‘Cats Land First 2014 Commit – Safety Jordan Thomas

And away we go. While most of us were watching our LTP Bowl Mania picks (and after going 2-0 like me wondering why I only put 3 total points on those games) and rooting for Arizona, Northwestern was busy with bowl practice and landing the first 2014 commitment. Chris Emma of PurpleWildcats.com posted the ‘Cats have secured the pledge of 6-1, 180-pound safety Jordan Thomas of Klein (Collins), Texas.  The 3-star DB was drawn by the academic offering and the family atmosphere and he knew NU was what he wanted even befor getting the offer. According to WildcatReport.com, Thomas had an offer from Utah as well. Welcome aboard Jordan!

LTP Bowl Mania

#VenricMackDaddy and JuggleItUp are tied in first place with 69 total points after going 2-0 on day one of the LTP Bowl Mania. Obviously, they put 35 and 34 points on the two first day games and must have been sweating out the Arizona incredible comeback like most of us. Dan Baren1 sits right behind them with 68 total points. Yours truly has only 3 points after going 2-0. Things should get a lot more interesting next weekend when games start cranking up. The next game is Thursday, December 20. We’ve eclipsed the 200 entry mark which is an alltime record. We’ll get much more in to the picks as the games heat up.

Butler Loss Less Painful?

The ‘Cats home loss last Saturday to Butler felt a tad bit less painful after watching the Bulldogs knock off the #1-ranked Indiana Hoosiers in OT yesterday.  Man, is Brad Stevens easy to like.

  • Country Boy

    Note to Dr. Phillips, the administration, and the Board of Trustees. Offer Brad Stevens whatever is necessary to bring him to Northwestern. Then you will have a confident and exciting face to the program, and an outstanding practice and bench coach who can lead the program for the next 20 years.

    • http://twitter.com/michaelrroche Michael Roche

      I’d be surprised if he left. If he didn’t leave after either of his title appearances, why would he leave now? Butler is a program in much better shape than NU. They have an incredible/historic stadium (Hinkle). He’s already deified there. No reason for him to leave

    • zeek

      0% chance that he leaves Butler for Northwestern.

      Maybe Duke or North Carolina or Kentucky has a chance of grabbing him in the future when they have job openings.

      But I can’t see him leaving for any other job in cbb.

      As for us, we need to find the “next” Brad Stevens. Even if we have to cycle through coaches to get to that, we should try.

      Staying with Carmody for so long has been a mistake.

  • Country Boy

    Long time financial security, the TV exposure of BTN, a role in getting a new basketball stadium built, and the challenge to be the first coach to bring NU to the big dance and to higher goals would be where I would start in recruiting Brad Stevens. Let’s make a try at least. Would you like to have a confident Brad Stevens or our herkey jerky, whining, nervous Bill Carmody on our bench or somebody else?

    • ctya

      I thought Carmody was Coach for Life? Because why else would he still be here?

  • cece

    @Jordan Thomas…..glad you have decided to come to the school by the big lake. looking forward to watching you play!

  • NUOtter

    I was rather surprised to see that the latest post from ESPN’s Phil Steele suggests that NU’s stock will be “down” in 2013 with a tougher Big Ten schedule overshadowing the return of most key players. Thoughts?

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

      Not sure I agree with Steele. Yes, we have Ohio State and Wisconsin and lose Indiana, and PSU (thankfully), but the Badgers are in major flux. The home slate = Ohio St., Michigan, Minnesota, Michigan State while the road tilt is @ Wisky, @Iowa, @Nebraska, and @ Illinois. Essentially just as tough as this year w/excpetion of the Ohio State game.

      • zeek

        Even if you pencil in losses for Ohio State over the next two years, that’s still just replacing Penn State’s two losses the past two years.

        Wisconsin is beatable; if we can bring them down in the coming year then we have a great shot at 9-10 wins again.

        • CatInTheHat

          I’m a little worried about our O-line next year. That’s the only place where the two-deep really got torn up by graduation. If the O-line holds, then I see 8-10 wins. Otherwise, we could slip a bit.

          • zeek

            Good point, especially with the way that we play the option game with Colter/Mark. Mark was getting a lot of terrific holes this year on those runs with big gains.

      • fullfathomfive

        I don’t think anybody’s beating Ohio State for a long time. Combine Meyer’s skills and recruiting with their “standards” for players and you have a juggernaut that will rarely be touched. Best the rest of the league can hope for his another period of probation in Columbus.

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

    Stevens to NU is beyond comprehension. The guy has had overtures to go anywhere he’s wanted. With all due respect to NU, it’s a step back for him. Big time.

    • bandcat

      Our best hope is to appeal to his personal drive as a competitor…he has the drive .. NU needs to give it their best shot. Never say never. Chitown is a lot closer to Indy than any of the other backwater ports mentioned. Mrs. Stevens is a Labor lawyer who would be better served practicing in The Land of LIncoln rather than Indibama.

      • fullfathomfive

        it doesn’t matter who coaches NU men’s hoops, it will be the same old story. Bill Foster, Ricky Byrdsong, Kevin O’Neill, Bill Carmody — all successful coaches elsewhere, can’t win big at NU, because they can’t recruit the physically skilled players NU needs to compete in the BIg Ten. Brad Stevens to NU? A fantasy. Why would he ever pick NU, where basketball is a gray haze of misery and coaches; reputations go to die? This program is cursed and changing coaches won’t matter.

        • bandcat

          I wonder how many of the Butler players on Brads squad this year were academically qualified for NU? Seems like they matched up pretty well against the Hoosiers. A Goat was never denied admission to Welch Ryan so forget about the Curse.

    • zeek

      Exactly.

      Can we focus on getting the “next” Brad Stevens. That’s who we need to find.

      This is like talking about going and getting Bill Snyder for football. We already sort of have the next one in Fitz.

      That’s the strategy that we need.

    • theProducer

      We had a better shot, in theory, at Shaka Smart. His wife went to Medill and he has family from Highland Park. AND he’s said that Chicago is his favorite city.

  • CATSFAN02

    Perhaps Ltp we shouldn’t merge basketball posts with welcomes to fb recruits. Because people seem to turn the comments into b#tch sessions rather than great welcomes !

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

      Well said.

  • Country Boy

    Lake the Posts, who is your replacement for Carmody?

  • chartmoose

    Welcome Jordan Thomas!

    Excited that you will be coming to NU– perhaps in a few years we will bump into each other at an alumni gathering :)
    Go Cats!

  • DS

    One of the biggest “Moneyball” (ie, inefficiencies to exploit) in college basketball is the relatively low cost to secure a top-tier coach. Calipari makes $5.3. Izzo makes $3.5, most in the Big Ten. These are not huge numbers, relative to the success.

    Is it really that much of a stretch to offer Brad Stevens $6M a year to turn Northwestern into the Duke of the Midwest? It’s not like he would say no, both for the money itself and the prestige of being the highest-paid coach in college basketball.

    I find myself struggling to understand why a couple million dollars a year — ostensibly for a coach who could turn us into a perennial Sweet 16/Elite Eight/Final Four contender — is such a problem to afford? And to those who don’t think he would ever come to NU — sure he would: If we paid up.

    For pretty good context, check out this analysis of why Jim Harbaugh is the biggest value in the NFL — the same could be said for the price paid for Nick Saban or Urban Meyer at the college level. Stevens is that level of coach in college basketball.

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8723176/jim-harbaugh-continues-biggest-bargain-football

    • Chasmo

      Where is NU going to get the money to pay a basketball coach $6 million?

      If NU does take $6 million out of its endowment fund to pay a basketball coach, then don’t you think Pat Fitzgerald would want a $4 million raise?

      If NU fires Carmody, it will have to pay him his $1 million salary for the final year or years of his contract so the actual cost to NU — if it were foolish enough to offer a basketball coach $6 million a year — would actually be an increase in cost of about $11 million a year.

      NU fans need to remember that NU athletics is a money losing proposition and NU is already taking money out of its general fund to finance the program. Before the BTN, it was reported by a few sources that NU took as much as $20 million a year out of it general fund to cover the cost of its athletic program.

      NU is not Alabama or Ohio State which actually make money on their athletic program due to their sold out stadiums and merchandise sales.

      So should NU really take $10-$11 million more be year out of its endowment to pay coaches so we football and basketball fans can be happier a few more times a year?