17 December 2012

NORTHWESTERN 74 Texas State 68 (F)

NU fans got their first glimpse of what a Drew Crawford-less team looks like.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid!

NU was down by five points with about three minutes to go.  At home.  Against Texas State.  A team ranked #252 by kenpom. A team NU was expected to cruise against 80-64.

If it wasn't for the 1-3-1 defense unleashed at the three minute mark NU would've lost this game.  Why NU didn't go to it sooner?  Who the hell knows.  Bad call Coach.

Kale Abrahamson can fill the hoop rapidly at times, but that is only half of the basketball equation.  On defense he is a huge liability that most any team will try to exploit.  And most will do so successfully.  We hate to say it but when Kale is out there you gotta go mostly 1-3-1.

Here's the way we see it.  If this team wants to continue the progress its made on man defense -- and NU should hope to do that given the current state of the offense --  there are three options:

(1) Play Ricola Cerina.  He has the body to bang but has been hurt and will only be effective against certain rugged B1G teams such as Michigan State and Minnesota.

(2) Play Sanjay Lumpkin.  He's a freshman who was reputed to be playing the best of all the frosh prior to getting sidelined by mono.  He has played less than a less than a half of basketball in his collegiate career.  Talk about a gigantic leap of faith if one wants to extrapolate to him being the answer this conference season.

(3) Switch Reggie Hearn over to the three spot and slide Tre Demps into the lineup.  This is our preferred option based on what we've seen on the court so far.  Reggie can play pretty much any position.  He can man it up as well as pretty much anyone on the team save Jared Swopshire.  And he is a very good rebounder for someone his size.  A natural for the three spot really.  We like what we see from Demps.  More so on offense but he's quick enough and long enough on defense to handle guarding a two guard.

Here's our proposal.  Start out the game as such:

1.  Sobolewski
2.  Demps
3.  Hearn
4.  Swopshire
5.  Olah

Man it up until the second media time out then bring in Abrahamson and Turner and Marcotullio for the 1-3-1.  Marcotullio and Abrahamson are better suited for that defense, and Turner is quick enough and has the active hands to disrupt in the middle.

If the other team shreds the 1-3-1 then give Lumpkin and Cerina a shot out there to help give the starters a blow.  Sobo?  Sorry dude you're playing 40 minutes unless you get more cheapy fouls.  And on that note..... DON'T DO THAT AGAIN. 

Rinse and repeat.

We don't like backtracking to the 1-3-1 but at this point it has to become more prevalent to fit the personnel. The sooner Coach Carmody figures this out the better.  Stanford is coming to town next and the B1G conference season is but a couple of weeks away.