Fired Bill Carmody: November 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

NU is "ranked" again

NU received a few votes in this week's AP poll (none in the coaches' poll). not enough to move into to top 25, and not enough to be ahead of Notre Dame, but enough to unoffically come in at #41. our old pal Dave Jones from the Patriot-News has again recognized a couple of nice wins by NU early in the season.

in case you were wondering, Northwestern's RPI is 70; strength of schedule is 119.

Quite a weekend for the Wildcats

well perhaps this season is not quite the lost cause we thought it would be. NU picked up its first in-season tournament title since 1993 by knocking off previously undefeated Notre Dame and Iowa State in back to back nights. although Northwestern did have an unfair advantage since they have so much experience with playing in front of only three thousand people.

seriously, those are two very nice wins. an offensively-assertive John Shurna let the way both nights, and just so i don't get annoying people bitching about this in the comments, i will point out that Carmody's defensive adjustment at halftime of the ISU game made a big difference.

next up is a trip to Raleigh for another undefeated opponent, although none of NC State's wins are particularly impressive. the Wolfpack are led by a pair of 6' 9" forwards, so NU will need a strong effort from Mirkovic, Curletti and Rowley (and probably most of their 15 fouls) to keep Tracy Smith and Dennis Horner in check. this is a huge opportunity to get a road win against another BCS opponent. see you Tuesday night on ESPNU.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Men's hoops relegated to undercard

i don't know how this escaped my radar before last night's game, but i did not realize that the men's game against Liberty last night started at 5:30 while the women's game against DePaul followed at 8:00. now i understand that Liberty is terrible and DePaul is ranked. and i also understand that if they reverse the order of the games, no one will show up early to watch the women play. but (aside from Tennessee and possibly Connecticut) i would think it's pretty rare for a BCS school to have a men's game open for the women's team. some might say it's just creative marketing; it seems like a bit of an insult to me.

on the plus side, Bill Carmody can say he's at least the second-best basketball coach at Northwestern.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

NU escapes Tennessee State

this could have been the first of the "guarantee" home games that a shorthanded Wildcat team let slip away, but Michael Thompson bailed them out. TSU led by as many as 8 with about five minutes left with Juice scored 10 straight points and NU took the lead for good on a Marcotullio three with 2:22 on the clock. Thompson finished with 31 points in 39 minutes and was the only NU player in double figures.

next up are the Seth Curry-less Liberty Flames, who last week lost to Clemson and Old Dominion by a combined 72 points.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This really pisses me off

i can't really express how angered i am by the first three paragraphs of this article.

He had to be content with himself and his surroundings, because you don't see too many men casually drinking a glass of red wine on a weekday afternoon at a sports bar in Skokie. The amateur oenophile was Bill Carmody, fresh off an 8-22 season...

i can just see smug Billy now, enjoying his Carménère without a care in the world. can you really imagine Roy Williams or Jamie Dixon dropping by the local BW3 for some march madness action after an unsuccessful season? or even lower profile guys like Mike Brey or Jim Larranaga? actually i could see Larranaga doing it, because he's cool like that. but he took George f-ing Mason to the final four, so Jim Larranaga can do whatever the hell he wants.

the point is, i'm confused and frustrated that BC was not embarrassed to be seen in such a setting. he had just concluded the worst season of his career, and now he wants to hang out and watch the ncaa tournament?! a tournament in which Northwestern is not even close to participating as a direct result of his inept recruiting and coaching?!?! i understand he needs/wants to relax after a miserable season, but i don't see how doing it this way is, in any way, a good idea. in his defense, perhaps he just assumed he was about to get fired, so maybe he was scouting other programs that would be in need of assistants. that's the only logical explanation.

oh, and NU plays #11 butler tonight. go 'cats.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Team redshirt, explained

for those of you who have been living in a cave, here and here.

Team redshirt

well, looks like i can just sign off for about twelve months or so. roster should look pretty decent for the 2010-2011 season, but i don't expect many good things to happen between now and then.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Those Medill alums in Bristol are at it again

if only because i doubt it will ever happen again, i had to capture this shot of espn's college basketball headlines. lil ole Northwestern up there with blue bloods Duke and North Carolina. our baby's all grown up.

Mini-roundtable on NU hoops

check out today's post from Sippin' on Purple (née The Purple Drank) for a few blurbs from FBC about the upcoming season. please note that i answered his questions mere hours before the news of Coble's injury... just in case you were surprised/confused by my optimism.

Here's hoping for the worst

at this hour it is likely that the Northwestern coaching and medical staff are aware of the extent of Kevin Coble's injury. most published rumors have the senior forward missing 4-6 weeks with hopes that he misses no more than that. the official word is scheduled to be released today.

it may seem counter intuitive, but i'm hoping he's done for the season. obviously if that happens, this essentially becomes a wasted season and certainly gives the Carmody apologists yet another year-long leash and even more excuses. however, in looking at the big picture and what is best for the Northwestern basketball program, foot surgery may be the best option.

think about it... in that scenario Coble gets a medical redshirt, has the surgery now (so he is fully recovered by next October) and spends the next 12 months getting even stronger in his upper body. meanwhile, the team slogs through a brutal big ten season but the freshmen and sophomores get invaluable experience. next March we lose Nash and Ryan in the backcourt, but that would (theoretically) be offset by the development of Crawford, Freundt and Marcotullio.

then NEXT season, we have all but those two guys back, Coble returns, everyone else is a year older and (hopefully) stronger, and Jershon can step in to help an already-established team. and while i'm not going to look through all the big ten rosters to predict the 2011 standings, i'm guessing that if the conference is considered the best in the country this season, it probably won't be next season.

so while i certainly don't wish injuries on anyone, i simply offer that the alternative to a half-season from a potentially hobbled Coble may not be as bleak as you think.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Carmody sounds lost

check out this rambling, at-times unintelligible interview with Bill Carmody after the Coble injury. the line that confused me most is this one:

The other thing that happens, which I think is the key, Johnny was going to be guarded by the fourth best guy. Now the best guy's going to guard Shurna.

Wherefore art thou Jershon?

as other schools' websites were buzzing yesterday with news of the 2010 recruiting class, was conspicuously silent. well, silent aside from the potentially season-altering news of Kevin Coble's injury.

i realize the early signing period continues until next week, and i also understand that recruits don't need to (and maybe shouldn't) commit in the fall. but it still would have been nice pub to formally announce Jershon Cobb. a little press conference with some quotes from the coaches about why they wanted Cobb and some quotes from Cobb about why he liked Northwestern would go along way in helping to influence other recruits, both for 2010 and beyond.

meanwhile, NU appeared to be on Will Sheehey's list for a while, but it seems that he's headed to Indiana.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Coble hurt - now what?

remember all those good vibes and positive stories about the upcoming Northwestern basketball season? well, so much for that. because what else is the internet for besides rampant, unsubstantiated speculation, it looks like Kevin Coble may be out for 4-6 weeks. if it's true, an injury that significant also raises some questions in my mind about his effectiveness even after he returns, but i guess we'll worry about all of that later. for now, it just sucks.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Season starts on Friday

what has struck me most about the beginning of this season has been the confidence with which the players have been speaking. this can't be related just to one preseason victory, although it was nice to actually get a victory in the preseason. the upperclassmen are leading the way and the sophomores are infinitely more comfortable this season.

i'm sure Shurna's summer experience and last season's NIT bid have something to do with it, but i think the biggest factors were getting some road wins last year. HUGE monkeys are now off the back after winning in Bloomington and East Lansing. you'd like to think that despite those collapses at home against Illinois and Purdue, this squad comes into the season with at least a little bit of the almighty "knows how to win."

and while it is preposterous to think that anyone associated with Northwestern basketball would suffer from overconfidence, i do think it will be interesting to watch how the team and coaching staff will deal with the expectations of this season. the amount of coverage has been quite astounding - both in the print media and by those nefarious bloggers - especially when you consider that the season hasn't started yet and the team hasn't actually accomplished anything yet. i don't expect them to fall flat on their faces against NIU, but the Butler game serve as an early reality check.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A faster, better turnaround

coming on the heels of yesterday's feel-good andy katz story, today we're reminded that Craig Robinson is doing better things with a program that was even worse when he arrived. these paragraphs just reinforce Carmody's inability to win games nor recruit the right players for his vaunted style of offense:

Schaftenaar's game -- honed by his 7-2, former-professional-basketball-player father, Philip -- is ideal for the way Robinson wants to coach. Blessed with great court vision, a point guard's passing touch and dribbling skills a guard 10 inches his junior would envy, Schaftenaar is the perfect point-center.

And while the Princeton style might seem to be predicated on 3-point sharpshooters and well-timed back-door cuts, the center is the engine that makes it go. Virtually all the Princeton plays run through the big man positioned at the top of the key. He makes the reads and looks for the back-door cuts. Remember, it was a big man (Steve Goodrich), not a guard, who dished that pass to Gabe Lewullis for Princeton's upset of UCLA in the 1996 NCAA tournament.

"It's not a system; it's players and basketball,'' Robinson said of his style of play. "The thing about the Princeton offense, it's always been about player development.''

Monday, November 02, 2009

Let the season begin

and by season, i mean the Northwestern basketball season as well as the season of me bashing our head coach. now before anyone starts commenting things like "Hey shut up, you can't fire the coach just as the season is about to start" or "Why would we get rid of Carmody coming off his best season?" ...please just relax. of course i'm not suggesting that right now or even this past offseason was an opportune time to fire him. no, the right time(s) for that have come and inexplicably gone many times over. but as BC points out in this andy katz piece - complete with home video-quality interviews - the pressure is on. to his credit, he doesn't shy away from it and apparently has willingly placed the target on himself: "I think we're going to do it this year."

later this week i'll begin to enumerate the reasons why i don't share his confidence. not the least of those reasons is that Drew Crawford appears to be the only one on the team with any muscles.