Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Preview: Robert Morris University @ Northwestern

The Match up: Robert Morris University @ Northwestern

When: Wednesday November 4th

Location: Welsh-Ryan Arena (Evanston, IL.)

Broadcast Information: Big Ten Network On Demand at http://www.bigtennetwork.com/ for $2.99

Fun Fact: Last time Northwestern played Robert Morris University they were known as Robert Morris College.

The Game: As opposed to analyzing whether Northwestern has a shot to beat Robert Morris University, because last year proves it really doesn’t matter, I have instead decided to highlight some of what we can look for to see if NU has a shot to live up to the hype the team has for this year.

First, I want to see how NU scores points from behind the three point line without Craig Moore. Michael Thompson is NU’s best returning percentage shooter and Kevin Coble can of course knock down treys, but Moore was the guy with the quick release who was always the go to guy when NU ran a set play out of a timeout. Who will Coach Carmody call on in those situations now? I suspect the answer is Thompson, but I’d love to see freshman guard Alex Marcotullio get a shot. Apparently in AAU his coaches would yell, “layup” whenever he took a three since he was so reliable. If it’s the same at NU, I suggest the student section do the same.

Second, and probably most obviously, I want to see the starting lineup. Moore and Kyle Rowley started most of NU’s games last year. With Moore graduated and Rowley hurt, it will be interesting to see who NU’s starting five are tomorrow night. I suspect NU will go with the veteran lineup of Thompson, Jeremy Nash, Coble, John Shurna, and Luka Mirkovic, but you never know.

Third, I want to see Drew Crawford play. Crawford arrives in Evanston with a lot of hype and a lot of expectation. Can he live up to that hype? Well, the good news is unlike previously hyped NU recruits, he isn’t being forced to come in and take the team on his shoulders. He will be used as a nice backcourt compliment to Thompson.

Fourth, what defense does NU play? RMU has some solid wing scorers. With the 1-3-1 vulnerable to the wing three this game might provide NU an excuse to work on man-to-man. With Crawford now on the roster, I do think NU is getting closer to having solid man-to-man defenders at every spot.

Fifth, who is in the rotation? As we learned last year not every exhibition features the real rotation, but I’m curious how (or if) guys like Mike Capocci, Ivan Peljusic, and Jeff Ryan will be used. They have Big Ten talent, but it kind of looks as if they might have been passed by when looking at NU’s last two recruiting classes.

Finally, did the ‘Cats make any noticeable strides in the weight room which will lead to better rebounding. Word is that Shurna and Coble have added muscle. It would be nice if NU were at least a little closer to their opponents when it comes rebound margin this season.


John said...

The one thing Robert Morris does well is hit the offensive glass. So I think this will be a good test at least in that regard. If Northwestern doesn't win by 15-20 after the game between Loyola and RMU, I'll be disappointed.

Loretta8 said...

I really hate the Big Ten Network. charging money for these games now? cheap bastards.

G1000 said...

Loretta8, I totally agree. If the Big Ten Network thinks I'm going to spend money to see an exhibition game on the internet, they're crazy. Go Cats!

buckyor said...

I hope we can beat these guys for a change.

Loretta8 said...

G1000, I'm still going to pay the money, its the principle of the thing that bothers me. They're too lazy to send a proper production crew to televise the game and they compound it by charging money to see it?

You cheap bastards spent years negotiating with Comcast to squeeze every penny out of them, and its still not available in every market (including mine), and now you're gonna find new and improved ways to rape your customers? Fuck the Big Ten Network

Ryan said...

If the BTN is making people pay I sure hope the quality of the boardcast is like watching on TV game on the computer similar to ESPN360 (but better because people have to pay) and not some lame webcast.

knickelbein5 said...

What happened to Rowley?

Ryan said...

Rowley got a foot injury this summer. He'll be out for the first part of the year. Hopefully he'll be back by the middle of December or sooner.

Ryan said...

Update on Rowley is that is actually cleared to play, but the 'Cats don't want to rush him back. He's also, of course, a tad behind on conditioning and such since he couldn't do as much with a foot injury.

Loretta8 said...

I paid for the stream, and its not streaming. I'm staring at a screen that says "Your event is not in progress." It's 8:16, the game started at 8. This is ridiculous.