Random Thoughts: Now What

The loss of Mike Thompson from the Northwestern Basketball team really changes the on court dynamic of the Wildcats. Thompson's presence in the middle, altered the entire look and feel of the NU offense, and was supposed to cause all kinds of problems for opposing coaches. Now that's not going to happen and daCoach says, "So?"

OK, we're back to playing with the guys who played DePaul...
and If you check ESPN's "Bracketology" web site, our NU Wildcats are nowhere to be seen [but then recent opponents, Del State, DePaul and Virginia are missing also]. Nope, the pundits don't think much of NU Basketball or our opponents so far. So what?

The win over Delaware State, while it showed NU could win in overtime, should have been a roll over. It wasn't and now they're ranked just below NU in the Sangarin rankings.

That shuffle in rating suggests that the guys are all going to have to dig down deep and maybe play over their heads [or as the coaches might say, to their potential] for a while - especially against the next two teams, UIC and Seton Hall.

Both look dangerous -

UIC is coming off a big overtime win against an arguably better team. They seem to have found their lineup, and they have a "mad bomber" who is making his 3 pointers. Nothing speeds up a Princeton style offense than a team who doesn't have to get in close to beat you. We'll have more on the Flames tomorrow.

Vince and Vedran playing D Then there's a road game against the Pirates of Seton Hall. I remember the last time we played at their place, a great big cavern of a basketball court, with a small contingent of NU fans stuck in a corner.

NU is going to have to pull up their socks and play lights out down in the Meadowlands.

It is possible that we could come out of this week 6-3 - not bad for a Wildcat team that has just lost a big starter in the middle. My keys to the next two games?
  • Vince Scott - he's got to step up the way Tim Doyle has this year. Make his 3 pointers, block a few, grab some rebounds.
  • Bernard Cote` - I hope his back is better, and that he finds his jumper again. There are also lots of stories about Hachad feeding him dunks - I'd love to see some of that.action this week.
  • The Guards - 3 of them have to start making shots - don't care which 3 - but we need some shooting from the outside. Seeing Seacat make a couple of 3's would also be nice.
You'll probably notice, I haven't mentioned Vedran Vukusic - he just needs to play his game within the NU offense, and we'll be fine.

Folks forget that the NU offense is a team offense - its designed to give all the men on the floor the opportunity to score against "better" opponents regardless of their defense.

But to make it work, you've got to make your shots when they're open.

Anyway, this is a pretty critical week for the Cats - we win two, and we're cooking.
-- da Coach

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