 towards the end, making the game winable...
BC: I agree, that's an optimistic look of course, but when I looked up it was 11 points and we had a time out and it was just under the 12 minute mark there, OK - lets see if we can hang in and cut it to 7 perhaps by the 8 minute mark and we were unable to do that.
Next up for the Cats is Michigan -
BC: That's what this conference is about - there are no breaks and you have to go on the road and we have to learn to win on the road and play well.

Coach Bill Carmody's Post Game comments [in italics] are taken from
the WGN Post Game Show
with Dave Eanet & Bob Hildebrand
and may have been edited for clarity

You can send your comments or "back door" information
to Coach Roy - CoachRoy74 on AIM
Go Cats
Beat 'em All!
Talk about it on the Purple Boards
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Copyright 2004 by PurpleWildcats.com/Purple Reign
and WGN Radio

Purple Wildcats Top Stories

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