Fired Bill Carmody: I'm conflicted

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I'm conflicted

i really don't try to be negative all the time. i realize that, as disappointing i found last season to be, it was the second of the two most successful Northwestern basketball seasons in recent memory. and i do believe that second- or third-tier postseason play is a good thing for those teams involved.

but since i had an opportunity last week to attend both NIT and NCAA games, the difference between the two was really hammered home. Rhode Island plays in a pretty nice arena that's less than eight years old. but the atmosphere last Wednesday was dead. i was under the mistaken impression that the students were on spring break; instead they must have skipped the game for St. Patrick's Day drinking. NU's effort was pretty poor, and they seemed to play with very little emotion. bad defense, bad shooting... considering the last five weeks, it was appropriate to end this season with a whimper.

now, contrast that with downtown Providence on Thursday afternoon. the crowd was electric during the should-have-been upset by Robert Morris. same thing during Omar Samhan's performance on Saturday. while some fans see wins by Northern Iowa or Cornell and think, "why not NU?" i'll tell you why not NU: because those other teams are really good. UNI won 25 games in the regular season. Cornell is making its third straight tournament appearance. those teams would crush Northwestern.

oh right, i'm trying not to be negative. i have to remember that teams need to crawl before they can eventually run. two straight NIT berths is something, even if it's not what we all want.

here is what i said back in November 2009: "This season is a failure if they take a step backwards. ... It would be great to avoid any bad losses and/or late collapses and hopefully knock off a couple of the big boys. Winning two or three games in the NIT would be a great step forward."

given that i made those comments before we knew that Coble was done for the year, i think i can say that the team did not take a step back. NU avoided the late collapses that plagued them in the previous season, and Purdue counts as a win over a big boy. obviously the bad losses in February were plentiful, and winning any - let alone two or three - games in the NIT didn't happen.

i have a pretty good idea of what my season prediction will say in November 2010: simply avoiding a step backwards is not good enough. the time for real, tangible, significant progress with this team has arrived.

1 Comments:

Blogger Marc said...

For what its worth, Cornell struggles against the 1-3-1 zone. But then again, we struggle executing it.

3/23/10, 5:19 PM  

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