Fired Bill Carmody: February 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Almost perfect

i say ALMOST because near the end of the game, i think i heard the student section chanting, "Kyle Rowley"

there's just no excuse for that. otherwise, nothing to complain about tonight.

First half thoughts

it's been a while since i posted anything during a game...
  • Iowa started off with the Car-no-win-dy offense: shot clock buzzers on their first two possessions
  • John Shurna is 2nd in the conference in scoring. does he have a shot at first team all-Big Ten? not a chance, i would think.
  • i counted at least two three-second violations by Iowa
  • a lot of bench minutes so far tonight. obviously it looks like this one won't be close, so i wonder if BC is already preparing the starters for having to win four straight in Indy next month
  • John Shurna was a missed free throw away from equaling Iowa's first-half point total

Thursday, February 18, 2010

And also

as if my frustration level was not high enough, i just read that Ed DeChellis is on a 7-1 run against Bill Carmody. it's obviously depressing any time your team loses a game that actually makes Penn State basketball fans feel good about themselves. and here is more insight on NU's unwillingness/inability to change defenses.

It don't get no worse

i'll make the argument that this was the worst loss during Bill Carmody's tenure at Northwestern. i'm only considering home losses, since winning on the road can be difficult, regardless of the opponent. there were some weak non-conference teams that won in Welsh-Ryan earlier this decade (IUPUI, UIC, Mississippi Valley State, Cornell, Brown) but if you check the numbers, each of those teams actually finished that season with a decent record.

certainly NU's offensive ineptitude against PSU in the conference tournament four years ago comes to mind. and technically the game wasn't meaningless, as a win would have earned them postseason eligibility. (my god, look at that box score. Bernard Cote started and Evan Seacat got 23 minutes!)

but i think last night takes the cake. i never thought that Penn State would go winless in the conference, but after looking at the numbers, they're worse than i realized. before last night PSU had more RPI 200+ losses (Indiana, UNCW, Tulane) than top 150 wins (@ Virgina in November). only twice this season (Gardner-Webb & Sacred Heart) had Penn State scored more than 80 points, and only against Michigan State had NU allowed 80 points in regulation.

as others have pointed out, Penn State was able to take advantage of the 1-3-1. Carmody recognized that, but since that's basically the only defense NU knows how to play, not much could be done about it. i really think the defensive problems stem from this being a very tired team. i talked about it last month, but the lack of depth was going to catch up with this team eventually.

this was a terrible loss not only because it was a terrible opponent; this game meant something. there is no question that Northwestern's at-large chances took a major, major hit with the L at Iowa. but according to at least some, NU wasn't entirely dead. they are now. not even a win at Wisconsin matters - this team will have to win the conference tournament to get in the dance. the Wildcats still have a shot to finish 6th in the conference, which would match them up with Penn State in the first round but then with the first-place finisher after that.

a video on this week encourages fans to watch Northwestern "make history" at W-R Arena. the only history to be witnessed on Wednesday night was another episode in the epic failure that is Northwestern University basketball.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

ok, then

at least now we don't have to listen to Lake the Posts and Teddy Greenstein continue with any of their baseless bubble talk. how fitting that this season is destroyed by losing at home to Penn State; that's the kind of nonsense that inspired me to start this stupid blog. what a fucking disaster.

Monday, February 15, 2010

That win helps

yesterday's comeback victory over Minnesota is a great step towards an earning an NIT home game or two, which, in case you haven't been paying attention, is the best result NU can hope for this season. i was surprised to see Northwestern listed as an 8 seed here, but it's worth mentioning that down the stretch last year this site predicted NU as a 5 or 6 seed, so they're not completely clueless.

while i'm terrified of the Wildcats' trip to State College in two weeks, i think they should be able to handle things on Wednesday at home against Penn State. it would be nice if they could put together a complete game before they head into the Kohl Center next Sunday.

also - supposedly a student was ejected from the game for heckling Ed Hightower. my jealousy of that accomplishment is off the charts. if anyone knows what he/she said, please tell me.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bo Ryan and Tom Izzo are severely underpaid

this is a long but fairly interesting article about how badly Penn State has fucked its basketball program. assuming the salary numbers are close to accurate, it's remarkable that Bill Carmody is making nearly the same as Bo Ryan. safe to say that their respective career accomplishments are not quite on the same level.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Absolutely NO shame in losing at Iowa

i know what you're all thinking, Northwestern fans. this team still had an outside shot at the NCAA tournament, but you can't believe they blew it with a bad loss at Iowa. keep your head up. on Wednesday Northwestern was simply topped by a superior opponent.

i mean, before last night, Iowa's best win was over RPI #177 Drake. that means Iowa is the third best team in the state. THIRD! in the whole state! that's certainly nothing to sneeze at; third place gets you a bronze medal in Vancouver.

clearly this Iowa team was due for a win. sure they'd lost four in a row, but their fans didn't give up. a whole 8,697 people showed up for the game. some may point out that Carver-Hawkeye Arena has never seen a smaller crowd for a conference game, but it's just that the fans knew Iowa was going to win. and the fans knew the players would go shake hands with the crowd after the win, so the good folks of Iowa didn't want to tire out the players by forcing them to meet with too many visitors. can you imagine if each of the 15,500 seats had been filled? that's a lot of glad-handing!

now, regarding Northwestern's brilliant coach, William Carmody. i've read a few article this morning that accuse Mr. Carmody of odd substitution patterns and an ineffective defensive strategy. well, i checked the numbers and i don't know what those people are talking about. it is true that Drew Crawford played his fewest minutes since December 1 and Mike Capocci played his most minutes of any game this season. but in case you haven't been paying attention, Drew is awfully talented and athletic and has been drawing lots of acclaim from the media and fans. Mr. Carmody's foremost responsibility is to maintain a positive locker room and ensure all his players are happy. if he keeps giving all those minutes to Drew, then Mike or some of the other bench players might become jealous.

and regarding the defense, Mr. Carmody and Northwestern win games with a 1-3-1 zone defense. that's what helped NU beat Michigan State last year, and that's what has earned Mr. Carmody effusive praise. we can't be troubled when other teams take the time to "scout" or "prepare" or "make adjustments." and Mr. Carmody certainly can't be expected to know that Iowa has attempted the most three point shots of any team in the conference. no, Northwestern plays a 1-3-1 zone defense, and if a team happens to come up with an opposing strategy that defeats it, all we can do is tip our cap to them.

other NU fans out there are saying NU played badly and using all kinds of "insightful analysis" to point out the things that Northwestern did wrong. but obviously those people didn't see this headline. that makes much more sense. see? the Wildcats were a victim - they didn't do anything wrong.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


1) here is a pretty thorough summary of just how bleak the NU bubble situation is. nothing surprising here, but it is helpful to see someone else echo the "22-9 is not enough" argument that i've made several times. further discussion here.

2) more gruesome details. while i think Joe Lunardi is exactly right, he still comes off as a prick.

3) a boring interview with Evan Eschmeyer about this year's team.

4) Wake Forest and Texas have nothing to do with Northwestern, but i had to pat myself on the back for making some insightful analysis to Gary Parrish of

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Enough with the hyperbole

a big deal was made of the fact that on Sunday the Wildcats opened and closed the first half with dunks. various news outlets, blogs, etc. have described those dunks as:

"brought the house down"
"thunderous dunk"
"big-time slam"

uh, no. the crowd loves it when a Northwestern player dunks the ball, but it's not as if we're watching the second coming of Phi Slama Jama. we all know this is the most athletic team in recent memory, and the preseason buzz was that Northwestern was going to "average three dunks a game." while NU hasn't yet reached that level, it is indeed nice to have more than one or two guys capable of touching the rim. let's just tone down the adjectives a bit.

in case you were wondering, a quick youtube search of "Northwestern dunks" turned up this and this - in case you're interested in watching dunks that i would actually consider "thunderous"

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Wildcats do what they need to do

NU moved to 2-0 in its season within a season, this stretch run to determine where they play in the postseason. the 'cats jumped out to an early lead and never really let IU make things interesting the rest of the way. we all know that Tom Crean will get things turned around quickly, possibly as soon as next season, and the Hoosiers have played well at times this year, including a win over Pitt in December. but it was remarkable to see Indiana struggle to keep up with a Northwestern team that had more talent and - dare i say it? - more athleticism.

Rowley was awkward as usual but not completely terrible. (i did have to chuckle at the irony of BC replacing Mirkovic with Rowley because Luka missed a layup.) Capocci made some good contributions in his five minutes, and i wouldn't be surprised if his minutes go up a little bit over the next few weeks.

next up is a trip to Iowa City and another must-win. all those empty seats won't be overly threatening. Iowa started the season by losing at home to UT-San Antonio and Duquesne, but they played OSU and Purdue tough in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Michigan game goes from a "should win" to a "must win"

regardless of how weak the bubble is this year, Tuesday night's home game is one the Wildcats simply have to win if they hope to stay in the conversation. pretty much the only thing Northwestern has going for it is a lack of bad losses. and i'm writing off any chance for a win in Madison, so the opportunity for big wins is basically non-existent. all we can hope for is a 9-1 finish to the regular season. i'm convinced that's the minimum for NU to have a shot at the big dance. let me remind you that as of today this team is in NINTH PLACE in a far-weaker than expected Big Ten.

but if our Wildcats fall short of the goal this season, it sounds like Northwestern is a lock to make an upcoming tourney, perhaps as soon as next season. the college hoops twitterati was all fired up when today's news hit the interwebs. and they should have been fired up; this is just a terrible, terrible idea. (even the NCAA's rebuttal lended a sense of inevitability to the rumor.)

Bill freaking Carmody has had quite a string of luck the last few months. facing the first REAL pressure in his Northwestern career, his best player and key reserve are lost for the season, giving him a handy excuse for when the team falters down the stretch. (yes, I expect them to falter.) add in the fact that Coble's redshirt year also saves him the trouble of having to recruit an additional player for next year.

and now the tournament might expand, rendering this list (left sidebar) essentially irrelevant going forward. the NCAA would have to add another category to its record book, the way they did when the tournament expanded in 1985. sure, Northwestern would make an NCAA tournament, but that accomplishment would be cheapened. NU will forever be one of the 16 teams who played during the entire 64/65 team era - and one of five original D-1 teams - but still needed an idiotic NCAA/ESPN money-grab to back their way into the bracket.