Sunday, January 5, 2014

Northwestern Needs to Find Some Consistency

A lot of people say Northwestern doesn’t have good basketball players. Maybe that is true, but at various times Northwestern’s “bad” players have been pretty good. The problem is that they lack any sort of consistency in terms of when they play well. Even worse they don’t seem to play well at the same time. For example, Tre Demps scored 23 points in NU’s loss to DePaul. In that game he consistently hit three point shots. Today, he couldn’t hit multiple open three early in the game. Those threes were created because Drew Crawford was having a good half and he ended up scoring 13 first half points. If Demps has hit his open threes in the first half Northwestern could very well have established an early lead and changed the whole course of the game. It might even have created open looks for a third Wildcat player.

Alex Olah is another example of inconsistency. Olah posted a career high 22 points against Wisconsin a game after he scored zero (0) versus DePaul. If Olah had only scored half of what he scored versus Wisconsin versus DePaul NU would have won that game easily.

JerShon Cobb is another player who has had big games in the past, but who doesn’t seem to have his big games when other players play well. If Cobb could have posted a double-figure game versus Wisconsin to support Olah then perhaps NU could have hung around in that game but he did not play well.

Dave Sobolewski scored a career high 25 points against UIC early in this season. He hasn’t come close to that since. If Sobo could have exceeded 20 points in any number of games since then NU might have come away with a victory, but he hasn’t so NU has lost several games where they needed production from the point guard position.

I’m hesitant even to bring up Drew Crawford as we’ve discussed for years his inconsistent play. Crawford has never been a consistent player and that lack of consistency has been magnified this year as he’s supposed to be NU’s best offensive weapon, but has struggled to ever reach the 20-point mark. Part of that is because teams focus defense on him but part of it is that Crawford tends to disappear in the offense. Still, if Crawford could consistently get some support from his teammates he might be able to lead NU to some victories before the season ends. 

1 comment:

matthew said...

With respect to Olah and his goose egg vs. DePaul, he only took two FGAs! Even in the B1G the guy's gonna have a physical advantage against most teams. He has to be featured more. Two FGAs isn't gonna cut it. Whether that means coaching him up to be more aggressive or tailoring the offense to get him more looks, I don't really know without re-watching the games, and I'm not enough of a masochist to do that. But the coaching staff should be able to figure that out. If they can't, well, that's very dispiriting.