Wednesday, December 23, 2009

10 Things We Know After NU’s First 11 Games

1. Juice Thompson is NU’s best player. He averages 16.7 ppg to lead the team, he has 42 assists and only 15 turnovers, he makes 80.4% of his free throws, and 42.5% of his threes. He is also clearly NU’s leader on the floor. The guy who the ‘Cats can go to when they need a big shot.

2. Alex Marcotullio isn’t just a three point shooter. Marcotullio is second on the team in made threes, but he is also second in steals and his consistently aggressively attacked the glass.

3. John Shurna is a serious offensive threat both inside and out. Shurna’s hasn’t shot that well from three this year (25%), but he still scores 15.9 ppg. That’s because he has become very comfortable attacking the hoop and scoring in the open court.

4. Drew Crawford is a legit scoring threat. At the start of the year Crawford started a tad slow, but since his 35 point output against N.C. A&T he has been in double figures every game. Right now he averages 10.2 ppg and is shooting 53.9% from the field.

5. Luka Mirkovic can hit a three point shot. Right now Mirkovic is only 4-of-10 three pointers, but it is clear from the smooth shot he takes that he can help open up NU’s offense from behind the three point line.

6. Jeremy Nash can hit a three point shot. In the past Nash was just a defensive specialist, but he is making 33% of his threes. That’s not great, but its good enough that teams have to respect him from behind the arc.

7. Kyle Rowley still needs to improve. Rowley is NU’s biggest player, but he still struggles to get rebounds and score. Hopefully he’ll improve in these areas as his size makes him valuable.

8. Davide Curletti is a legitimate option at center. Before he got hurt, Curletti had big moments against Tennessee State and Iowa State. If Rowley can’t perform consistently, I think a healthy Curletti is a good option at center.

9. The Wildcats can win away from home. NU has only played 3 games away from Welsh-Ryan, but they were all against BCS-foes and NU won all three. Two neutral courts and one at N.C. State.

10. Northwestern can make the NCAA Tournament. When Kevin Coble went down many fans thought NU would be lucky to make the CBI, but the ‘Cats are now 10-1 and are getting production from a number of surprising sources in order to make up for the loss of Coble and Jeff Ryan


G1000 said...

11. Northwestern needs to stop playing not to lose when they get ahead, or it will cost them in Big Ten play.

12. Shurna and Mirkovic need to stop taking threes. As you said, Shurna is only 25% from beyond the arc. We can't afford to give away possessions as a result of him missing threes. And Mirkovic needs to develop his post skills, instead of shooting a lot of threes. He's 4 of 10 so far, but that's not his game (although I might have to eat my words if he keeps making them).

TDC Mole said...

G, think back to those Princeton teams that played so great in the Big Dance (Carrill days, with BC on the bench as an asst.). They all had a relatively stiff-like 6'9 guy shooting threes from the top of the key. That's a staple because you have to stop the divers going down the lane. Luka needs to continue hitting that shot.

G1000 said...

True, but what I fear is that Mirkovic won't continue to hit that shot. Hopefully he proves me wrong.