It’s game week for both NU football and basketball. This usually doesn’t happen until November and then football usually totally dominates the news as the basketball game is often versus a lower tier non-conference team. Now, I still expect the prep for Northwestern’s football season opener at Vanderbilt to get more attention than NU’s basketball tour through Italy, but I think NU fans will learn about from the ‘Cats Italian journey.
According the reports on nusports.com, the ‘Cats have arrived in Italy and have enjoyed some sight-seeing and great food, but according to Reggie Hearn’s blog, they still realize they are there to play basketball. While the quality of the Italian competition still remains to be determined, I think NU will get a lot out of the trip. At least as a fan I know I’ll have some questions answered. I want to see what starting lineup Coach Carmody uses and I want to see how JerShon Cobb plays against a level of opponent superior to what he faced in high school. I also want to see how Carmody manages his rotation. Is he looking to be a potentially deep team or will Mike Capocci, Ivan Peljusic, and Nick Fruendt have minor roles once again? This trip will give us answers a couple months earlier than we otherwise would have had them. If you’re an NU fan you should step away from the football hype at least long enough to find out.
For the record, I am excited about football. I’ve seen a wide range of predictions for the ‘Cats this season. Some have NU in the Big Ten’s top three and others have them in the bottom three. I personally expect a pretty good team. I believe Dan Persa is the type of player a team wins with as their leader and when you look at NU’s offense you see NFL talent in Al Netter and Drake Dunsmore. NU’s defense might seem more suspect, but I think Corbin Bryant might prove as good or better than NU’s past defensive line stars and I’m excited to see if Jared Carpenter lives up to his hype. If he does NU’s defensive front will have the needed support in the backfield and Mike Hankwitz should be able to breakout his wide array of various schemes.
Basketball – Monday 1:30 PM CT
Football – Saturday 6:30 PM CT