Cats win first Exhibition

The NU Wildcats held on to beat the EA Sports All Stars Saturday Night 64-59. Here's the early report from Welsh Ryan...

Steve Fridley had his observations:

Head Coach Bill Carmody stayed with his starting 5 until 10:35 of the first period. Those starters included TJ Parker, who is contributing from the start. He looks good.

We started off pretty ragged, and ice-cold shooting, digging ourselves a pretty good hole. About the time we started rotating players in, we started closing the gap. Went on a nice tear toward the end of the first period.

Second period we maintained the lead throughout, building ten-point leads a couple of times before turning ragged again in the last three minutes or so, but we closed it out and made enough ft's to hold on.

Other freshmen getting playing time: Jimmy Maley and Mohamed Hachad. [NU Photo left]. Maley fed a nice pass to Parker for a score. Maley played a lot but Hachad was only on the floor for a few minutes, so I didn't get a real good look at him.

Warren Silver also posted his personnel observations over on the Basketball Board...

We need AJ and Ivan Tolic, and not just for their size. We need to have Vedran Vukusic playing forward, not center. He needs to be getting around to the corner to shoot 3's, not standing in the high post running the offense to others. When Davor Duvancic [NU Photo right] came in for Winston Burke and Vukusic moved to the 4, he seemed to get in the flow much better and scored.

Winston Blake was Winston, firing at will, missing a lot but making enough to finish with lots of points.

Jitim Young is asserting himself as the go-to guy, demanding the ball when the shot clock ticks under 10 and driving it in, more often than not for the score. Eventually he was getting triple-teamed as soon as the shot clock hit 11, so he will need to learn to look for open shooters as a second option to keeping it.

On the freshmen:
TJ Parker is the real deal. Made a couple of off-target freshman passes, but that's not a surprise for a freshman. What is a surprise for a freshman was his poise and his understanding of the flow on both sides of the ball. In terms of how advanced he is for someone seeing his first collegiate action, he is this year's Vedran Vukusic.

Jimmy Maley [NU Photo left] was a pleasant surprise. He showed that he has fundamental skills and is bright and coachable, qualities that under the less than disciplined Conte Stamos at Lyons Twp High were not easily discerned. He also showed heart and hustle worthy of Nate Pomeday (who by the way was taking in the game). Best play, aside from the nifty assist to TJ that Termy mentioned, was in the first half when he went up roughly fifty feet in the air for a rebound and sent it flying back to Winston Blake while he was still 35 feet elevated.

Mohammed Hachad was off the bench only for about a minute and a half of action. Not enough time to show very much. He tried to flash one pass in to Winston, but it looked like the timing might have been a bit off and Winston was too far underneath to take it up and in. Carmody had something to say to him after that play. I was surprised we didn't see more of him, and he may have more to learn about the offense.

Evan Seacat had a nice stroke in the shoot around, but didn't get off the bench at all, having the dubious distinction of being the only healthy freshman who didn't get in the game. I hope that it's no indication of his abilities at this juncture.

Thomas Soltau and Patrick Towne also didn't play. Aaron Jennings and Ivan Tolic were in civvies.

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