Date: Sunday, January 7th - 1:15 pm - Lincoln, NE - Pinnacle Bank Arena
2015-16 Record: 20-12 (8-10 Big Ten)
2016-17 Record: 12-4 (1-2 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Chris Collins (4th Year)
Northwestern, is good. Well, decent. Believe it or not but Chris Collins has built himself a nice little team on the north side of Chicago. They’re not world beaters but they’re better than what Northwestern is use to producing.
Earlier this year, things were looking good for the Wildcats. They had a great record and some decent upsets. Was this going to be the year that they were going to break their NCAA Tournament drought?
Right now they are sitting at 12-4 with two of those losses in Big Ten play. The two non conference losses were to Bulter and Notre Dame. Both of who are currently ranked in the 20. Pretty respectable if you look at it. However, their wins are a little deceiving. Their one real quality win was against Dayton. A team who you will remeber Nebraska also beat earlier this year.
Outside of that, the wins are a little deceiving. Texas was #22 when they beat them but are currently sitting at 7-7. Wake Forest has had some okay wins but is currently sitting at 9-5. Big East member DePaul is currently sitting at the second to last place in the conference with a 7-9 record. Outside of those teams, everyone else is your basic non conference cannon fodder.
As for conference play, they are currently 1-2 with losses to Michigan State and surging Minnesota. Their lone win was to 9-7 Penn State. A team that will probably end up in the bottom quarter of the conference when all is said and done.
What I am trying to say is that Northwestern is a little hard to gage right now. They have a decent record and some okay wins. Their players are doing what they need to do and the stats are not bad at all. They have three go to players that are leading the team and it drops of a bit after that.
The Wildcats leading scorer is Scottie Lindsay who is averaging 15.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, and 2.9 apg. The 6’5” guard is the best all around player who has done well against inferior opponents but seems to struggle against stronger competition.
Next to Lindsay is 6’7” forward Vic Law. The sophomore is averaging 13.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, and 2.2 apg. He’s has been productive but has seemed to struggle as the year has gone on.
While these two players have helped out, there is one player that the team is looking for a little more from this year. That would be junior point guard Bryant McIntosh. McIntosh was All Big Ten Honorable mention last year and was a huge asset to the team. He was looked upon at their number one player this season. While he has contributed, it has been a little bit less that last season. Bryant is currently 12.3 ppg and 5.6 apg. Last year, it was 13.8 ppg and 6.7 apg. Fans are curious as to when he will bring his back back up to expectations.
This is a decent basketball team, but it’s nothing special and it seems to be getting exposed as the conference season gets underway. They are a decent team but I believe that Nebraska has better athletes and is playing better ball right now. Unless the Husker are exhausted from the last three games they should be challenged but not run into much trouble in keeping their conference win streak at 4.