This game showed some signs of how Northwestern can compete with their follow Big Ten teams by slowing the game down. It also showed what happens when they stop slowing the game down (though we kind of knew that). Things are better for Northwestern when they slow the game down because at least the pace of play prevents anyone from the other team of catching fire. On the other hand, when they attempt to play at a fast pace you get what you got today when NU tried to speed the game up and Austin Hollins caught fire and drilled multiple threes in a row.
Basically, then first half of this game was how NU should play and the second half was the Michigan game again. NU needs to play as slowly as possible to compete. In addition, they need to make three point shots and not turn the ball over. The three wide open three point misses by Jared Swopshire in the first half were huge as they could have given NU nice momentum. Early in the second half when NU still had a shot Kale Abrahamson missed a key three. This Northwestern team hasn't shot well all year and that's a problem. If they are going to play slow each possession matters so much more and if they can't hit shots it'll be a problem.
Swopshire needs to play less if he can't score. Why Tre Demps doesn't see more time is beyond me. In addition, Mike Turner doesn't seem to offer anything offensively or defensively from my point of view. I know Alex Olah can't play all 40 minutes but somehow NU needs a sub in that position that actually is a factor in the game. I really wouldn't t mind seeing Chier Ajou get a shot since at least he's 7-2 and accidentally grab a rebound based just on size.
Overall, I really didn't expect this team to be as bad as they appear. I think the biggest problem is the fact NU can't score, but bottom line right now this is a bad basketball team that Northwestern is putting on the court right now. I don't know if they're worse than the 1999-2000 team which went 0-for-Big Ten play and couldn't score at all, but they're pretty bad. I'll be paying attention and being supportive the rest of the year, but these last two games haven't been pretty to watch. The only positive is NU has two of their best chances at a Big Ten win in the next two games. I have doubts about a win happening but at least they aren't facing a top-15 team.