14 November 2012

NORTHWESTERN 79 Texas Southern 49 (F)

The expression "how the mighty have fallen" occurred to us when we saw Mike Davis back in the Welsh tonight, but there is nothing mighty about Mike Davis. Unless we're talking height. Which is impressive compared to Carmody. But not so impressive compared to Alex Olah and Chier Ajou. So that expression goes out the window.

Peter Principle? Certainly Davis was promoted to the level of incompetence at Indiana, but Texas Southern is several rungs below IU. Closer but not quite right.

Smoke and mirrors? Yeah. That sounds about right. We actually think Mr. Davis could have some success at Texas Southern. (Relatively) big fish for small SWAC pond. No recruiting restrictions. It is conceivable that he can convince enough unwitting Houston talent with his list of coaching stops while holding his breath that they don't ask why he's now at Texas Southern. Kinda like Gene Hackman in Hoosiers. And full circle we have come.

What's that? You couldn't care less about Mike Davis and wanna know about the game? OK fine. Be that way. But as with any blowout -- and this was a blowout in its purest sense -- there isn't much that can be taken from the game.

What's that? We shared observations about an exhibition game so what's the difference? You're right! There ain't none. Here we go again. We're feeling lazy so read the official story for game summary and stats. Below we play word association.

 -Drew Crawford. Great.
-Dave Sobolewski. Facilitator.
-Jared Swopshire. Inconsistent.
-Alex Olah. Upgrade.
-Reggie Hearn. Sixth-man?

-Tre Demps. Starter?
-Kale Abrahamson. Microwave.
-Nikola Cerina. MIA. (literally)
-Sanjay Lumpkin. MIA. (sick)
-Alex Marcotullio.  MIA. (deference?)
-Chier Ajou. Hot-seat-beneficiary.
-Mike Turner. Foul-o-matic.

OK. Lazy moment over. Some random thoughts with more words:

Call us crazy (again), but we see the future and it has a starting back court of Sobolewski and Demps. Big debate last preseason was who would get more minutes between the two. False premise. His shot was off tonight. He ain't no primary ball handler. Yet his instant offense and innate basketball sense would nicely complement Sobo as facilitator role this year. It's a tough call between Demps and Hearn at 2G, but we like Demps for his upside.

Olah also didn't do much offensively aside from showing his three pointer in the exhibition was no fluke. Shon Morris raves about Alex's skills so that's good enough for us. We call him an upgrade, but that is damning with feint praise given how disappointingly low the bar was set last year. We continue to be concerned about his defense. His positioning was better tonight than in the exhibition, but oh boy is NU gonna pay for his hedges on the arc and slow recovery.

Swopshire is inconsistent which comes as a bit of a surprise. He ain't a bright eyed frosh. Bad pass leading Crawford into a charge. Other poor decisions. Shot was off again. On the bright side he slashes to the hoop very well and can finish. He knows his way around the basketball court on both ends and will only get better as he becomes more comfortable in the offense.

Didn't take long for Abrahamson to shake off the jitters now did it? Was that the most impressive first game for an NU frosh ever? Dude couldn't miss from NBA range. Surprisingly impressive and well ahead of schedule.

Turner looks active but foul prone. It's one possible explanation for why Carmody burned Ajou's redshirt. A more likely reason is Carmody has no reason to bank on a future which may not be there in the wake of Phillips' little "pep talk" press conference last year.

Cerina wasn't at the Welsh for undisclosed and temporary personal reasons. Lumpkin was on the bench but under the weather (rumored to have mono).

Next up: M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I Valley State at the Welsh. THIS Thursday. That's one day off. Awesome scheduling for those of us who can't wait to learn more about this intriguing team full of new faces!