Random Thoughts: On the Seniors

Wednesday is Senior Night for the Northwestern Wildcats. Coach Roy has a few reflections on NU's Senior Courtcats - who could be playing their last home game Wednesday night against Indiana

This year's group of seniors all came to NU in almost "strange" ways.
One was on a recruiting visit trip east when suddenly he was going to be a Wildcat. Another was recruited by NU, but had to sit through a tough freshman year on another team, a third just seemed to appear from Europe. Then there was the Coach's kid who, spurned by most Div I programs, just came in and walked on....

Wednesday, they all play their last regular season game in Welsh-Ryan

Joe Kennedy - They call him "the coach" because Bill Carmody has called him that.

He's stayed 5 years, playing in a few games, mainly at the end, although he did get in for 8 minutes in one game this year, shooting 2 for 2 from the arc.

His dad is presently the coach of Towson University, and Kennedy almost been a 4th assistant, helping new guards learn the offense. Forget his major, I'd bet he'll wind up patrolling the sidelines for a team next year.

Ivan Tolic Originally was the third Croat to come to Evanston, following on the heels of Vedran Vukusic and Davor Duvancic. After redshirting his freshman year, he burst on the NU scene, making assists, rebounding, giving the Cats a presence down low.

He was long considered by the Coaches as NU's best big man under the basket, but his knee problems became an issue, and he finally became a medical non-counter when it was obvious that he couldn't play a full court game effectively.

But the year off let his knees heal, and this year he came back and again has given us glimpses of just how good a player he might have been. He's started the last 5 games at center - making every shot he's taken since assuming the starting role.

He's also one of the most gregarious guys off the court that you'll find. He was the Basketball team's rep on several committees and has a bit of reputation as a politician.

Vince Scott - Committed to play at Northwestern almost as soon as Bill Carmody offered, he was looking at the Ivy League and was considered by some as a "project," but NU offered and told him he's play almost immediately.

He did, learning to play Carmody's brand of post, dishing off assists, rising up at the top of the lane to hit for 3.

When he's on his game, he's devastating - ask Minnesota, he scored 15 on 5 of 8 shooting. He's got several games with two steals - pretty good for a big man. His inside game has allowed him to be 2nd on the team in assists [63]

Then there are games where his shooting goes cold and he can't buy a basket. He's scored a total of 4 points against Illinois this year, including an 0 for 7 game at Welsh Ryan.

You have to wonder how good he'd have been if he'd redshirted as a frosh, but he earned the starting center role during the Big 10 season as a true freshman, still, I wonder.

Tim Doyle - To be honest, I've always liked Tim Doyle.

As a fellow Long Islander, he reminds me of some of the guys I grew up with back in the old days. - you know, that big kid in High School that shot hoops in his driveway, or on the school yard when he was little, always wisecracking, dumping on the other kids on the court?

Wildcat Watchers call his game "clunky," but I think some of his shots under the basket are just amazing to watch.

Doyle is a throwback player - a guy who scores under the basket with both feet on the floor - a relatively short guy who lofts a left hand hook shot over the Big 10's top center.

He's been called a point forward by the media - mainly because he's averaging 4.9 assists a game, but lately he's playing like a small forward - with two 17 point games, and 26 against Purdue.

Last year he scored over 200 points, while making 100 assists and 100 rebounds in the same season, and that was playing small forward opposite Vedran.

He was originally recruited by Bill Carmody, but played his first year at St. John's. You wonder where he'd be if he'd played all 4 years as a Wildcat.

All in all, this was a group that wasn't expected to be the Wildcat Senior Class four years ago .

They did start the season with some very high hopes, and have a tremendous non-conference record. The problem has been finishing games in the Big 10 - you can hear it in Bill Carmody's voice after games - they just can't seem to finish.

I'm not disappointed in their contributions to NU over the years, there were too many limiting factors in their individual careers, but for some reason, NU has just been inconsistent lately.

And that might be the tag line of the season, "at times they were inconsistent, and just couldn't finish."

Thanks guys -
-- da Coach

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