So since I wasn't at the Brown game and wasn't able to listen or see the contest, my impressions on the game come from reading through the box score. I'll try me best to pull out the key data and offer some insights.
Stat 1: Northwestern’s record 3-0
This is Northwestern’s first 3-0 start since the 1993-94 team started 9-0. Some people are already chalking up Wednesday’s contest at Butler as a loss, but I see no reason to assume the ‘Cats can’t win at Hinkle. More on that later this week.
Stat 2: Minutes Played
Michael “Juice” Thompson 39 minutes
Craig Moore 39 minutes
Kevin Coble 39 minutes
Kyle Rowley 13 minutes
Luka Mirkovic 21 minutes
Ivan Peljusic 6 minutes
Jeff Ryan 0 minutes
Davide Curletti 0 minutes
One of the advantages this NU team has is depth, however, last night Bill Carmody stuck with his top three guys for the pretty much the entire game. Obviously, I wouldn’t have taken out Craig Moore either, I mean 9 threes and 31 points is a day everybody whoever played hoops has to envy. What I did find interesting is that Juice played 39 minutes and Sterling Williams played only 3. I actually really liked the guard rotation Coach Carmody used which had Sterling giving breaks to both Juice and Moore regularly.
Also of note was the fact that Luka Mirkovic got the majority of time at center. I think Luka has loads of potential, but clearly he needs to get tougher. He did get three offensive boards, but had zero defensive rebounds. Kyle Rowley seemed to be productive in terms of points in his limited time, but failed to get a rebound. Ivan Peljusic played 6 minutes and I still think he should get more time. He’s shown the ability to both rebound and score against good teams, I’m not sure any of the freshmen are yet at the point where they can do both consistently. I’ll admit, though, it is early in the year.
Davide Curletti didn’t play at all nor did Jeff Ryan who was injured during the shoot-around and took the night off.
Stat 3: 31 points for Craig Moore
I just can’t talk about Moore’s effort enough. After two rough games Moore clearly got in a rhythm during the first half hitting 8 threes before the break. If he’s half as effective as he was on Saturday on a regular basis he’ll be All-Big Ten first team.
Stat 4: Northwestern Assist to Turnover ratio 15-to-4
Northwestern had 15 assists (Juice had 5) and only four turnovers (Brown had 17).
Stat 5: +/- results: Jeremy Nash +19
Wildcatreport.com poster CappyNU has done a great service to all NU basketball fanatics by creating a Google Docs account where he is tracking the +/- data for the NU roster. Visit this link if you want to learn more: http://northwestern.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?fid=58&tid=121008215&mid=121008215&sid=901&style=2
Basically, this stat tracks how well the team does when each player is on the court. Nash’s number was by far the best. This doesn’t surprise me. I’ve joked with people in the past year that other than shooting Nash is the best player NU has. Now, I’ll admit that might be something of an overstatement, but the defense, rebounding, and intensity Nash brings to the floor are spectacular. He is I believe unquestionably NU’s best athlete and the team always seems to get a spark when he comes off the bench. Also, the clip in the Big Ten Network add where he blocks Kosta Koufos is really awesome.
Around the Web:
For more on the Brown game visit Wildcatreport.com's basketball message board for several in person accounts. Here's a link: http://northwestern.rivals.com/forum.asp?sid=901&fid=58