Fired Bill Carmody: November 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

the Butler did it

the box score of NU's first loss tells a confusing story. the 'Cats shot 47% from 3PT to Butler's 20% and won the rebounding battle. that should be a win, right? not when you factor in 17 turnovers and a 24-6 deficit on trips to the free throw line, the latter of which added up to a 14 point differential. that tells me NU is going back towards a smaller lineup, which won't help us against Michigan State, Wisconsin and Co.

as for the freshmen, their minutes continue to shrink - Rowley and Shurna started but combined for 7 points and 5 turnovers in just 13 minutes, and Curletti was a DNP for the second game in a row.

the Butler version of the game is much more complimentary of Northwestern, but you can feel the cynicism in the Trib's article. after all the losses and the games that slipped away in the second half last year, those poor Northwestern beat writers are beaten men by now.

Monday, November 24, 2008

how's this for a downer?

coming on the heels of the first 3-0 start in 15 years, but also looking ahead to a tough matchup @ Butler on Wednesday night, i give you this depressing article. it is a pretty thorough look back through NU's recent struggles and includes several different perspectives. a lot of input from Jim Phillips, but nothing that seems to indicate whether or not Carmody should be worried.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

picking up a tough win on the road

the Wildcats held off a pesky Brown squad Saturday night to move to 3-0. remarkably, this is the first time since 1993 that NU men's basketball has begun the season with three straight victories. this was clearly a tougher match-up than their first few games, as evidenced by Coble, Moore and Thompson each logging 39 minutes. Shurna and Rowley were the other two starters, and NU got off to a fast start. the 'Cats scored 48 points in the first half, 24 of those coming on eight Craig Moore three pointers.

Brown went away from the zone defense in the second half and held Moore to seven points in the second half. meanwhile, NU's defense in the second half (the Bears shot 70% from the field)allowed Brown back in the game. they cut it to 66-60 with five minutes left but committed several turnovers and couldn't get any closer. here are my random observations...

  • attendance was a whopping 1331, although it didn't look like that even many were there. not counting students, i would say Northwestern fans outnumbered the home crowd and were definitely louder.
  • Carmody's lineup down the stretch was Thompson, Moore, Coble, Shurna and Mirkovic. Shurna was very underwhelming in person. you could argue that he was the best player in the first two games, but he didn't contribute much on Saturday.
  • Rowley does NOT look seven feet tall. he started the game but only played 13 minutes. Brown's roster lists no one taller than 6' 9" but Rowley did not tower over anyone. my initial thought was Kyle Rowley = Kevin Duckworth, but i believe that is paying too high a compliment.
  • assistant coach Ivan Vujic looks like a hit man. he reminded me of one of those silent assassin types from British movies like Snatch or Trainspotting. like this guy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

'Cats 2-0, now take to the road

again, this is what a team should do: win by 18 at home against an inferior opponent. Shurna looks to be the real deal. he had 17 & 9 plus 3 blocks. Moore made only one three (the record-breaker) but added six assists.

a few things concern me, though. Rowley had 4 fouls in 13 minutes and Mirokvic had 4 fouls in 10 minutes. the team only shot 5/21 from deep. and NU won the rebounding battle, but only by one. that doesn't bode well for when they face bigger and stronger frontcourts.

now the team hits the road for a game Saturday at Brown. the Bears won at Welsh-Ryan last year, and this team is coming off a berth in the College Basketball Invitational. Brown curiously decided to replace former NU assistant Craig Robinson by promoting assistant Jesse Agel, but they've been decent so far this year- picking up their first win last night @ Holy Cross after earlier losing a nail-biter @ Rhode Island, who almost won in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Sunday. the Bears have no one taller than 6' 9" and are led by junior forward Matt Mullery. Fire Bill Carmody will be in attendance at this one, so hopefully things will go better than the last time i watched NU hoops in person.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Game #2 on tap for tonight

the opponent is one of those schools that can be a head-scratcher when you see scores on the ticker: TAMU-CC. for the record, it stands for Texas A&M at Corpus Christie. if that is not enough incentive to buy a ticket, know that NU is handing out coupons for Krakus Ham, which apparently is "prestigious" and "imported from Poland, a nation known for making ham as the Swiss are to watch making and Germans to car manufacturing."

meanwhile, anyone who has spent time on has seen the Wildcats All Access video player from CBS College Sports. included in the men's basketball section are videos which ostensibly were played at this year's Fast Break Club event. Mike Greenberg offers some very vanilla encouragement, Jitim Young checks in from the Ukraine to ask Coach Carmody for more sweatpants, and while Mike Wilbon's allusion to the 1995 NU football team may be a stretch, he clearly has been paying attention to the roster. i find it interesting that he is currently (arguably) Northwestern's highest profile alumnus. last week he hosted the NU women's lacrosse team when they were in D.C. for a White House visit, and he is Northwestern's representative in the Big Ten tv commericials alongside Gerald Ford, Jesse Owens and Tennessee Williams.

back to topic: tonight we expect to see Craig Moore surpass Vedran Vukusic's career record of 212 made three-point shots. (Sean Wink would have this record by a mile if he hadn't bailed on his teammates - he had 143 in just two seasons.) we also will likely get our first look at freshman Luka Mirkovic, who sat out the Central Arkansas game for briefly playing professionally in Serbia. on paper this should be an easy win against another team from the Southland conference...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

that's more like it

today the cats did exactly what they should do against a transitional D-1 team.  it's hard to find too much wrong in the box score.  they shot the ball well, including 50% from 3PT.  and Hallelujah: they out-rebounded their opponent!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Drew Crawford: It's Official

the first day of the early signing period brought NLI's from Drew Crawford and Alex Marcotullio. we followed Crawford's rise through the AAU circuit this summer, and he is currently ranked the #9 prospect in Illinois. he's a take-charge wing player whose athleticism should help this team tremendously. i haven't seen him play in person, but i'm hoping/imagining the second coming of Geno Carlisle. of course, i'm also optimistic that Drew doesn't transfer to Cal after two seasons with NU. Marcotullio is a pure shooter from Michigan who conceivably will play a role similar to Craig Moore. although by the time he gets here, Marcotullio will have more talent around him than Moore did throughout his career, so he won't be asked to do as much.

Monday, November 10, 2008

sadly, Not Applicable was not an answer choice

i was just sent a survey from ESPN about their Tournament Challenge. after answering a question about what college i attended, i was asked this question:

How much more closely do you follow March Madness when Northwestern is playing?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Oh. My. God.

no other way to say this: last night Northwestern lost at home to Robert Morris, an NAIA school. Shurna was the highlight, with 15 & 10 in 30 minutes, but the freshman big men didn't fare so well.

it's obviously not a good night when the team shoots 22/72 and 5/22 from 3PT. and this team will not win many games when Michael Thompson takes the second-most shots (13). yes, i know RMC is led by 6'8" IU transfer DeAndre Thomas. but last season this guy averaged almost as many fouls per game as he did points (3.6) so let's not kid ourselves that this was top-notch competition.

i realize this was an exhibition game and doesn't count as a real loss, and i'm not going to write off the entire season because of one game. but seeing that Kyle Rowley played only 6 minutes tells me that his conditioning isn't good or he's not ready yet. so for all those pre-season articles that said "NU is bigger so they'll be better..." uhh, we'll have to wait and see.