18 November 2009

Carmody Court's Five Keys to the Butler Game

Here are Carmody Court's five keys to tonight's game:

1. Can NU's offense generate open looks like it did in the first half of last year's game, or will Butler's vaunted defense set the tone as it did in the second half of last year's game?
2. Can Shurna stay out of foul trouble? NU needs him on the court for 30+ minutes, even if Butler decides to target him and take him out of NU's offensive equation.
3. Can NU take advantage of Luka Mirkovic's height? On paper, this is one of the few areas that NU looks to have an advantage.
4. Will NU's 1-3-1 defense wreak havoc on Butler's offense, or will Butler be able to get the rock to the soft spot in the corners?
5. Will NU match Butler's intensity? Butler may be caught off guard by NU's new-found propensity for crashing the boards. Keep an eye on those OR and FTA statistics.

One additional thing that should be on all Wildcat fans radars during the non-conference slate:

How is Drew Crawford progressing? Is he staying out of foul trouble? Is he gaining more confidence in his shot? While Crawford is not the key to this game, his progression is very important to NU's postseason possibilities.