Fired Bill Carmody: That was quite a come-from-ahead loss

Friday, February 13, 2009

That was quite a come-from-ahead loss

how to handle this? should this game be carefully dissected in LTP fashion (good/bad/ugly) or does it warrant an all-out rant? either way, that was simply a crushing loss. obviously the significance of a who-gives-a-shit regular season big ten game pales in comparison, but as far as a late game collapse that ranks right up there with Memphis-Kansas or Gonzaga-UCLA.

let's review the particulars - NU up 14 with 4:57 left, up 9 with 2:10 left, up 6 with 1:01 left. in the ncaa tournament you'll hear coaches and analysts refer to each game as made up 8 four-minute games (separated by the media timeouts). on Thursday Northwestern won the first seven of those mini games, the last of which ended at 57-50 with 3:41 remaining. a Coble basket even extended that lead by two, and then it was all over. when Mike Davis missed that layup i actually breathed a sigh of relief, but NU kept giving Illinois chances.

here's a good idea against the press - GET THE BALL TO THE POINT GUARD. i appreciate Mirkovic's enthusiasm in wanting to help out the team, but there is no reason he should be anywhere near the ball in the backcourt. i assume NU has Thompson inbound the ball because he is the best passer, but then as soon as he steps on the court he should have it back in his hands. not only were the turnovers a killer, but so was using up all our timeouts (including one to narrowly avoid a ten second violation).

look, i understand Northwestern normally uses a lot of clock in their offense, and it is fine to use a few extra seconds when you have a lead. but there is nothing wrong with trading baskets either. if you have an open layup or path to the basket, take it. what's the point of using up time if you're going to end up throwing up a fadeaway at the shot clock buzzer? Arizona State employed this tactic perfectly last night in their win over UCLA. ASU was up 4 with 30 seconds left, dribbling around while UCLA was trying to foul. but Derek Glasser kept his eyes up court and threw a lob to Jeff Pendergraph for the dunk. now ASU is up 6, game over. i'm not suggesting that the Wildcats can afford to be quite that cavalier with the ball, but as long as you keep scoring, the other team can't catch you.


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