Christmas Holiday, the folks here at Purple Reign have had a chance to review some thoughts on the next two games..."> Christmas Holiday, the folks here at Purple Reign have had a chance to review some thoughts on the next two games...">

Comments on the recent Purple Reign Poll

While <b>Welsh Ryan</b> has been full of <b>Wrestlers </b>this weekend, and with the team taking off the <b><font color="#006600">Christmas </font><font color="#cc0000">Holiday</font></b>, the folks here at <font color="#330033"><b>Purple Reign</b></font> have had a chance to review some thoughts on the next two games...

In the Purple Reign Poll the last few days, we made you readers the Wildcat's Head Coach Bill Carmody, and asked you what you need to accomplish during the next two games. Here are your top 4 choices and some additional comments from me, Roy Lamberton, and Gregory Kane - Purple Reign's Basketball Writer:

1. See if Thomas Soltau can play some Center -
[With 29% of the votes]
Center Thomas Soltau[Roy Lamberton] It is the big question about NU's other "Big Man," 6-11 Sophomore Thomas Soltau. Will he start to produce and back up Aaron Jennings, or does NU have a real project.

Those who saw Soltau last year remarked about how skinny he is. When I saw him working one on one with the coaches, I thought he was a lot smaller looking than a typical Big 10 Center. He was obviously still learning how to manufacture a shot, but he was really trying, showing extra effort, trying to play with one of our Seniors.

Yet, I wonder how his development is coming along - apparently not enough to have him play in games yet.

2.Try to get Jitim Young out of his funk and back on the scoreboard. [27%]
Jitim Young[Gregory Kane] Jitim is just in a slump.  I think that the speculation on the message boards is getting ridiculous saying maybe he's upset about Vedran Vukusic [his injury], maybe he's jealous of TJ Parker, blah blah blah. He's just in a slump and hasn't lately been playing with the confidence and tenacity we're used to seeing.

It hasn't been this way all season. After all, he scored 29 against New Hampshire and led the team in scoring average until after NC State game.

[RL] I remember this came up at one of the Cat Chats last year -- what about Jitim's slump then (during the Big 10 Season). Bill Carmody said that players like Jitim just have to play their way out of slumps and that Jitim was the kind of guy to do just that. Jitim was, and he did.

[GK] I remember noting last season what a difference it makes when Jitim hit his first shot of the game and gets a few points in the opening minutes. It's been the same way this season: When Jitim misses early shots, he sorta disappears--or at least isn't as aggressive about taking the ball to the basket.

3. Prove that Davor Duvancic is the right man behind Jennings.[18%]
Davor Duvancic[GK] Davor did look good on Sunday [against Fordham]. It's evident that he's much quicker than AJ [Aaron Jennings] right now.  He's athletic, but still appears a little out of control.

He definitely plays hard, though. BC used him in a "mid-post" position--as opposed to true high-post or low post. The crowd really appreciated his hard play.

[RL] During the Chat during Sunday's game everyone there thought Davor was playing the game we expected, but the question was raised about how good Fordham was as a team, and could Davor do it as well against the Big 10 style opposition.

If I'm the Head Coach of the 'Cats, I certainly want to get Davor into a game against a good center and see how he does.
4. Will Evan Seacat become the "gun off the bench?" [15%]
Evan Seacat[Coach Roy] Beneath that smiling Indiana face lurks the heart of a "mad bomber." The big question about Seacat (the guy with the perfect Purple Reign handle]) is will his defensive play rise to the level of the Big 10?

We've seen him in a few games where he's come off the bench and just couldn't get started, either behind the arc, or on the other end playing defense, in other words, he played like a freshman.

What we have to remember is that he is a freshman, and comes from a smaller high school out in Indiana and probably wouldn't be playing yet except that the Wildcats need players to fill the hole in the rotation caused by Vukusic's injury, and he's got that beautiful 3 point shot [when it drops].

This would be one of my top 4 questions going into the Big 10 season, but its one I'll be happy to defer an answer on until next year.
And then there's the unrecognized fact that some of our 'Cats are putting forth some pretty good efforts:
TJ [Gregory Kane] I'll admit that the team hasn't looked that good on the whole.

At the
same time, there have been great indivdual efforts from more different players than I would have expected. Here are the high scoring efforts from the *EIGHT* wildcats who have scored in double figures this season:

  • Jitim Young - 29Jimmy Maley
  • TJ Parker [above] - 23
  • Aaron Jennings - 17 (twice)
  • Evan Seacat - 16
  • Jimmy Maley [right] - 15

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