Northwestern needs a win badly. Thankfully, the 11th place Wildcats play the 10th place Nebraska Cornhuskers in Thursday’s game. Now, the truth is neither team is that bad, but neither team is exactly good either as evidenced by their struggles. The biggest advantage NU has is that they are the home team. Admittedly, I thought that would prove more of an advantage against Purdue, but the truth is that Nebraska has struggled on the road even more than Purdue has overall this season, though, they’ve actually probably been better at home.
In this contest Northwestern needs to get more production from players that aren’t Drew Crawford and John Shurna. Yes, I’ll admit that Crawford and Shurna have been more solid than any of the other Wildcats, but the non-production from NU’s centers and guards Dave Sobolewski and Reggie Hearn have left Shurna and Crawford playing 2-on-5 at times and they aren’t good enough to win under those conditions. I sincerely hope that Davide Curletti doesn’t become afraid to shoot if he misses his first shot and I’d like to see Sobolewski show the same aggressiveness he showed versus Michigan State.
Look for Nebraska to try and get the ball to hot-hand Brandon Richardson who is coming off several strong games including 25 points in a win over Iowa on January 26th. Also, keep an eye on Cornhusker star Bo Spencer who is a dynamic player and could potentially have an interesting matchup with either Hearn or Drew Crawford in a battle of talented athletes if NU plays man-to-man.
I’d like to say more here, but I’m really kind of stumped at what else to say at this point. Northwestern should win this game and I think they will. Hopefully, it’ll give the team a boost of confidence, but at this point what NU lacks more than confidence is depth. Will JerShon Cobb ever be able to play? Will Nick Fruendt ever be trusted for any length of time? Is Luka Mirkovic ever going to play like a senior? I have no idea what the answers to these questions are and they are important for NU, but right now let’s just hope the answer doesn’t have