And a "going away" win certainly makes things feel better, but if you believe the Big 10 "pundits" the guys that do this for a living, NU is no better than 10th in the 11 team Big 10.Termy goes to almost all of the games, and he wasn't exactly encouraged by what he saw last Saturday night at Welsh Ryan.
For those who agree or disagree, there's a poll now on the front page [over on the right side, just below the recruits] for you to "click" your opinion. Then to add some fuel to the fire, here are a couple of thoughts from two of the Court Cat Board regulars....
Those who have to get their game info from a box score rather than from the radio or in person might be a little deceived by this one. [Saturday's] game was a very ragged affair (not exclusively on NU's part, by any means, but taken as a whole).
The entire game was a hackfest (fifty fouls, I think), and the refs didn't let anything slide. Neither team felt compelled to take most of their timeouts, because the freethrow fiesta took care of that.
We were never in any danger of being beaten by LIU, but we fouled too much, had too many turnovers, and missed too many shots (and free throws in the second half) to feel good about this one. LIU was completely inept shooting except for #2 [Antawn Dobie], and even worse shooting free throws, and they had a lot of practice. Jim Maley was held scoreless, and picked up four fouls, but I'm told WGN reported his back was hurting.
A few positives, however: Jitim Young seems all the way back - scoring, hustling like crazy, and rebounding (I think he had nine in the first half, and he collected a double-double tonight). Jason Burke continues to look good coming off the bench. Now, to get Winston Blake hitting his three-pointers...We also did a much better job of protecting and expanding a big lead. [Even] Patrick Towne got in the game and picked up some points! Judging from today's games only, Iowa is more ready for Big Ten play than we are. But I'm looking forward to the larger crowds, and the challenges that lie ahead. It wasn't too long ago that we lost games like this. By the way, Bill Carmody is now .500 at NU; the last time somebody was there at this stage was around 1963. It'll be a good season if he's still there [at .500] at the end of the season.
Ahh, but there's two sides to every issue, especially where the NU Sports are concerned. Tradercat also is a Welsh Ryan Regular...
Despite the ragged nature of the game, I am viewing the glass as half full. Jitim's play is the main reason for my optimism. It was good to hear him back in the mix of things. When he plays a solid floor game with most of his buckets near the basket that is usually a good sign for NU. He is definitly the straw that stirs NUs drink.
I am worried about the ragged play because that will not cut it in the Big Ten. However, Coach C has shown that he can and will get visible improvement out of his players throughout the course of the year. I look for this to happen when we hit the Big Ten season.
Up to this point the season has been somewhat of a disappointment, but I do not think we have seen the best that NU will play this year. Look for a very solid Big Ten schedule where we scare (or upset) one of the top conference teams.
There are still a lot of questions about this Wildcat Team as we head into the Big 10 schedule.
The truth will be told Wednesday night, about 7:30 PM as we take on the very athletic, but maybe one dimensional Iowa Hawkeyes.
We'll have more "random thoughts" before then...
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Go Cats - Beat 'em All!