12 February 2010

Recap: Iowa 78 Northwestern 65

Two words best describe this game: Epic fail.

The best spin we can put on this game is that Juice Thompson played well (20 points on 7-14 shooting, 4-9 from distance). John Shurna also chipped in 16 points plus 4 rebounds which was ok effort by his impressive standards.

Otherwise NU stunk up the joint. First and foremost the defense was atrocious. There is simply no defending a defensive effort that allowed Iowa to score 78 points. The Hawkeyes, the worst offensive team in the Big Ten, shot 50% from the field including 50% from distance. Inexcusable.

NU's center play was horrid. Coach Carmody tries any number of solutions to this gaping hole, but nothing worked. Not Mirkovic. Not Rowley. Not Curletti. Heck, he even tried turning the clock back two years when he tried Peljusic but to no avail.

NU also got very little from the 2 and the 3 positions. Crawford was invisible on offense and absent on defense. Ditto that for Jeremy Nash except for the fact he launched 10 shots despite the fact that he was having an off-night shooting (0-4 from distance). Alex Marcotullio probably did the best out there. His "resurgence" really isn't too surprising since Iowa's talent level is on par with some our non-conference opponents whom Alex helped to tear apart.

Iowa also seemed to get every rebound (we're exaggerating, but Iowa did win the rebounding battle 36-28) and every loose ball. To us this means Iowa was mentally more ready to play this game than Northwestern. And that is inexcusable given the little room for error NU can afford in its quest for an NCAA bid.

Was this a case of overconfidence? We think there may be something to that though that is pure conjecture on our part. Regardless of the why's and the how's the simple fact remains that NU was embarrassed in Iowa City on Wednesday night.

We hope that Carmody uses this game as a valuable lesson to this young squad. Maybe it would be a good idea to have the team watch this game before each of its remaining games against Iowa, Penn State, and Indiana. Let it serve as a reminder as to what will happen if the team doesn't bring it on any given night. That is all.