‘Cats Battle TCU In South Padre Invitational Semifinals: Preview

NCAA Basketball: Fairleigh Dickinson at Northwestern

You know me. Whether it is football or basketball, I’m a big fan of early season games against “name” teams that aren’t that good. TCU fits the bill much moreso than Delaware State. The Horned Frogs (4-1) have won four games against weak competition, while NU has taken the same scheduling approach. While this vacation time has been filled with first class games featuring B1G teams – Indiana vs Georgetown, Minnesota vs Duke, Illinois winning the Maui Classic, Michigan vs Pitt and on and on – the ‘Cats schedule ramps up big time NEXT week. The ‘Cats will likely challenge Carmody to push his bench as NU faces TCU at 7:30 pm ct (WGN 720 am/NUSports.com video streaming) and then faces either a very good Illinois State team OR UAB tomorrow afternoon/evening based on the results today. Let’s give tonight’s game some bullet-point treatment.

Is TCU any good? The Magic 8-Ball says “unlikely”.  Yes, the Horned Frogs are 4-1, but consider their schedule to date. A 7-point win over Cal Poly, a blowout win over Centenary (nod, Robert Parrish), a LOSS to SMU, a 5-point squeaker over Prairie View and a 2-point win over Navy. I rest my case.

Are they a typical Big 12 high-scoring team? Uhhh, no. They are old school Northwestern, as in Tim Doyle era, when it comes to scoring. TCU averages 56 points per game, 330th in Division I.

Why does that TCU coach look familiar?  Good catch. Trent Johnson is in his first season at TCU, but the ‘Cats have faced him when he was the head man at LSU (NU beat LSU in Charleston Classic) and prior to that he was at Stanford.

What names should I be worrying about on TCU? Jarvis Ray is the leading scorer at just under 11 ppg. The 6-6 guard is their most athletic player, but he’s not a deep threat (just 25% from 3-point land). Garlon Green  (6-7 forward) and Devonta Abron (6-8 forward) pace TCU in the post as both average at just over 6 rebounds per game. Kyan Anderson makes the offense go and averages just under 10 ppg and 4 assists per game. The Anderson-Sobo matchup will be one to watch.

Oh Captain, My Captain(s) Seniors Drew Crawford, Alex Marcotullio and Reggie Hearn have been named the team’s captains this season.

Northwestern Probable Starters

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown Pts. Reb. Ast.

3 Dave Sobolewski G 6-1 So. Naperville, Ill. 9.5 4.0 6.3

11 Reggie Hearn G 6-4 Sr. Fort Wayne, Ind. 14.5 4.8 3.5

1 Drew Crawford F 6-5 Sr. Naperville, Ill. 12.5 4.3 2.3

12 Jared Swopshire F 6-8 Gr. St. Louis, Mo. 10.5 6.0 2.5

22 Alex Olah C 7-0 Fr. Timisoara, Romania 8.8 6.0 2.5

Northwestern vs TCU  Statistical Comparison

NU                                                                                                                                                                                       TCU

77.2………………………………………………………….. Points Per Game…………………………………………………………56.0

+22.3…………………………………………………………..Scoring Margin………………………………………………………….+7.8

41.5………………………………………………………. Rebounds Per Game……………………………………………………..33.2

+10.8………………………………………………………… Rebound Margin………………………………………………………..+1.4

.491………………………………………………………Field Goal Percentage…………………………………………………….457

.378………………………………………………….Opp. Field Goal Percentage………………………………………………..349

.435……………………………………………….3-point Field Goal Percentage……………………………………………..314

.338…………………………………………. Opp. 3-point Field Goal Percentage…………………………………………286

.629……………………………………………………. Free Throw Percentage……………………………………………………581

23.5…………………………………………………………..Assists Per Game………………………………………………………..13.0

4.8……………………………………………………………..Blocks Per Game…………………………………………………………..4.0

5.3………………………………………………………………Steals Per Game……………………………………………………………5.8

+1.5…………………………………………………………..Turnover Margin………………………………………………………..+1.4

We’ll be back late night with a brief recap.  The only way to see this game is via a subscription on NUSports.com. Otherwise, WGN will have the call at 7:30 am ct with a “guest” PXP voice as Dave Eanet will be in Evanston for the call of the Land of Lincoln battle.

  • http://twitter.com/JoeCNC Joe Lucia

    I honestly don’t know why the hell the Cats are in this damn tourney. Low reward, high risk IMO. The only other power conference team aside from NU in this is TCU, who is in the lower middle to bottom of the Big 12. I know noncon wins are huge, but there’s a better chance of a bad loss getting tagged on the resume than a good win

    • Wildcatneighbor

      good points, but have faith.

    • http://twitter.com/LakeThePosts Lake The Posts

      Illinois State is a tourney level team and will be respected by resume reviewers come March. Huge 2 week stretch for NU, with ISU, Maryland, Baylor, Butler.

West Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Northwestern0000
Wisconsin0000
Minnesota0000
Nebraska0000
Purdue0000
Iowa0000
Illinois0000

East Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Indiana0000
Maryland0000
Michigan0000
Michigan State0000
Ohio State0000
Penn State0000
Rutgers0000