Chicago College Basketball made a list of options for Coach Carmody which I pretty much agree with, but I want to directly address the starting lineup. When Coble left the team to support his mother’s battle with cancer during his sophomore year, Carmody plugged Jeff Ryan into the starting forward spot. That is an option this season, but not my favorite one. I think NU needs to go with Jeremy Nash, Davide Curletti, or Ivan Peljusic in Coble’s starting spot. Who Carmody chooses to play will be based on what type of team he wants to be without his star.
If Carmody decides he wants to play defense and go back to really taking the air out of the ball he ought to start Nash or Curletti. Nash is NU’s best defensive player and can move to the two-guard spot while Drew Crawford slides to small forward. If Carmody wants to stick with defense, but wants more size he can use Curletti who is NU’s best low post defender. Curletti also is a good rebounder and might be able to make a few shots.
If NU wants to take a chance at recreating some of Coble’s offense Carmody should go with Peljusic. Peljusic is at times turnover prone, but he is a fantastic athlete and has shown the ability to explode offensively on occasion. Also, his energy and enthusiasm might be just what the NU team needs having lost their leading scorer.
Two other players who might have to surprise NU fans and the Big Ten Conference in this situation are guards Alex Marcotullio and Nick Fruendt. Neither is going to start, but the Princeton Offense gets open shots. The problem for NU has been in past years that nobody made the open shots the offense got. This year was supposed to be the year that happened, but realistically a sub for Coble isn’t going to shoot anywhere near Kevin’s percentage. Therefore, NU needs guys who can come in and knock down shots. The best two options are Fruendt and Marcotullio.