The Northwestern Wildcats take care of business in another early season tournament, in this the season they hope will finally get them to the NCAA tournament.
They took down a good Illinois State Redbirds team in overtime despite the fact the game should have never even gotten there. A terrible missed call on an offensive goal tending was not reviewed and instead the officials credited Illinois State with 2 points. Nevertheless, the Wildcats made some really big plays down the stretch to secure their first resume building win on the year.
“Bite Size Bites”
- Northwestern struggled against an aggressive Illinois State defense early on and had 10 turnovers in the first half alone. The lack of a great ball handler could cause big problems come Big Ten season.
- It looks like Bill Carmody has found his “alternate” lineup. With center Alex Olah struggling against the more athletic Illinois State front, Carmody turned to redshirt freshman Mike Turner. He was aggressive on the offensive glass and actually showed some decent passing skills.
- Drew Crawford was gusty in this one although his shoulder injury flared up again. Apparently he needs surgery on it but has decided he can play through the pain. It’s too late to do anything anyways but he’s got to be healthy AND produce against the better competition.
- Reggie Hearn has no fear and the Wildcats will need that from this senior leader. Down the stretch he was constantly willing to take the big shots and he made them. At times last year multiple guys ran away from the moment, tonight he ran towards it.
- Dave Sobolewski isn’t the flashiest player but he bust his behind and it wears off on his teammates. We’ll see if his 110% each game has a cumulative effect later on this season but for now it was huge.
- Jared Swopshire is “Mr. Versatility” but please stop shooting 3s. You can’t force something new into your game at this point in your career.
“Wrappin’ It Up”
Give Illinois State credit. That team is going to be a serious factor in the Missouri Valley Conference all season long. If I had to place them right now, I’d say they’ll be second behind the Creighton Bluejays and get into the NCAA’s as one of the last 8 teams. JUCO transfer Tyler Brown is legit. Some of the shots he hit tonight were ridiculous and we all know what Jackie Carmichael can do. This is a good win.
UP NEXT: The Maryland Terrapins on Tuesday.
That won’t be an easy one but it is a game the Wildcats should win especially considering a road trip to face the Baylor Bears awaits the next week.
Like my article? Hate it? Let me know on Twitter (@tmichaelcronin). I look forward to your thoughts!