Random Thoughts: Life without Vedran

Its been like a 300 lb canary lurking around Northwestern Wildcat games all season. What if Vedran has a bad night? Saturday afternoon, that canary jumped up on the NU backboard for all to see. Its not like the Northwestern Coach hadn't been talking about "someone else stepping up," or maybe daCoach has been the only one listening...

If you've been listening [or reading] to the post game interviews,
NU Head Basketball Coach Bill Carmody has been hinting for weeks that someone besides the big Wildcat, Vedran Vukusic needs to step it up. Saturday we found out why.

Lets face it, Vedran Vukusic is Northwestern's best forward in decades. Yes, Guard Jitim Young played some forward, but Vedran is arguably the best of the big men at NU since maybe Evan Eschmeyer? but I digress...

Since the season started, the Cats had been riding Vedran's 20+ point efforts to a [still] winning record [9-8] and knowledgable fans had been waiting for someone else on the team to take advantage of the extra attention the 6-8 forward draws in each and every game.

Despite Vedran's protestations to the contrary, Saturday, Illinois' James Augustine put on a clinic on how to shut the Big Cat down and for a half, nobody else seemed able to step it up.

Granted, Mohamed Hachad still came through with his usual 14 points, all in the 2nd half, and Sterling Williams seemed to get a hot hand on and off, hitting 3 of 6 and 3 free throws to finish with 10.

But we're seeing too many one or two basket performances from guys who have to come on and join the scoring party.

Vedran's probably too nice a guy to jump on some heads so Bill Carmody has been asking, in public, on the radio, for someone else to start making some shots. He knows that a "one man band" doesn't cut it in the Big 10.

I think the rest of the team now knows it too.
-- da Coach

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