I think the two most important spots on the court for Northwestern this year are center and point guard. The point guard spot remains somewhat unsettled as Dave Sobolewski county he's to try to find his way in the new offense, but I was pleased to see Alex Olah step up in a big way tonight. While Olah be consistent or will he be maddeningly inconsistent like Sobo who scored 25 vs UIC and hasn't approached that since? I have no idea but I'm currently very pleased with what I thought was Alex Olah's best game at Northwestern.
I think part of what made Olah so effective is that once he showed he could score on Gardner-Webb's post players his teammates kept feeding him the ball. This was huge on a night when three pointers weren't falling NU understand they has an advantage inside and they did all they could to exploit the favorable matchup. In the past I think sometimes NU has ignored their centers even when they had an advantage and just settled for threes.
I also liked the way NU seemed to just play with more aggression in the second half. The first half seemed kind of lazy and deliberate but in the second half it looked like NU was having more fun and really attacking the rim. That led to some nice dunks from Olah and Nate Taphorn and got JerShon Cobb really involved both scoring and passing.
As NU moves on to play two quality teams in Mizzou and UCLA it will be essential Cobb keep getting into the lane and making things happen. NU will also need Drew Crawford to play two good halves of basketball which doesn't seem to have happened since the Eastern Illinois game but I think we all know NU won't beat a top-20 team unless Drew posts around 25 points.