19 January 2014

GAMBLE Report 1.15

NU 54 @Indiana 47

Three games a trend makes.  And a fool out of us as it were.  This team HAS turned a corner.  A defensive corner.  With a third straight stellar defensive effort NU bruised battered and spit out a visibly shocked Hoosiers squad 54-47 down in Bloomington yesterday afternoon.  How sweet it is!  We tip our caps to the coaching staff and the team!!!  And you have earned back our respect and are once again beloved NU in our eyes until further notice.

We still have a hard time believing that this team has suddenly turned on the defensive clamps so effectively.  We wonder if there are good examples of this happening before.  In any event it appears to be sticking and we ain't complainin'.

Can a similarly shocking turnaround occur on offense be in the offing?  Has that pump been priming too?  That's doubtful but consider us gun shy now in our predictions.  This is a brave new world with CCC and uncharted waters these be.

One possible reason the team may stop its slide on offense is a simple concept.  In a word: confidence.  Basketball much like any sport is mental and this team has suddenly won two of three in the B1G.  A little swagger may go a long way even on offense.

In no uncertain terms NU's offense yesterday was bad.  But the heroics of Tre Demps could be a spark plug to the offense.  Tre was white hot down the stretch and single handedly won this game when it appeared as if it may be slowly slipping away.  NU had surrendered its nearly game-long lead and was trailing by three points with about 5 minutes to go.  That's when Tre started to feel it.

OK.  That's understating it.  Tre went BEAST MODE on dem Hoosiers!!!!  First came a three pointer to tie it back up.  Then he attempted NU's next four shots and made all four of them.  All told Tre went on a 12 point streak that erased a 3 point deficit and turned it into a 6 point lead with under two minutes to play.


The stunning upset resulted in a 24 spot jump in the kenpom team rankings.  #146 is still below 2013, but at this rate the #132 mark is within this team's grasp.  The defense improved another 16 spots to #21 in the land.  zOMG!!!

The offense slipped another 6 spots to #319.  We're not even going to harp on that for now because the defense was just so good and we're giddy over the win.


No real movement here except for defense.  AdjD jumped another two spots driven by a huge 5 spot gain in eFG%.  That #8 adjD ranking is sorta the tip of the iceberg.  Above NU is a logjam of sorts.  Another strong defensive performance against Purdue on Tuesday and NU could easily vault up to #4.  That's INSANE!!!!!!!

Next Up

Purdue comes to the Welsh on Tuesday evening.  Purdue is 3-2 in the B1G but don't let that record fool youzs.   Their wins were over Nebraska and Penn State (barely) at home and at Illinois.  This game is winnable.  In fact kenpom has NU as the one point favorite: 63-62.

It's hard to believe but NU could be 3-4 in B1G.  That would be pretty good all things considered.  Too bad this team screwed the pooch in the non-conference or else we could at least start to entertain NIT dreams.  C'est la vie.  We're just happy there is a ray of hope this year when all seemed lost.