Thursday, November 12, 2009
A Forgotten Option For A Coble-less Team
I don’t usually make posts between writing a game preview and the game starting, but I had a thought about a replacement for Kevin Coble that I haven’t seen presented yet here or anywhere else. That option is a guy who was a day 1 starter at Northwestern, but has disappeared from the rotation over the past few years. It’s interesting because most guys who are day 1 starters at Northwestern remain starters from their whole career. Look at guys like Coble, Thompson, and Shurna just on this team. Mike Capocci, however, disappeared from the starting lineup and the regular rotation right at the end of the non-conference schedule in 2007-08.
If you recall, 07-08 was the year Coble took a leave from NU to spend time with his mother when she was diagnosed with cancer. When NU started that season, it was freshman Mike Capocci who started the season as NU’s power forward. He even scored 18points in an exhibition win over Chicago including an alley-oop slam from Juice Thompson (how many of those has NU had?). Now, the truth is Capocci isn’t a power forward and it showed, but now NU is looking for a small forward. They’re also looking for an athlete who can provide some scoring punch and defense. I think Capocci could do just this. Back at the beginning of his career he started five games. He scored eight points against #20 Stanford in his debut and followed that with 12 points, six assists, five rebounds and a team season-high seven steals in a win over Benedictine. Admittedly it was Benedictine, but the point is Capocci has the skills to be a “stat sheet stuffer” type of player. He also had a game with 9 points and 3 steals as a freshman and had 8 points and 8 rebounds in just 12 minutes against Minnesota. Last year Capocci played less than he did as a freshman, but he did make 9-of-12 free throws and it would be nice if Coble’s replacement was someone who good make a clutch free throw as with Coble out I’m very worried about NU at the charity strip.
You also have to consider that like Ivan Peljusic (who might get the start Friday night) Capocci is an energy guy. He can run and jump out of the gym and gets the team fired up with big dunks. He had a dunk against Michigan in 07-08 that might be the best dunk I’ve ever seen from an NU player. Will Capocci start in Coble’s spot? Probably not, but he is an option that I hope at least gets considered as I think he’d provide a spark.