I don’t know what to say. I really thought the wheel had turned enough that this Northwestern team would be able to handle the pressure of a big game and compete and win. They couldn’t. This team in fact really looked worse than last year’s squad in big games. Dave Sobolewski was outmatched by Baylor’s quick guards and Luka Mirkovic was as clueless as he’s ever been and that’s really saying something. Luka’s had some nice games, but when he plays his last game for NU in March I seriously doubt NU will have a major drop off at center next year no matter who plays it.
I’d also say that this game pretty much shows John Shurna isn’t an NBA player, though, I’m not sure anyone ever thought he was. Shurna will probably still get drafted in round two and play in the preseason, but if he wants to make money in basketball long term it’ll be overseas against players who play a game that isn’t as based on athletic skill and that feature more finesse.
I was also really disappointed in Drew Crawford and his lack of assertiveness, but I think some of that was simply proving the concept that while Drew Crawford is “Northwestern-athletic” he’s not really athletic.
The worst part, though, was every player on the court for NU looked intimidated by Baylor. That’s awful and something that needs to change if Northwestern ever wants to be anything. Other teams will be better, but at some point NU needs to be mentally ready to play a big game. Aside from seeing Juice Thompson do that last year, I can’t think of another NU player who clearly showed mental toughness.
At least the crowd was good, though, too bad they didn’t see anything from Northwestern which will make them want to come back.
NU now takes time off for finals and that’s maybe not a bad thing. They still have a shot at a big win when they play at Creighton, but that’ll be a tough game as well.