A whale of a fail

Northwestern dubbed it Social Media night with the program trying to feature all of the various ways to connect to Northwestern basketball and athletics. Students and media personalities took to the event with glee. Now, if only Northwestern could connect on a backdoor cut or even a jumper.

Anything resembling that orange spherical thing going through the orange-colored, lace-adorned cylinder. That is all the Wildcats were hoping and praying for and the one thing Northwestern was simply unable to do throughout the night. NU’s 41 points and 29.4 percent shooting are just scratching the surface of terrible offensive numbers for Northwestern in this loss to Wisconsin.

The Wildcats scored just 12 points in the first half and failed to score in the first five minutes of the game. By then Wisconsin had a nine-point lead and the game did not get much closer from there. The deliberate Badgers slowly extended and expanded their lead and took home a 69-41 win at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Wednesday.

It was a brutal game by all stretches of the imagination.

Score Off. Rtg. eFG% O.Reb.% TO% FTR
Wisconsin 69 124.5 51.0 48.3 11.5 52.0
Northwestern 41 73.0 37.3 12.1 11.6 9.8

Wisconsin was able to break down the 1-3-1 defense from Northwestern and get the ball into the paint almost immediately. If the Badgers were missing shots they got the offensive rebounds and that set the tone early on. Wisconsin had 14 offensive rebounds in the game and a Bo Ryan team is going to score off of most of those extra opportunities. His team is just too disciplined and strong in its offense not to do that.

Defensively, Northwestern could not break free from Wisconsin’s defense or get free for any type of opening on shots. The wildcats probably made most of the open shots that they had available. There were just so few of them.

Reggie Hearn led the team with 13 points, shooting 4 for 14 from the floor. Dave Sobolewski and Tre Demps each added eight points. Any other type of offensive stats ended there. There was just little positive to take out of this game. Whatever gameplan Northwestern had was not executed well enough to keep this a game. And digging out of that hole, against a disciplined team like the Badgers was asking too much of this young and injury-depleted Wildcats team.

So Northwestern continues to drift through this season to its (hopefully) merciful end. That is not a good feeling. The positives are getting harder and harder to find.

But at the risk of jinxing the whole thing, it cannot get much worse than this.

  • UVA Cat

    12 points in the first half. I feel bad for the guys that are out there. The B1G is so tough this year. At least they are getting minutes that wil hopefully pay dividends in the future. What else is there to say?

  • The lack of comments in the past few days and the precipitous drop in traffic leads me to believe that either a)we’ve been putting up crappy posts or b)the mention of NU basketball has people hitting the “off” button on LTP. I think it’s time to crank up Spring Football posts.

    • Mark

      I think it’s that there is little left to say. I cannot evaluate the coaching or the effort, but do empathize with the players as it must be very difficult to go into situations against good to very good teams with a lack of firepower caused by the injuries. While I don’t think this season is indicative of the work of Coach Carmody due to the injuries, I still think after 13 years we know exactly what to expect in the future.

      • NU68

        Doesn’t a good coach plan for injuries? Maybe even condition his players to minimize injuries?

        • Mark

          Well I think NU needs to hire a new younger coach who’s been with a successful program and had head coaching experience. NU should set their goals high – to me NU has so much potential given the location, conference, and wealth of talent in the area. I don’t know how you plan for losing your top 2 – 4 players. I don’t know what part conditioning took in those injuries. But I do know given the length of the experience we know exactly what results Carmody can produce. I think the Cats should expect better.

    • Jimgocays93

      I think the honest assessment piece gave everyone their say and now they are done. This basketball season is almost more sad than bad.

    • kinsella316

      You know the famous breakup line “It’s not you, it’s me?” Well, to LTP and PRR, I say “It’s not you, it’s the crappy basketball” that’s keeping me away. It’s also been keeping me away from Welsh-Ryan the past few games and have me considering dropping my season tix for bball. #socialmedianight #foolmeonce

      • Wildcat86

        Couldn’t agree more. I feel like if I don’t check LTP twice daily then maybe the basketball season isn’t real…and I’ll wake up from this nightmare.

    • Frank


      It’s tough to talk about the current state of NU basketball. The students don’t show up for the games, more than half the crowd is for the other team and if NU misses its first few three point shots, then you know, sitting there in the stands, the game is over.

      And this board being a saner one than others, why have fans, like myself, who don’t know the intricacies of the game rant and rave?

      We’re not ignoring your efforts. For this season silence is golden.

    • Pittsburgh Wildcat

      For me, it’s a recognition that this season is essentially done and there does not appear to be anything on the horizon to indicate change is forthcoming. I know I’m not alone in thinking that I’m fast approaching — or have reached — indifference until the players/coaches/program/athletics admin shows me a reason to truly become emotionally re-invested in men’s hoops.

      Maybe things will turn back around next fall, maybe they won’t, maybe Carmody will decide to retire. Who knows. But for now, I’m placing my Wildcat focus primarily on the spring sports that are essentially just starting their competition seasons.

  • HudyBlitz

    Not much to say about what has become a nightmarish season and a step back for the program. We all know about the injuries, but this team has looked unprepared at times besides being undermanned (for example, when we tried to run with Michigan in the first half of the loss that started the conference season. At least BC realized after that blowout that we had to go back to slowing the tempo to have any chance to win.)

    Penn State on Senior Night is likely the only game left we have a good chance to win before the BTT, and that’s not a gimme if they play like they did tonight. I imagine the injuries will be what gives BC another shot next year, and I’d like to think a lineup of Crawford, Olah, Sobo, Cobb, Demps, etc. will be competitive. But you have wonder if Dr. Jim will be thinking that it’s NCAA or bust for Carmody next year, as even another 20-win NIT season would be a disappointment.

    • kinsella316

      Imagine Dave Eanet saying the following words on WGN at the beginning of next season…”Well, the Wildcats coming off a disappointing 4-14 Big Ten performance last season, losing their last eight conference games and getting bounced in the first round of the Big Ten tournament by Nebraska. Bill Carmody returns for his 14th season in Evanston, yet to make the NCAA tournament.”

      Does that get people excited?

  • Alum Dad

    I taped the game and just finished watching it. Actually, I could only stand watching the first half. I zoomed through the second half to see the final score. The first half was brutal enough. NU scored a total of four baskets and one free throw in 20 minutes. Wisconsin’s offensive rebounding combined with NU’s woeful shooting made this another boys against men scenario. How can the same group hang with OSU on the road and then get shellacked by the U of I and UW at home? Thankfully this season will be over soon. Then we can fool ourselves into getting enthused about next season before Groundhog Day starts all over again.

  • PurpleHayes

    When I saw the interesting post on Sobo went totally without comment, I had decided to say SOMETHING here, and then I notice LTP compelled to comment on PRR. You poor guys–reminds me of my late father, who ran a Morse Code radio in WWII, and for whom “dot, dot, dot” was the international symbol for “Can anybody out there hear me?” After the advent of e-mail, I would dread getting a “Dot dot dot” from Dad, because it meant I was ignoring him. YES, gentlemen, some of us can still hear you, and I for one commend you for keeping the lights on. Just like the basketball team, our fan base is depleted, and we’re tired! But while after OSU I commented “never prouder” as did some others, last two games I can’t say I’ve seen that extra effort, those harder cuts, that make Princeton effective. I had to watch on DVR last night, and on a couple of our 34-seconds-going-nowhere-jack-one-up possessions I rewound and forced myself to watch again. I’m no coach, but I saw some lackluster effort, almost as if it were a walk-through, and then coach was going to blow the whistle and we’d run it again for real. You probably can’t fault these kids if they limp to the finish, but if they have any desire to create a different memory for this dismal season, a statement effort (a la OSU) at Purdue on Sunday would seem to be “last call”–the Penn State game would be too little, too late. Carmody can help, but here’s hoping there’s a players-only meeting with Hearn and Sobo at the front of the room starting in a couple of hours.

    • Someone has to do it. Thanks for reading.

    • das420

      I could have commented on yesterday’s post, but, truthfully, I don’t have anything positive to say about Sobo. I guess I’m in the minority here, but as far as I can tell Sobo can barely play at this level. I’m sorry if that sounds mean (and, trust me I don’t like denigrating college athletes), but way too much reverence is directed his way and it makes us as fans look like we don’t know what we’re watching (kind of like how most Bears fans look when talking about modern NFL offenses or QB play). I’m going ask this again: Can we please be a little bit more discerning about the quality of Basketball that’s on display?
      On a similar note, if Sina isn’t miles ahead of the likes of Sobo/Demps then I’m going to be pretty much done with this program (at least until we get a coach that can bring in some legitimate talent). We need guys that can compete at this level, not “grindy little ballers” with barely more than a modicum of talent.

  • TB

    I just feel for Hearn. He deserves better.

    • das420

      I’m sorry, but I don’t for one second. You’re talking about a walk-on that has actually been able to play two seasons of BIG Basketball (at a time when the BIG has only been the best conference in the country). He’s got heart and he’s a tough kid, but Reggie Hearn wouldn’t sniff playing time at any other school in the conference (well, maybe PSU). Regardless of the results, I think a kid like Reggie should be grateful for the opportunity and the exposure he’s gotten–how many other former walk-ons playing in a major conference have had a similar experience?

      • NUcappy

        Reggie has scored at least double figures in 10 of the 13 B1G games he has played in, and at least 20 points 3 different times. If you think that means he wouldn’t sniff playing time at any other school in the conference, then I think you don’t know much about basketball.

        • das420

          Yeah, and I bet you thought Randy Brown was a worthy Allstar when he was a consistent leading scorer for the Bulls in the post-Jordan years. The point being, players on really bad teams can sometimes look a whole lot better than they actually are (I mean somebody needs to score–right). Then, all of a sudden, they get on a team with actual players and they’re not the 1st, 2nd or even 5th option.
          You don’t believe me; find a neutral observer that YOU FEEL really knows Basketball. Then spend 5 minutes explaining what a great college basketball player you think Reggie Hearn is and how he could easily make at least 6-man on every team in the conference—see how that works out for you. If you’re from Chicago and know the Score, try throwing your Hearn argument out to Dan Bernstein (a guy that really does know a lot about Basketball) and then wait to see exactly how long it is before he starts laughing at you for being a Bball neophyte…

          • PurpleHayes

            Goodness, man, have a heart. All TB says was that Hearn deserved better, and suddenly we’re slamming him on the basis of how much playing time he’d get on this team or that. Here’s a kid who clearly worked his tail off for four years, earned the PT he’s getting, but actually saw a light at the end of the tunnel when it looked like NU might achieve some success, only to have it snatched away by circumstances beyond his control. Sure sounds like a “Too bad, Reggie, I feel for you” scenario to me! (And BTW, let’s take the 6th man on the #1 team in the country, who I believe would be Sheehy. Would Reggie have to compete with Sheehy for PT? Yes. Would he be outclassed? No way.)

      • TB

        He would/should have been sixth man on this team. I’m not saying he’s Wilt Chamberlain; I’m saying that it must suck to have (relatively) high hopes going into your senior year and then have everything fall apart around you.

        Add in the fact that he’s clearly worked hard to go from a guy nobody above D-III wanted to a viable Big Ten player, and yes, I feel badly for him. You don’t have to.

  • Steve

    Bad shooting team with a bad post game. Disastrous combo. Forget about marcotullio and hearn who are seniors. Olah and Turner are just so bad offensively, and kale isn’t far behind except an occasional good 3pt game. It doesn’t matter anymore since the season is over but carmody should make some big changes. We probably need to start running and shooting within 15 seconds. We’re getting crushed when we wait 34 seconds, why not switch it up

  • bandcat

    Not even a Dead Cat bounce in that one.

  • More sports. Other sports. Baseball anyone?

  • GreenLantern

    I don’t care how many injuries there have been. 14 years in (or whatever it is), no seasons at .500 in conference and no hope for anything different. Mr. Carmody may have improved Cats basketball from where it was when he got here, but it is clear he can go no further. Thanks but your time is up.

  • Jim Ross

    I enjoy and appreciate the posts, LTP and PRR. Thanks for sticking with it. Last night’s game was difficult to watch. Sobo and Hearn looked so deflated when they gathered up the ball after yet another Wisconsin score. I enjoy watching Wisconsin play. Good, solid basketball. I don’t see any future All-NBA players out there for the Badgers. Just a well-disciplined team.