The Matchup: Northwestern (2-0) @ Brown (1-2)
Location: Pizzitola Sports Center (Providence, R.I.)
Radio: WNUR FM 89.3 (www.sports.wunr.org)
Fun Fact: Northwestern is the first Big Ten team ever to play at the Pizzitola Sports Center
Brown is led by Head Coach Jesse Agel. Agel was an assistant for 19 years. He spent 17 years working at Vermont for Tom Brennan and the last two at Brown working for Craig Robinson. Coming from a family which includes several coaches I great respect for guys like Agel. He worked his way into a head coaching job through hard work and dedication, he was never a big name who got handed a job because he worked at Duke or North Carolina. I hope he has a great success, just not on Saturday.
As far as the players on the Brown roster the most effective scorer is 6-8 235 lbs. forward Matt Mullery, Mullery scored eighteen 62-57 win over Holy Cross, he scored 22 in a loss to Rhode Island. The other top scorer for Brown is Loyola Academy graduate Peter Sullivan. In Brown’s 73-67 win at Northwestern last season Sullivan scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half to lead Brown to victory. In that contest Sullivan was masterful at finding openings in NU’s 1-3-1 zone. This season Coach Carmody has eschewed the 1-3-1 in favor of a matchup zone. I think this is a better choice and will certainly help limit players like Sullivan who are good shooters, but not super athletes.
The other guy to watch for from Brown is guard Adrian Williams. Williams is the only guard Brown starts. He scored 16 points and added 7 steals in the win over Holy Cross and had 13 points in the two point loss to Rhode Island. He didn’t play in Brown’s 89-52 loss to George Mason. Obviously his presence makes a difference for the Bears. Matching up with Brown’s four forward lineup will be an interesting challenge for NU.
This is a game Northwestern should win, but going on the road with a bunch of freshmen can be really tough. It is my hope that the older players will step up. Most important will be the shooting of Craig Moore and Michael Thompson. I think those guys are due for good games so I’m predicting a Wildcat win. I say Northwestern, 77 Brown, 68.
A post on my efforts to follow the game from the Ryan Field parking lot after Northwestern takes on Illinois.