So I’d written a bunch about this and then my computer crashed and I lost what I wrote, but I’ll try to recap.
NU’s now 2-0 on the trip through Italy. Not surprisingly John Shurna leads the team in points and rebounds. Shurna posted 27 points and 9 rebounds today and on Monday had 17 and 4. Juice Thompson scored 22 today after a slow game on Monday. NU’s other leader, Drew Crawford, has made it into double figures both games with 16 points on Monday and 11 in today’s victory. From looking at the stats I like the fact that Coach Carmody is using a variety of players. I don’t know if Mike Capocci and Ivan Peljusic will get as much action in real games as they have thus far, but perhaps every minute they play could make Carmody more comfortable in using them. Nick Fruendt also seemed to be on the court a fair amount during the highlights posted at nusports.com. If he can not turn the ball over he offers another potential outside shooter, which might be critical given NU’s struggles at the center spot.
It is the center spot which thus far seems to be NU’s biggest issue on the trip. Luka Mirkovic has a total of 3 points and 8 rebounds in two games and Davide Curletti has 11 points and 9 rebounds in his two games. Mirkovic has clearly put on some muscle, which is great, but he needs to find a way to consistently assert himself down in the post. If he doesn’t NU is missing a key aspect in making them an NCAA Tournament team. Now, without seeing the whole game it’s hard to judge defensive contributions. I think Curletti is a good defensive player and he might be doing a great job, but NU can’t just rely on outside shooting. Yes, the ‘Cats have good shooters, but at times they will miss.
Another observation from the stats is that JerShon Cobb hasn’t really made a major impact yet. Fans are counting on Cobb to be a major contributor, but he only made 2-of-10 shots today. Still, Coach Carmody did have enough confidence in JerShon to give him a start and I remember it took Drew Crawford a little bit to get going last year. When JerShon gets going I expect we’ll see a very solid player.
Alex Marcotullio seems to have benefited from his summer work as he’s scored 11 and 8 respectively and has been good from three.
I encourage everyone to check out the highlights from nusports.com at: http://nusports.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/083010aab.html