24 September 2009


Fun fact of the day: 304 teams have made the NCAAs.  That means NU will be the 305th team (or perhaps T-305th) to play in the NCAAs come this March.  I did a little research on the significance of 305, and google informs me that there was a mockumentary called "305" that was released in 2008.  305 tells the little known story of five Spartans who were charged with guarding a goatpath while King Leonidas' more famous group 300 Spartans marched off to defend Sparta from invasion and into the history books.

This is almost too obvious fodder for some photoshopping guru.  Too bad I'm not up to snuff in that dept unlike some folks...

23 September 2009

Recruiting buzz on the interwebs

In the confluence of JerShon Cobb's signing last week and the beginning of fall practice, the perennial autumnal renewal of optimism has reached new heights for NU men's basketball. Yes, Carmody Court has been joined by a legion of voices declaring THIS IS THE YEAR that NU makes the BIG DANCE!

There is plenty of time to get into all that once we get to see how the team actually looks this non-conference season. Instead, I'd like to stoke the recruiting buzz that has the interwebs aflame.

Per Rivals, NU has offers out to SEVEN top 50 prospects in the Class of 2011 and NINE total prospects (all of which are in the top 150). How many NU lands is subject to debate, but this is a quantum leap in NU's recruiting profile. Here is a recap of NU's recruiting targets by position (overall national rank):

Marshall Plumlee (41)
Nnana Egwu (48)

Julian Royal* (30)
Keaton Miles (43)
Rod Days (115)
Henry Brooks (129)

Shannon Scott* (12)
Dai-Jon Parker* (17)
Chasson Randle (45)

Frankly, I am a bit stunned by this list. How many of the top 50 could even get past NU admissions? I doubt it's many more than 7, though I admittedly haven't researched it. Be that as it may, I am so used to seeing baby steps or two steps forward and one step back that this gigantic shift is shocking. I am reminded of Gary Barnett's analogy of the breakout Rose Bowl year where he wrote in his book (and I paraphrase from foggy memories) that he had been priming the pump for some time and all of a sudden the water just came gushing out that fateful fall of 1995. Perhaps that is what is happening with NU men's basketball recruiting.

* denotes a "Georgia Peach"

21 September 2009

NU lands Cobb, reaps benefits of program stability

Jershon Cobb, a Class of 2010 Rivals Top 100 recruit from Atlanta Georgia, orally committed to Northwestern over the weekend. This is a HUGE get for a variety of reasons.

1. NU has three slots to fill for the 2010 class (though some think NU will bank one or possibly two of those scholarships given the impressive list of recruits expressing interest in NU from the 2011 class. More on that below), and the natives were starting to get restless. This should placate even the most hardened Carmody critic.

2. Cobb is the highest ranked recruit landed by Carmody (and Hardy -- Tavaras is a monster on the recruiting trail!) in his nine-plus years at NU. Recruiting trajectory continues to point upward and has never looked more promising.

3. And, last but certainly not least, Cobb could be NU's hook to landing the "Georgia Peaches", three very highly regarded Class of 2011 prospects from Atlanta who play AAU ball together. Could a package deal be in the offing?

I have to believe that Bill Carmody is officially off the hot seat, much to the chagrin of some. Pretty much everyone is in agreement that Bill Carmody can coach the X's and O's. The knock on him was that he couldn't recruit. Well, that issue is pretty much dead.

To me, the bigger picture of inking Cobb (and last year's significant class of Shurna, Mirkovic, Rowley, Fruendt, and Curletti) is that NU is finally harvesting the fruits from investing in the Carmody tree. Frankly, it would have been easy for NU to have gone a different course a few years back. It would have been easy to justify canning Bill Carmody after the drop-off in 2006-07, Carmody's seventh year at the helm. Coaches are typically given four to five years to establish themselves.

Of course, there is nothing typical about NU's incomparable history of futility (only major conference program to never make NCAAs, etc...). Fortunately, we had a good AD (Mark Murphy) and president (Henry Bienen) at the time who not only could appreciate Carmody's worth as a coach but also the shackles he had from 70 some odd years of program futility.

Onward and upward, NU.

16 September 2009

Hopes of landing Gasser further diminish

Two Wisconsin guards have been dropped from the men's bball program which increases the odds that Bo Ryan will offer Josh Gasser a full ride. MOTHER F@#$ER!

I know the old adage that you don't worry about the ones you miss but rather the ones you land, but PG was a real position of need for the Class of 2010.

Who knows? Maybe it will all work out even if Gasser goes to Wisconsin or elsewhere. More opportunity for the well regarded crew from Georgia who have been reported to show interest in NU.

14 September 2009

There's a new sheriff over at Purple Reign

and he seems on the (basket)ball. It's great to see that site rejuvenate after Coach Roy made the mistake of moving from Rivals and then letting his hard work slowly slip away. Plus, it's great for long-neglected NU basketball fans as LouV has been forced to respond to defend his rear flank with his own flurry of basketball-related activity.

Kudos to you WildcatAbbey. Attaboy!

Drew Crawford is #1

Incoming frosh has chosen #1 as his uniform number. Let's hope the kid can back up the bravado on the court. I'm thinking he will.

2009-10 Schedule Released

The Road to NU's First NCAAs Has Been Revealed. Rejoice.

Date Opponent / Event Location Time
11/04/09 vs. Robert Morris (Ill.) -- Exhib. Evanston, Ill. 7:00 p.m. CT
11/13/09 vs. Northern Illinois Evanston, Ill. 7:00 p.m. CT
11/18/09 vs. Butler Evanston, Ill. 7:00 p.m. CT
11/22/09 vs. Tennessee State Evanston, Ill. 1:00 p.m. CT
11/24/09 vs. Liberty Evanston, Ill. 5:30 p.m. CT
11/27/09 vs. Notre Dame Chicago, Ill. (UIC Pavilion) 7:30 p.m. CT
11/28/09 Iowa State or Saint Louis Chicago, Ill. (UIC Pavilion) TBA
12/01/09 at North Carolina State Raleigh, N.C. 6:00 p.m. CT
12/13/09 vs. North Carolina A&T Evanston, Ill. 4:00 p.m. CT
12/16/09 vs. North Florida Evanston, Ill. 8:00 p.m. CT
12/19/09 vs. Stanford Evanston, Ill. 1:00 p.m. CT
12/22/09 vs. Central Connecticut State Evanston, Ill. 7:00 p.m. CT
12/30/09 at Illinois * Champaign, Ill. 8:00 p.m. CT
01/02/10 vs. Michigan State * Evanston, Ill. 5:30 p.m. CT
01/07/10 vs. Texas-Pan American Evanston, Ill. 6:00 p.m. CT
01/10/10 at Michigan * Ann Arbor, Mich. 1:00 p.m. CT
01/13/10 vs. Wisconsin * Evanston, Ill. 7:30 p.m. CT
01/16/10 vs. Purdue * Evanston, Ill. 4:30 p.m. CT
01/19/10 at Ohio State * Columbus, Ohio 6:00 p.m. CT
01/23/10 vs. Illinois * Evanston, Ill. 7:00 p.m. CT
01/26/10 at Minnesota * Minneapolis, Minn. 8:00 p.m. CT
01/30/10 at Michigan State * East Lansing, Mich. 6:00 p.m. CT
02/02/10 vs. Michigan * Evanston, Ill. 6:00 p.m. CT
02/07/10 vs. Indiana * Evanston, Ill. 1:30 p.m. CT
02/10/10 at Iowa * Iowa City, Iowa 7:30 p.m. CT
02/14/10 vs. Minnesota * Evanston, Ill. 4:00 p.m. CT
02/17/10 vs. Penn State * Evanston, Ill. 7:30 p.m. CT
02/21/10 at Wisconsin * Madison, Wis. 1:00 p.m. CT
02/25/10 vs. Iowa * Evanston, Ill. 6:00 p.m. CT
02/28/10 at Penn State * University Park, Pa. 11:00 a.m. CT
03/03/10 vs. Chicago State Evanston, Ill. 7:00 p.m. CT
03/06/10 at Indiana * Bloomington, Ind. 11:00 a.m. CT