NU's Classic Carmody NU 57 Minny 49

The Win over the Minnesota Gophers gives the Northwestern Wildcats the best start in 30 years. NU played their style of pass it around basketball, looking for the open man. Two freshmen stepped up again to score their career highs and notch theirfirst Big 10 road win

This was a classic Bill Carmody style game from start to almost finish
The Cats came out playing defense, and shooting 3 pointers to open up the inside.
Yeah, they came out great today and the defense was just terrific.

I didn't think they [Minnesota] scored around the basket at all and after they got the first couple of offensive rebounds of the game, and afterwards we started gang rebounding and it was just great to see out there. - Bill Carmody
Two Freshmen, Craig Moore and Sterling Williams scored career high 15 points each. Moore hit 5 of 7 from outside the arc while Williams was 5 of 11 from the floor with 4 free throws. They combined for 8 assists [against 5 turnovers] - Williams' 6 assists was a career high for him too.
Yeah, those two freshmen are doing pretty good for us there. Moore and Williams and it just seemed like they came through at the right time, made big shots too, not just shots in transition, but the clock's going down and you need it.

Craig Moore's 3 there, Sterling hit a 3 - first of the year too - and how do you explain this one, he hasn't hit the three then the next time he gets a 3, he doesn't take it, so he runs the guy over, but we'll take it.
Also starting to step up, although his scoring didn't show it, was Bernard Cote`. He was 2 of 8 from the floor, but added 3 assists, 2 blocks and 7 rebounds. He had the only offensive rebound for NU on the day, that gave him one of his baskets.

But it was his presence both under the basket and on the perimeter that opened up room for Williams and Vukusic to drive the lane. Bob Hildebrand commented that he just needs to keep shooting and the baskets will come.
Bernard just clogged up that middle . We were afraid of them scoring inside there and they just clogged it up very nicely.
Leading all the Cats in scoring was Vedran Vukusic, he was 3 of 5 from the arc, 7 of 12 from the floor, had 7 rebounds, 2 blocks and an assist. Initially, Moore and Williams were doing all the scoring, and there was a question of whether having other players pick up the scoring load helps...
He still ended up with some points - the 3s he took were pretty open threes, knock it down, and I told him at halftime, this guy Grier is too good a player, he's going to start heating up and we're going to have to have a big enough lead and hold on to your guts when that charge comes.

And he did heat up , just a little late.
Tim Doyle was back playing defense Saturday - he only had 6 points, but added 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists.

Another reason the Cats were able to get so far ahead of the Gophers was that they handled both the Minnesota traps and press, especially early in the game. They also took good care of the ball early
We did a nice job. You know in the 2nd half you get a little cautious, and I think the passes were there in the same fashion, but they're playing do or die and the traps were a little tougher, but I was very pleased.
All told a very satisfactory win for the Wildcats, who faced a Minnesota team that had suffered from an outbreak of flu all week and had trouble practicing. Lading scorer for the Gophers was Vincent Grier with 15, Dan Coleman hit for 11.

For a while, Adam Boone did look like he was going to get the Gophers back in the game - he hit 3 of 9 from the arc, but the entire Minnesota team only shot 37%, 27% from the arc Saturday. The Cats hit 60% of their 3s and 50% of their shots in the first half. The second half shooting fell off a bit to 45% as NU tried to force shots as they held off the Gopher's late charge.

The Cats also did something different Friday night - when they arrived in Minneapolis, they stopped off at the Williams Arena and spent some time shooting baskets.
Another plus coming from this game was that the Cats were able to win on the road without Mohamed Hachad, one of NU's top defenders.
He actually could have gone in there, the trainer told me before the game he looked good in warmups and he could do something, but I just thought to myself, if we can give him four more days - because he really has not practiced - give him a few days of practice that'll really help us.

And being at home the comfort level would have been a little better.
The 2-0 Big 10 start is also significant in other ways...
...told me this is the best start we've had in 30 years - I think about Jitim Young, he used to say , "Coach, since I got here a lot of records have been broken."

Good old 25.

Anyway, its great to win this one and then go back home and now we have a little momentum . Now we have to make sure we play the same way.

People think Penn State...I notice the scores, they put the ball in the basket and we've got to be ready for that game.
The Cats are back in action Wednesday in Evanston.

Bill Carmody's post game comments from the WGN Post Game Show
with Dave Eanet and Bob Hildebrand

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