05 December 2011

Baylor 69 NU 41 (F)

Overheard in stands: "Am I really jeopardizing by macro grade for THIS?!?!?!"  It could be worse.  We could be subjected to this kind of offense game-in and game-out if NU's previous head coach, Kevin O'Neill were still the coach.  Davide Curletti should give thanks on a daily basis that ain't the case (just ask Aaron "f#$k you" Molnar) although Luka Mirkovic is missing out on a golden opportunity to expand his repertoire of American expletives.

Suffice it to say that NU wilted like a flower in this game.  The conventional wisdom is that Baylor was simply too much for NU.  We kinda disagree.  Baylor probably has the most NBA-level talent of any NU opponent this year not located in Columbus.  To be sure it was an uphill battle with their strengths matched up against our weaknesses.  However to get blown out like that was a direct reflection of NU's lack of senior leadership.  Does anyone really think that Juice Thompson wouldn't have rallied the troops better than John Shurna did?  C'mon.

And that is what was most disappointing about the blowout loss.  Bad shooting happens, but there is no reason it must snowball into the drubbing that occurred on Sunday.  Fact is that NU was getting good looks with its offense.  Just stick with it and keep plugging away until momentum shifts.  We were the HOME team for goodness sakes.   A couple of bombs and the Welsh was ready to rock and roll.

Instead NU went into a shell on offense.  Open looks from distance were passed up in favor of drives to the lane which were promptly swatted into the third row.  Passes to the unguarded charity stripe were never capitalized upon as our centers didn't realize they were allowed to turn around and shoot the damn ball.

On defense NU was simply overmatched down low.  We needed more ball pressure given Baylor's propensity to turn it over.  We saw that on occasion early in the second half, but inexplicably NU didn't keep it up.  WTF?!?!?

NU is down from #34 in kenpom to #52.  Ugh.  NU is now projected to go 8-10 in the B1G and 18-12 overall.  Not good.

On the lighter side check out this thread on Texas A&M's message board.  Several of our buddies concur.  We got a good chuckle out of the Aggies throwing in the towel at the end and posting a pic of Sig from Deadliest Catch.  It's a good thing Loyola is only a short CTA trip away, and it's not a good thing that NU is going to get thrashed by the Aggies in the Meineke Bowl.

NU is back in action against Texas Southern after finals week on December 15.  If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it...