28 November 2011

NU 63 Stony Brook 58 (F)

We didn’t get to watch this game so we don’t have much to say. From the box score Sobolewski had his most productive offensive game so far knocking down 5-9 shots from the field including 3-7 from beyond the arc. He also had 4 rebounds and 1 blocked shot. More troubling are the three turnovers he had on just four assists – with this coming against a Stony Brook team not known for its ball hawking abilities.

Anywho others of note include Johnny Shurna who had a rather poor shooting game from beyond the arc (2-8) but made up for it by knocking down all five his two point shots and 4/6 free throws for a total of 20 points. Drew Crawford poured in 14 points and nabbed a team high 7 boards (Shurna had 6). Reggie Hearn had a productive 24 minutes which included 8 points, 3 boards and a steal.

Next up for NU (5-0) is a road trip to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech (4-2) as part of the B1G-ACC Challenge. This is the second straight game between these two squads as part of this Challenge with NU last year riding an extremely efficient 55 point first half to an easy 91-71 victory at the Welsh. This year’s game will be different for a couple obvious reasons. First: location. ‘nuf said. Second Ga Tech is now coached by Brian Gregory. We'll go out on a very thick limb and predict that Gregory will do a much better job coaching up his team to defend NU’s offense than former coach Hewitt (it would be hard to do any worse). It’s still early but Ga Tech has shown an improved defense this year lending additional reason to believe this will be a much tougher slog down in Mylanta.

The B1G has only recently started to hold up its end of the bargain in this annual challenge. Before the B1G won the last two years 6-5 the ACC had started off the series 10-0 including some lopsided victory totals. This year the B1G is favored in 9 of the 12 games per kenpom. NU is expected to be one of the losses (falling 65-66 to the Rambling Wrecks). The other expected losses are Michigan (at UVA) and Iowa (hosting Clemson). Minnesota is expected to defeat VaTech by 4 points at McDonalds Arena, but Mbakwe may be out for the game so that forecast goes out the window.

Other fun facts: overall NU is 5-7 in this Challenge, tied with the Illwhini for the third best B1G record (Wisky and OSU both are at .500). NU is riding a three game win streak in the series which is tied for the longest B1G streak (Wisky, OSU). NU’s opponent this year, Ga Tech, is 4-7 in the Challenge which is the third worst ACC record.  Most interesting game of the slate: Wisky at UNC.  This will be a battle of tempo between two heavyweights.  Wisky has the 345th fastest tempo (i.e., they are the slowest team in Div 1) while UNC plays the 5th fastest.