No shot as Northwestern is pummeled at Purdue

Northwestern at Penn State

Nothing more really needs to be said at this point.

The Wildcats cannot score the basketball. They cannot get backdoor cuts. They cannot get open for 3-pointers. They cannot rebound. They cannot get stops.

Since Jared Swopshire’s injury, the Wildcats have been unable to find a rhythm and have been embarrassingly bad on offense. You can insert your favorite “enough bricks to build a house” joke here. Unfortunately none that I can think of seem suitable to describe the futility that occurred in NU’s 74-43 loss to Purdue at Mackey Arena on Sunday night.

Score Off. Rtg. eFG% O.Reb.% TO% FTR
Northwestern 43 65.9 32.1 17.9 15.2 21.4
Purdue 74 110.3 59.8 39.1 19.7 45.1

Above are statistics known as the Four Factors and are regarded as indicative contributors to wins and losses. Please see the end of this post for an explanation.

Northwestern shot a woeful 28.6 percent from the floor and hit on 4 of its 18 3-point attempts. The game was not even close from the beginning. Purdue was playing with an edge and an aggression to go take this game. The Boilermakers stepped on the Wildcats’ throat and did not let go. The lead was in double digits fairly quickly and there was no confidence that Northwestern would be able to make up the difference.

Maybe a late run in the first half that cut a 23-point lead down to 15 provided some hope. That was quickly shut off however.

It was simply Purdue’s night in a lot of ways. And Northwestern is simply not the same team it was the last time these two teams met. Saying the script was flipped would be cliche, honestly. Purdue just did whatever it wanted.

The Boilermakers shot 52.9 percent from the floor and hit 7 of 15 3-pointers. They grabbed nine offensive rebounds and dominated defensively (obviously). They did not back off the dribble handoffs as they had in Evanston and aggressively defended all the screens. Northwestern just does not have the offensive options to attack any more.

Teron Johnson scored 22 points to lead the balanced Purdue attack. Tre Demps was Northwestern’s high man with nine points on 4-for-10 shooting.

It really is not worth spending any more time discussing this game. Northwestern was just plain bad.

Alex Olah struggled with two points and two rebounds and looked overwhelmed by A.J. Hammons inside. Mike Turner had one of his better games, but also struggled with Hammons physicality inside. Hammons got deep position and dominated the paint, forcing Northwestern’s defense to help and leaving the perimeter open. Not that the Wildcats had much resistance out there.

Pulling out any positive is obviously very difficult. The team should be frustrated by all this and somehow they have to find a way to play these last three regular season games with some bit of pride.

It can’t get worse right?

Offensive Rating measures points scored per 100 possessions.
Effective field goal percentage measures field goal percentage taking into account the added value of a 3-point shot.
Offensive rebound percentage measures the percentage of offensive rebounds over total rebounds.
Turnover percentage estimates what percentage of a team’s possessions end in a turnover.
Free throw rate measures the rate of free throw attempts over field goal attempts.

  • virginiacats

    carmody is a joke, his recruiting is a joke, the facilities are terrible, the players couldnt even win an intramural tournament here at univ of virginia.
    i’ll start caring when we get new blood in the program

  • VACAT

    Agreed. This is just an awful program. We should all be embarrassed – and outraged that it has gotten to this point.

    LTP – you said Morty reads this board. Please ask him what leadership he and JP will exhibit to put us on the right path to success in basketball.

  • PleaseReplaceCarmody

    Frankly, I think a lot of us have reached the stage where it’s not even worth trying to effect change. No one to blame but the administration on this one. A number of people have been calling for a coaching change for several years (and it’s been warranted in my opinion). It’s really a shame with all the momentum behind football that the basketball on-the-court performance is so embarrassing. Here’s to hoping there’s finally enough evidence for the administration to replace Carmody.

    P.S. You can make excuses about injuries, etc, but if Carmody isn’t replaced this year he’s effectively got a lifetime contract. At some point, you have to measure results against peers, not Northwestern’s historical performance (e.g. never having made the NCAA tourney is not sufficient justification for being satisfied with mediocrity/being terrible).

  • Chasmo

    It’s hard to imagine NU winning another game as these kids no longer believe they can win. Bill Carmody himself admits he has never been the type of coach who can inspire his kids and NU doesn’t have any Jitim Young type leaders to inspire the troops.
    So we look to next year when the team will have scorers such as Crawford and Cobb returning and a new point guard to replace the inadequate Sobo but NU will still not have anyone to rebound or play post defense.
    Olah — of whom Carmody said before the season would finally give NU a low post presence on offense — not only hasn’t done that, he has shown no improvement during the season which calls into question not only Carmody’s ability to evaluate talent but to coach it. If Olah’s career mirrors that of Carmody’s other big men, he won’t get much better.
    Turner is simply not a Big Ten player.
    Cerina, even accounting for his playing on a sprained ankle, is not the answer.
    And does anyone really think Ajou can play in the Big Ten considering that no major conference team offered a 7-2 kid a scholarship except NU?
    There is no power forward or center signed for next year.
    NU needs a coach who can recruit a roster full of kids who can succeed in the Big Ten. Right now, there are none on the active roster.

  • Alum Dad

    I think the purple pricing experiment for the last two home games will see a nosedive after this one! Another stinker in a season of stinkers. Not much else to say. I guess the OSU game in Columbus was their last stand.

  • ctya

    69-145 in conference play over 13 years. One .500 season 9 years ago, a few mediocre years, and about half a dozen where the team is simply not competitive. This would be seen as OK at exactly zero other schools. Will he be back next year? Of course. Coach for Life, because “we’re better than we were in the ’80s” or something.

  • NUNUNU

    Every year I worry about firing Carmody because his system is so different than other coaches and I worry that our players might need a while to transition to being as effective playing outside of the Princeton offense / outside of the 1-3-1, etc. And every year it seems like next year could be the year (Crawford, Cobb are back, Sobo is a junior, Sina coming in, everyone else a year older, it’s gonna be great!)

    Other than the delusional NU optimism, Is that a valid concern? Is learning a new system a big deal in basketball?

    And if the answer is yes, what is the protocol for firing a coach mid-season in basketball? I guess there are not really any coaches to hire right now, but Carmody seems to have lost this team and giving the young guys a while to have some practice games under a new coach for the rest of the season could be worthwhile.

    Just feel bad for Hearn and Alex that they have to go through this – both have been favorites for the past few years.

    • http://www.facebook.com/prossmanreich Philip Rossman-Reich

      I too share that concern. The Princeton, particularly the variation that Carmody runs, is very system specific and he tries to recruit players that fit his system (perhaps one of the issues with his recruiting to begin with). Because the talent is selected to fit the system, there will definitely be a transition for the new coach as he brings “his guys” in. Those first few years, the coach will have to be as tactically adept as Carmody was when he brought in the Princeton and had to drill the offense in just to get the team competitive.

  • kinsella316

    It can and will get worse. This team still has to play Ohio State and at Michigan State. This team is hopeless.

  • byebyefitz95

    When does basketball end? This team has no leadership…no coach as well.

  • CatForLife

    Complain…complain…complain. Every single one of you questioning Carmody’s coaching ability, recruiting, etc. is absolutely clueless to the hurdles that our current staff faces. I have seen our facilities and have seen almost every other Big 10 school’s facilities as well with the exception of Indiana (whose facilities are considered the best in the Conference), Penn State, and Iowa (who just upgraded everything). Our academic requirements aren’t comparable to any other Big 10 school, and our fan/student support is just awful (and clearly misinformed judging by all your comments). Now I’m hoping most of you are spewing out this garbage because we just got killed against a team we beat by 15 a few weeks ago and just need some time to simmer down. Otherwise, you’re all just pieces of work.

    1) Try imagining this…a local kid from a Chicago Public School ranked #42 in the Rivals150 is trying to find a place to play college ball. Coach Hardy/Hill/Vujic decides to recruit the kid early on in his career (sophomore year) and continues to recruit him for 14 more months until his HS coaches FINALLY decide to release his grades, which all along they said were good. He’s got a very mediocre 2.3 and only scored an 18 on his ACT…At ANY other school in the Big 10 he’s in…at NU Coach Hardy just wasted 14 months of his time because academics won’t even consider the kid’s application. This has happened a few times over the last 4-5 years…Is this our staff’s fault?

    2) A highly rated Indiana kid decides to take a string of unofficial visits and has had interest from Wisconsin, Notre Dame, NU, Illinois, among a list of other high majors. He and his parents take a road trip going from Notre Dame to Illinois, up to NU, and ends the trip in Madison. Which of these 4 schools do you think he’ll end up at? Here’s a hint: All of them but us have modern practice facilities and 14,000+ seat modern arenas…on top of great fan support. I won’t even throw Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, and some others in there because we simply can’t get a kid over those schools if they ever become involved. And if you had a full tour of Michigan’s new facilities you’d understand what I mean by this.

    3) As for the Princeton system…we CANNOT recruit the types of kids the schools above recruit. Even if you landed one, you’re not landing more than 1-2 Top 150 kids and will never get a one-and-done type kid at NU. Thus, we cannot run the type of 1-on-1 ball screen systems that other elite programs run. We run a system that allows our less talented players we ARE ABLE TO RECRUIT to beat teams like Michigan State, Illinois, Iowa, and other Big 10 programs. Are we ever going to win a majority of these games? Yes, it’s just a matter of time under Carmody…probably not so under most other coaches.

    4) How in the world can any of you possibly think this season’s lack of success has anything to do with past years??? It’s injuries…plain and simple. Shouldn’t need to elaborate here, but some of you knuckleheads just don’t seem to get it. And yes, the Swopshire injury was the catalyst. You take our last experienced player (Hearn has only played for 2 years, same with Sobo, and the rest are either freshmen, first year players/transfers in our system, or walk-ons!) who can rebound, score, and play defense and you all are wondering why we’re getting killed. James Montgomery was playing for our club team two years ago and played like 15 minutes tonight!

    5) Those of you pushing for a coaching change immediately…if you get your wish and a non-system type coach takes over the program, forget about reaching the promised land next season with arguably our strongest team in Northwestern’s last 40 years. There will be a lull of at least 2-3 years where a new coach has to try and bring in the talent that Coach Carmody hasn’t been able to bring in. And hopefully what I’ve listed above helps explain just why that MOST LIKELY WILL NOT happen. The likely outcome would be a 3-5 year stint of Kevin O’Neill type successes/failures and then you all will be wishing Bill Carmody was still your coach. Also, Carmody does the right thing academically (i.e. Cobb) and doesn’t cheat. I’m extremely proud in this regard to be associated with Northwestern instead of Ohio State, Baylor, or any other schools that have recently been associated with breaking the rules to get players/wins.

    6) If you’re one of those people that says we “put up with mediocrity” maybe you’ve forgotten that Carmody has just led us to four straight postseasons! Not only has that never been done before in the HISTORY of our program, but our recruiting keeps getting better. I know it’s tough to be patient year in and year out waiting to make the Tournament, but believe me the staff wants it much more than you do and work their butts off trying to get there. It’s not an easy process with the hurdles they have, so hopefully all of you can take this information into consideration before crapping all over Carmody and this basketball program.

    Would be interested to see any of you try to respond to this argument…

    • virginiacats

      Every year now is seemingly THE YEAR but something always seems to go wrong doesnt it…from coble leaving to the shurna injury, to this year where everyone is injured…not to mention the lack of killer instinct in closing out key games. If next year’s roster is the best we’ve ever had, isnt this the best time to attempt to lure a star young coaching prospect?
      Regarding Carmody so when do the excuses end?? When is the coach and staff accountable, is 13 years is not enough??? I dont think too many people will disagree with many of the points you make in your post above, but I think there just needs to be some new enthusiasm in the program.

    • Alaskawildcat

      I have no problem with others venting and being frustrated with our current situation, but yours is a voice of reason …. and may I add, one well reasoned!

    • ctya

      None of these arguments are any different than the ones that’ve been made every year for 5-6 years, and they’re still all wrong. No reason to go through them one by one yet again, because in the end we all know Carmody’s coming back and we’ll be in the bottom half of the conference again and again and again.

      In the end, it’s clearly not just a matter of time, and if cherishing being part of four NITs (who could forget that electric atmosphere of 2,300 people for the Akron game last year . . .) isn’t “putting up with mediocrity,” I don’t know what is. I for one am out. I’ve watched zero games this year and I’ll continue to do so. I look forward to the day when Carmody retires.

    • Alum Dad

      You are entitled to your opinion, but the bottom line is you are in favor of maintaining the status quo. Sorry, but many of us aren’t impressed with the status quo. I think we all want to do things the “right way” and we all think the facilities require major upgrades. It is also clear that NU’s B1G results during the Carmody era (33% winning percentage) leaves much to be desired. This basketball program, as currently constructed, is a joke. With a 68 team NCAA field, qualifying for the NIT (Nobody’s Interested Tournament) is no big accomplishment. All it takes to get an NIT bid is 15-20 wins and a snub from the Big Dance. Even NU can occasionally win 15-20 games with their pre-B1G season cupcake schedule. More years of Carmody are going to equal more years of frustration for NU’s dwindling basketball fan base.

    • CatForLife

      1) Lure a “Star young coaching prospect?” Like who??? Brad Stevens, Shaka Smart, Chris Collins??? Trust me, if any of those guys showed any hint that they’d want to coach here there probably would have been a change…would have been the wrong change, but it would have probably occurred. Fact is, all 3 of those guys could take a number of other jobs that are higher profile, easier to recruit, have solid fan bases, and unbelievable facilities. Why in the world would they take the NU job?! Don’t forget…after O’Neill left Bob Knight urged others NOT to take the job, because it was an easy place to fail. Most “star young coaching prospects” have just had unbelievable runs with their current teams…why would they want to come here where it’s harder to recruit top talent? Yes it’s a Big 10 job, but if they wait a few more years they could get top jobs in the Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, etc.

      2) Again I’ll say – The “Status Quo” is four straight postseasons if you take away this season’s ridiculous injury problem, which has never been done so no, he has not maintained the “status quo” of mediocrity this program was used to the last four years. Have some appreciation for the job he’s done over those years with lackluster talent and brutal centers (which is a VERY hard position to recruit…a lot more 6’2″ guys out there than 6’11″ or 7′). Next thing you know we’ll make the Tournament and every one of you will think our Coach should be fired for not winning National Championships after two years.

      3) Talent wins close games. Guys who can create for themselves (only Cobb and Demps on our current roster) take game-winning shots and make them. Unfortunately we will continue to lose SOME close games until that gap is bridged some more. If you want to blame Carmody for this gap you can do so, but until you’ve actually tried to lure a top big man (there are maybe 10-12 top guys each year in the Rivals150 who aren’t projects) to Evanston you should probably just back off.

      4) Much much harder to get 20+ wins than you think it is…

      • k

        its not hard to get to 20 wins when you have a puff cake pre season schedule over that time( where have his wins come from?), easier to get to NIT vs earlier regimes when

        the NCAA field has been expanded several times, and what seed have we been in the NIT? he has had support at the highest levels that no previous regime has enjoyed. he should also should be thankful that penn state and now nebraska are in the conference, now there is a bottom competition. why is the talent level so low and it has nothing to do with his recruiting prowess? i thought coaching won close games? or is it the occasional upset in a trap game or just being close and still losing a trap game that showcases his skills.let alone the terrible and ncaa fatal loses to penn state in his regime. how many job offers has he turned down? i get that his style is very attractive to many , but to elevate the reading of his record by a negative view of the institution,the facilities,the players, the program history and the competition is not fair.
        the reading and analysis of his record overrated.

        • CatForLife

          Last season’s non-conf schedule was no cupcake…we had a top 20 non-conf schedule if I remember correctly.

          We have been a low seed in the NIT because the NIT seeds based on $$$. And since they know we have a crappy fan base we don’t get favorable seeding. I know for a FACT this is the way the seeding works.

          Coaching HELPS to win close games. Watch the final moments in our close game losses last season and tell me that coaching was the problem. As an example, we lost to Ohio State at home because an incredibly talented Sullinger hit the game winning shot when Marcotullio fell asleep in the back court on the inbound.

          The only thing I was arguing was against you people saying that we need a new coach because he can’t get it done. That his recruiting his bad. I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of his recruiting either, but he’s got two great recruiters right now working for him that will help over the next few years. And we’ve only gone up the last four years…so why all the change coaches talk now? If our AD hires a new guy and it works out then come talk to me then. I’m just saying that with what we have right now against us (facilities, academics, etc.) and the positive direction we’re going I don’t think a coaching change is the solution. You guys just need a scapegoat to talk about and that’s the easiest one to find. I think you MUST keep a guy who’d led us to where we are now. Now if we go back to not making a postseason routinely with a full (healthy) roster then you might have a case.

          Do you still not agree?

          • ctya

            Positive direction? Only gone up? Last four years: 9th, 7th, 8th, 7th, and this year we’ll probably finish 11th. And I honestly do not care AT ALL about going to the NIT, which we obviously won’t even be a part of this year because we don’t have a competitive basketball team.

            You’re very right, coaching definitely does help win close games! And Carmody is a consistently below-average end-of-game coach. The OSU game you bring up was just one example of self-destruction (usually on the defensive side) from last year. What was Cobb doing one-on-one against Sullinger in the post? That entire play was a disaster from start to finish. Other games featured blown assignments and a demonstrated inability to do such simple things as execute a two-for-one at the end of a half or game. Poor coaching.

          • CatForLife

            Yep, you got me, Marcotullio messed up the assignment he was given and because others had to step up to stop Craft, Cobb was on Sullinger. Every team in the country deals with blown assignments and the other things you mentioned…NU is no different and until you provide any evidence to how we’re much worse than others at this I can’t take this argument seriously. Is Fran McCaffery a bad coach??? His Hawkeyes have lost about as many close games (at the end nonetheless) that we did last season. Is it bad coaching…should he be fired? Also, the offensive coach always has the advantage at the end of the game, especially when it’s a tie and he has nothing to lose except possibly going to overtime.

            Also, stop using our Big 10 Conference rankings as a catalyst to fire Carmody. Yes, I agree it sucks to finish as low in the standings as we do, but our overall record has been much better the last four years and we play in the best league in the country. And again, I offer the postseason argument because that’s the most legitimate one. Was it the Tourney? NO, but one step at a time…how are so many of you this impatient with a team that has surpassed expectations the past few years? This year aside due to all the injuries (and Cobb), I agree we need to continue getting better each year and this includes reaching the Tournament, but we’re not heading down so we should let the guy coach this team until he shows us he can’t take us to the next level.

          • ctya

            Watch the OSU play again and tell me who “steps up to stop Craft.” Looks to me like he dribbles 40+ feet down the floor uncontested as our defenders backpedal. Disaster of a defensive play.

            Fran McCaffery should obviously not be fired. He’s taken three schools to five NCAA Tournaments and won a couple games. And his Iowa team, in his third year, is as good as the best of Carmody’s 13 NU teams. For an example of a close game his team has lost, see their game vs. NU late last year, when they lost due to missing an open 3 at the end of the game. A 3 that was open due to our defense.

            And, for me, Big Ten conference record is the one and only thing I’ll use to judge this team. Except not losing to teams like UIC at home. And NCAA Tournament berths.

          • CatForLife

            Iowa lost to a 12-15, 3-11 Virginia Tech team earlier this season by 16 points. I know it’s not quite Horizon League UIC, but let’s be honest Va. Tech isn’t very good this season.

            Also, remember I mentioned the offensive coach always has the edge when drawing up a play because the defense has to react. Carmody drew up a 1-2-2 full court defense to try and protect the backcourt. What you couldn’t see was that Sullinger was not initially on Cobb’s side of the court. Marcotullio’s mess up opened up the entire court for Craft to run down the right side. Thus, Sullinger being the extremely talented player (one of the top in his class if I remember correctly) comes over and Cobb rightly fronts him to make the pass tougher, but Sullinger pushes him out because of the weight difference. We didn’t have Mirkovic and Sullinger would have pushed Shurna or Curletti just the same way. It was a great play by a great player that all came to be because of an initial mistake by one of our guards in the backcourt. John Beilein, who has one of the best teams in the country this year also allowed Evan Turner to come straight down the court and nail a 3-pointer, albeit from deep, with almost no time left in the Big 10 Tourney a few years back. You know why Turner got the shot off? Because Beilein didn’t put any pressure at all on them in the backcourt! Didn’t get his fans asking for him to be fired though did it?

            You won’t change your opinion, I won’t change mine. We’re done.

          • ctya

            Don’t worry, Dr. Jim’s on your side. I sincerely hope I’m proven wrong next year.

      • ctya

        The “we’re not getting Stevens or Smart” argument is a total straw man. Nobody thinks they’d come to NU. We can still do far better than Carmody, who should still be fired the day after the last game of the season, as he would be at every other major-conference school in the country.

        • CatForLife

          You CANNOT do far better from an X’s and O’s standpoint and that’s a fact. The other 2-3 guys who may be just as good or better than him at X’s and O’s would not take this job. The only thing you could possibly be right about is recruiting and you’d better hope you’re right. Otherwise it’s back to the drawing board and you complaining some more that it’s time to find another new coach…

    • das420

      So, after all this writing you basically offer no solution. Seemingly thousands of words to simply conclude that NU’s constraints with academics/facilities have resulted in a significant competitive disadvantage in the BIG (wow, what an epiphany).

      To paraphrase Jack Nicholson from “As Good as it Gets”: “We’re drowing here and you’re describing the water!”

      • CatForLife

        Did you not get what I was trying to get across? Let me put it in terms you can understand then…

        Why fire a guy who has had the best four-year stretch the program has ever seen? If you remember we had been to four total NIT’s prior to 2008. Now we’ve been to 8. He’s doubled it in a four year stretch. A guy who has two excellent recruiters on his staff now with Coach Hardy and Coach Hill…and runs a system that enables you to beat more talented teams with less talented players, which is what we can get with our current visual deficiencies (I mean facilities if I need to spell it out for you). I’m not sure, but it seems to me that most of the people that post on here or Rivals, etc. don’t understand just how much having poor facilities cripples your recruiting. Fair analogy – Wisconsin’s Kohl Center and Michigan State’s Breslin Center are to NU’s Welsh-Ryan Arena as India’s Taj Mahal is to the Bibi Ka Maqbara (sorry, took a lot of classes on the history of India at NU). Look it up.

        • virginiacats

          having been to india, love the analogy…yeah whatever he’s gonna get another year, and I’m expecting another disappointing season – maybe an NIT bid, leading to a 2nd round tourny knockout. None of which excites me remotely. After my NU days I’m glad I’m at univ of virginia now, a good academic school that has invested in athletic facilities and a brand new coach who has brought so much new enthusiasm to the program. I only wish NU could do that.

          • CatForLife

            At least someone gets the India reference…haha

            I’ll agree that Carmody is not the most enthusiastic guy. I do love Fitz’s enthusiasm, but if that’s the way we judge our coaches we’ve got problems. The guy was once rated by the nation’s coaches as a Top 5 X’s and O’s coach in the country. I think he deserves to be as enthusiastic (or unenthusiastic) as he wants. However, after spending time with him I’ll admit he’s one of the most down to earth and nicest guys you’ve ever met. Only wants what’s best for his guys…we all remember the Coble situation and of course Cobb’s current issues. He wants Cobb to realize how important academics are…considering we are an academic institution first and athletic institution second, unlike almost every other school in our Conference, I think that speaks volumes. Most other coaches in our conference would have allowed the kid to return to the court as soon as his grades were clear, but Carmody’s values are clearly more important than just winning on the basketball court at whatever stake. Sorry for rambling on here, but he’s just done too much right to warrant all this talk about him being fired after dealing with what he’s had to deal with this season.

        • cebpd

          Here’s the problem. Fitzgerald has pushed for upgrades, and the football team is getting them. they are on an upward trajectory. You talk about facilities, well the head coach has a big influence on the administration. Carmody simply paddled in the water doing his best, but really has never pushed for facilities and resources to be competitive.

          Who here thinks that NU will be a very good team in the B1G next year, and if things go right, who says we can’t make it to the CCG or even the Rose Bowl? Who gets excited when you hear Fitz on ESPN radio or CFB gameday?

          Now, on the flip side…who feels this way about Carmody? Who wants to always listen to Carmody talk about the program?

          That’s what I thought. Forget about what has happened in the past, which is partially Carmody’s fault, and look to the future..is it bright? What will be next years excuse? We’ve had the SAME PROBLEMS with the basketball team over the past years. you would think the coaches would emphasize getting defensive rebounds at SOME POINT or improving 3 point shooting…but no…we lose the same way every time, with different players. its coaching, coaching coaching. Carmody has done a lot for NU, but it’s time to break away and get someone that can really get NU to the next level. someone comparable to Fitz.

          • CatForLife

            How do you know that Carmody hasn’t pushed for upgraded facilities? You think he doesn’t care? If you really think EITHER of our head basketball coaches hasn’t pushed HARD for new facilities you’re either just guessing or terribly misinformed. Did you not read any of Dr. Jim’s comments about why Fitz is getting his facility on the lake first?

            Obviously, football makes the athletic dept. the most amount of money so he should get his facility first. Also, the entire Trienen facility stands in the way of where a new basketball facility can be built, so that’s another reason why football has to be moved first. Where in the world would a new arena, or practice facility for that matter, be built in our current lack of space?

            No one is arguing that football won’t be good next year…or the following year for that matter. Although when we lose both our starting RB and QB next season nobody really knows how good we’ll be the following season, but that’s a discussion for another time on a different board.

            To say a guy doesn’t deserve to be our head coach because you don’t like the way he sounds on the radio is a brutal statement. Carmody is a witty dude. Just because he doesn’t believe in the whole Rah Rah thing like Fitz doesn’t make him any better or more deficient as a head coach.

            I have no rebuttal to the rebounding argument, except to say that every staff in the country preaches rebounding. We just lack the toughness and personnel to outrebound bigger, stronger teams. Rebounding is like 80% on the player, 20% on the coaching staff. I can assure you that every staff does their 20%, but it’s up to the players to actually box a guy out and go get the ball.

            We have always been in the top half of our league in 3pt shooting, so not sure what you mean by this one…?

          • cebpd

            because Carmody has been around for 13 goddamn years and we have the worst facilities by a mile and that was after some renovations were done in like 2009 or something like that.

            and no, i was not talking about the “rah rah” thing at all. i listen to what the coaches are saying in post game, how the guys are getting better, and the vision for the program. Fitz talks about reaching that next level…bowl gams, bowl wins, b1g championships, etc. Have you ever heard about Carmody talking about a long term vision for the program? In game Carmody seems like he doesn’t care and just gives up. he yanks players after one mistake instead of letting them learn.

            “Although when we lose both our starting RB and QB next season nobody really knows how good we’ll be the following season” yes we do, because we know we’ll have a senior TS in play, i’m sure NU will have a RB or two to step up(Green, Jones, Godwin Igwebuike), and Zack Oliver and Matt Alviti behind TS. our recruiting classes have been great the past couple years and when this talent develops as Fitz has shown to do, NU will still be a strong team. On D you will have Ifaedi O who had offers from Bama, Michigan, Ohio State, you will have veteran DB’s in NVH, dwight white, etc etc. You see? i can name all this stuff off the top of my head with the Football program.

            Basketball…hmm…Sina? …Taphorn?? who else we got comin? who else do we see stepping up in 3 years? Demps? Montgomery? Kale? lots of Q’s, and theres no indication Carmody will develop his players. Crawford you can argue has regressed slightly, alex Olah is almost as good as Luka Mirkovic as a senior. a former walk on is our best player.

          • CatForLife

            Yes, Matt Alviti who hasn’t even come into college yet…any college basketball or football coach will tell you they don’t have a crystal ball when recruiting a kid to know if he’ll turn out to be a good player.

            Just because Carmody doesn’t talk about the program in 4-5 years doesn’t make him a bad coach, just different than a guy Fitz. Not sure what this argument is supposed to prove, so I’m stopping now.

            And yes, Taphorn, Sina, Demps, Kale, etc… Who would you like Carmody to recruit? Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, even Kendrick Nunn? The staff really liked Alvin Ellis who’s going to Minnesota and would have given us a physical, athletic presence but guess what, when his grades came out we had to stop recruiting the kid (supposedly). So who would you like us to recruit that doesn’t have offers from Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State, Ohio State, or even Wisconsin? Because just from a facilities and academics standpoint alone, we’re not getting those kids to come here. Please elaborate…

    • ctya

      BTW, for the “IT’S THE INJURIES” crowd, this team lost to currently #158 RPI UIC at home in a game in which Drew Crawford scored 18 points. This team was going absolutely nowhere even with a full roster.

      • CatForLife

        Don’t be a tool…A full roster this season would have included Cobb. We don’t lose to UIC with that kid…trust me. Also, that is our only loss to a non-conference team with an RPI over 100 over the last five years. I believe only a half-dozen teams in the country can say that. We had an awful night shooting the basketball…it happens, even against a team like UIC. They also beat Colorado State, which is currently ranked.

        • Alum Dad

          UIC also lost to Detroit (no, not the Pistons) by 51 points.

    • Chasmo

      This is easy:
      Northwestern football also has had the worst facilities in the Big Ten and the same academic restrictions as basketball. NU also needs to recruit more quality football players to be good than basketball does to be a good team. So why has the football team under Barnett, Walker, and Fitzgerald been able to win conference titles and be nationally ranked at season’s end several times since 1995 while the basketball team has failed to even once make the 64-team NCAA tournament?
      Under your theory, football should be struggling to qualify for the Pizza-Pizza Bowl every year with a 6-6 or 7-5 record just as NU struggles to be low seed in the NIT due to their shared burdens of bad facilities and academic restrictions but that has not been the case.
      So why has football succeeded where basketball has failed?
      The answer is recruiting. The ability of Barnett — who took over a program in much worse shape in terms of facilities than anything Carmody has faced — Walker and Fitzgerald to recruit players who can win more games than they lose in the Big Ten has been far superior than Carmody’s ability to do so.
      Carmody just can’t recruit.
      There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep Carmody as NU’s coach and there is nothing wrong with believing that he is the right man for the job should be retained until he decides to retire. There’s nothing wrong with being believing the NIT is the best NU hoops can ever hope for.
      But it is rather ridiculous to mock fans who think it is a time for a change and to try to pass off as genius an argument that is so easily debunked.

      • CatForLife

        I am in no way a genius and am not trying to pass off as one. I barely managed a 3.0 GPA at NU! I do, however, know how this business goes so I do know a little more than most of the people on this board about the crap they throw out there. And yes, sometimes the way I write my arguments online doesn’t help my case and for that I apologize.

        The only thing I’ll state here is that it’s much much harder to recruit in basketball for the very reason you stipulated. Basketball has only 13 scholarships to football’s 80-something (83-85 I believe). Much, much easier to find 30-40 good players out of 80 who can usually play multiple positions than find a great starting 5 and 3 decent subs out of 13. Not taking anything away from football though…having to recruit 85 scholarship athletes can’t be easy. I’m just stating that it’s a lot harder to get 13 players and usually only 2-3 at each position than it is to have 5+ different players to choose from for one position in football (i.e. – QB or RB). In both sports, you recruit guys who can usually turn into good players since very rarely does a freshman come into either sport ready to compete at this level. All I’m saying is if football is wrong about how five guys turn out, they have 80 others waiting to jump right in. In basketball, you’re just S.O.L. As stated above, I think our basketball staff has done a pretty good job recruiting with the restrictions we have. BTW – Fitz has a new facility to use for recruiting now…Carmody (or another basketball coach) won’t for a number of years.

        • ctya

          “Much, much easier to find 30-40 good players out of 80 who can usually play multiple positions than find a great starting 5 and 3 decent subs out of 13.”

          It’s actually much easier for a good basketball recruiter to find three players a year that can play in the Big Ten and meet NU’s academic standards than it is for a football recruiter to find 20.

          I get the “less room for error” argument, but the thing is that good college coaches simply recruit better players and better develop into complete players the ones they recruit. Carmody’s done a good job developing relatively unheralded recruits into decent offensive players at three positions (PG, SG, SF), but has failed over thirteen years at pretty much everything else. Especially at winning conference games.

          • CatForLife

            Find? Yes, absolutely. Get them to commit to a place like NU…don’t think so. As my rebuttal to the comment above states, I’ll agree Carmody’s main deficiency is recruiting. As you stated though, he’s a decent developer of lesser talent. And his system also helps us win games to make up for that difference. Outlandish comments like “failed at pretty much everything else” don’t help your cause here, but I would like to see him develop a big man over a year or two so we can stop having opposing centers guard us so low, but we’ll see what he can do with Olah, Chier, and/or Turner. Hopefully the staff can get one of those guys to turn into a legit Big 10 Center…and soon!

            “It’s actually much easier for a good basketball recruiter to find three players a year that can play in the Big Ten and meet NU’s academic standards than it is for a football recruiter to find 20.”

            -NO IT ISN’T…It’s just as hard at both levels. I obviously have a little basketball bias here, but I know the NU staff uses all 130 of their recruiting days like every other program and Fitz uses all of his days as well. So mute argument. The 20 versus 3 thing does not warrant an argument.

          • bandcat

            Sorry Cat, just do not see Olah or Turner developing into B1G type centers. The level of comp they played against in high school a big hurdle to overcome. Keep your fingers crossed.

          • CatForLife

            Agreed…Olah played against midgets in high school. Wish he would have played in a better league, but what can you do? At least he can dunk! That’s more than we could say for our previous centers (no, wait. Rowley dunked in his last official game in an NU uniform if that counts)! Hopefully you’re wrong and they can do something with the kid…otherwise we’re back to square one!

        • Chasmo

          It’s so much easier to recruit for basketball than it is for football. Just look at how many more top 100 rated kids in basketball go on to be good college players in basketball than do in football. Football coaches hope to find one good player in every three they sign. Only Bill Carmody would be satisfied with that success rate in basketball.
          There are several reasons why basketball recruiting is easier:
          1. Basketball coaches get to watch kids play in AAU games and at basketball camps and in their high school games. The top kids are invited to camps to play against the best and they even play with their future teammates when being recruited. It is much harder to make a recruiting mistake in basketball. Footballers, meanwhile, don’t play in AAU games or scrimmage full speed at camps so coaches have much less to go on to evaluate them.
          2. The nature of basketball makes it much easier to make the NCAA tournament with just one superstar and a bunch of mediocre players on the team — David Robinson taking Navy to the NCAA tourney is the best example. There is no college football team that has ever posted a winning record with one star and 21 average players.
          3. There is also the violence factor. Basketball is not a brutally violent game and high school basketball players face college players in summer leagues so they know what to expect. High school football stars, meanwhile, beat the crap out of their opponents and rarely if ever face kids who are just as big, fast and strong as they are. They have no clue what college football is like. When they get to college, these kids get beaten up for the first time in their lives and many don’t like it and they don’t do well. There’s no way to tell who will adjust and who won’t until the kid arrives on campus in football.
          So for those three reasons and more, it’s so much easier to recruit in basketball. Yet Walker and Fitz have out recruited Carmody every year Carmody has been at NU. The reason is that Carmody is a lousy recruiter.
          Once again, there is nothing wrong with supporting Carmody and no one is suggesting you change your mind. It’s just not the best strategy in trying to make your case to claim to have superior understanding about college sports when compared to most of the people on this board when it’s so obvious by your posts that you don’t.

          • CatForLife

            1. What? The 5+ different football coaches who can recruit get plenty of playing exposure to these kids while they’re in High School. You can’t feed me the AAU crap. AAU ball is literally street ball for most of those programs and the tournaments they play in. “Harder to make a recruiting mistake in basketball?” Every program has about 4-5 kids who never develop into the players their coaches thought they would in basketball. Football has more I’ll agree, but the percentages are much different there (i.e. – 40% of your scholarships vs 25% give or take). They do not have much less to go on while evaluating them. Not sure where you were going with this one.

            2. Would David Robinson have taken Navy to the NCAA Tournament in the Big 10? Absolutely not. Has there been any Big 10 team that has had this happen. If you can name even one I’ll take away this rebuttal. Navy, really, that’s the team you use?

            3. Look, this is just another bad argument. To say that football players get more beat up than basketball players and don’t know what to expect at the next level is just not right. Kale Abrahamson is a clear example of this. All of you were salivating at this kid while watching his 14 minute highlight tape last season, preaching Carmody for getting this kid and how he was the next Shurna. Guess what…the kid doesn’t have a shot in the Big 10 at his current weight and is completely overmatched. Now it’s much easier for you to blame Carmody for this because he was responsible for recruiting the kid, but unless you were clearly against him taking the kid (which I’m sure you weren’t) you didn’t know any better either. Also, are McCaffery at Iowa or Bzdelik at Wake bad coaches, because they also offered the kid? Fact is, development is key no matter what the ranking or talent level of the kid is. As I’ve stated a thousand times, we’re not getting NBA-ready kids at this school for some time, so development is especially important. And if Shurna or Thompson, or Crawford (although he’s a little debatable) tell you anything it’s that Carmody and his staff can develop guys at a decent rate.

            There…I’ve just refuted all 3 points and your responses make it clear to me that I know more than you do about this. I will admit that recruiting is a vice for Carmody. It isn’t his strong suit. But he’s done a good job on the development front I would think to at least make up for that deficiency.

          • Chasmo

            I’m glad you think you rebutted my points because it re-enforces the fact that you are simply out of touch with reality.
            Your first attempt at a rebuttal was basically incoherent.
            Your second rebuttal point was just you saying David Robinson couldn’t lead this current pathetic NU team to the NCAA tournament. That’s not a rebuttal. That’s an opinion.
            And do you really believe football isn’t a far more violent game than basketball and that football players don’t get beat up more than basketball players? Really?
            Let’s just agree to disagree.
            Bye-bye.

          • CatForLife

            You’re right, I’m tired of arguing with you as well. Until next time…

  • WildcatFan71

    While
    one can make excuses for rash of injuries, it seems to be a time for a coaching
    change after 13 seasons of mediocre to poor results. Coach Carmody and his system simply is a poor
    fit for the Big Ten. It may do well in
    the Ivy League or for Air Force in the Mountain West, but it does not do well
    in the Big Ten. Northwestern’s
    recruiting classes consistently are slower, less athletic and not as tough as
    other Big Ten schools. Only Tre Demps
    and Michael Thompson have been top recruits in the past 7 recruiting
    classes. It has gotten to the point that
    even Tommy Amaker’s teams at Harvard have higher rated recruiting classes with a
    far worse basketball gym and far more restrictive admissions requirements. If you compare NU to comparable elite private
    schools with tough admissions standards and ranked in the nation’s top 30 of
    national universities (Stanford, Duke, Rice, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Georgetown,
    USC, Wake Forest and Boston College), then there clearly is a pattern
    here. Only Rice of these 9 comparable
    private schools struggles as much as NU.
    There is no question that if you get the right coach who can recruit
    well, elite and athletic players will come to Evanston. Harvard has had a far worse basketball
    tradition than NU. Yet, it only took
    Amaker a few years to completely change the dynamics in Cambridge. Basketball
    games actually sell out in Cambridge now.
    13 year is long enough to show a pattern. If anything, the gap between NU and the rest
    of the Big Ten in terms of talent and athletism appears to only get worse over
    the next few years.

    • NJNUParent

      Glad you brought up Amaker. He was the hot coaching prospect years ago and take a look at the record.. First Seton Hall was simply a stepping stone and then off to Michigan. Look what happened there. Do you think that Amaker’s aspiration was to end up at Harvard in a league that gets weaker every season. Moreover, in his first few months at Harvard, there was an question raised about recruiting practices; this season two players left school for involvement in a cheating scandal. (They will return as a result of Harvard’s unique reinstatement practices.) You are correct, Harvard does sell out its 2,195 seat high school gym but only if there is no hockey game! They are the novelty in the Ivy League but that will end and see how long Amaker sticks around.
      NU has a quality coach who, given the basketball “tradition” at NU, has had remarkable success. If recruiting is a weakness, he has acted. By adding Fred Hill (a great recruiter but not a successful head coach), Carmody has strengthened his staff and the results have paid off by picking up one of the true blue chip players in New Jersey. Those who think coaches like Stevens and Smart would come to NU are in a fantasy land. Remember Coach K’s alleged advice to Amaker about coming to NU.
      This season has been a disaster but given a healthy team, the results are different. Finally, for those look to Duke and Stanford for their recruiting successes, check out the academics of some of their admits. If that is the compromise you want to make, so be it.

      Kudos to CatForLIfe – you are right on the money!

  • skepticat

    And here you were, LTP, just a few days ago, worried about lack of interest in your comments section. Well, the waters be red with chum now after yesterday’s game.

    Gotta find the upside to every downside, as they say. :-)

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

      My sentiments exactly! Between this post and the wrigley reax post we are back on track engaging the community.

  • Peter Skills

    “It can’t get worse right?”

    It will get worse when we lose at home to Penn State and save them from the embarrassment of a win-less conference season. An embarrassment we know all too well.

  • PurpleHayes

    Those who want Carmody fired are entitled to that opinion, as are we who think not. But don’t burden us with the “accepting mediocrity” tag; that’s unfair/untrue. I want to retain Carmody for next year mainly because I think we have a good chance to make the NCAA. Chances with Carmody? Maybe 40-50% if we stay healthy in 2013-14. Chances with a new coach? Zero. Plus, if we fire Carmody now, our chances of hiring a decent coach are nil (dismal record, plus creates fear amongst candidates that we will whack a coach despite circumstances out of his control). If we make the NCAA next year, great. But if we don’t, and I will agree then Carmody should go, we will still have an improved record (probably another near miss) and a more reasonable statement to the market for making a change. Thus, we have a better chance to attract decent candidates. I do believe 2013-14 is a real opportunity for us; I’d hate to see us miss an NCAA shot because a new coach struggles to implement his system. That’s not accepting mediocrity; it’s a measured view on trying to improve our program both short and long-term.

  • Outsider

    Interesting debate. As someone who is a fan of another B1G university who lives in the Chicago area, I have a less emotional view than some of you who are in the fire Carmody or keep Carmody camps.

    The original poster makes the customary arguments for the keep Carmody side, but there are certain flaws in his thinking. First, if you have high admission requirements, you are wasting your time from the start in recruiting an athlete who will not release his records. Yes, it is the asst. coaches’s fault when the find out that the player isn’t qualified for admission.

    Second, there will be a transition period whenever you change coaches due to the system you run. The only way to avoid that pain is to either have a roster full of high quality athletes (something unlikely to happen here) or to never change coaches (a blessing to the rest of the B1G).

    Finally, the four straight post season argument is laughable. Given the fact that is has never been easier to make the NIT given the expansion of the NCAA tourney as well as the addition of the CBI which removes the pressure on the NCAA to add mediocre small conference teams to the NIT, this is hardly an accomplishment. At no other school would this be acceptable. And while I am aware of NU’s long history of futility, this argument makes me believe that should Carmody make the dance once, many of you would anoint him coach for life even if he never made it to another post season tournament.

    As to the contention that you will not be able to get a Smart, Collins or Stevens as a replacement, it should be noted that Illinois couldn’t get them either and seems to be doing just fine.

    In closing, as a fan of another B1G team, I would be happy to see Carmody on NU’s sideline for another 13 years. I just cannot understand why any of you would find that acceptable.

    • PB Cat

      Outsider, I agree completely with your points.
      I can’t believe someone of Tavaras Hardy’s experience would walk into a situation like the one which was described. In fact he told me at one of these fast break functions that they have a list of the guys in each class that qualify and it is obviously smaller than the one for U of I or my alma mater MSU.
      Of course there is going to be a transition period with any new coach, but if that wre going to be the problem with getting a new coach this job would be a lifetime job. Just keep collecting your $850,000 a year and when your time comes just pas away sitting there on the bench late in the second half of the Illinois or Michigan State game. These arguments are fast becoming a joke.
      I said at the beginning of this year that this should be NCAA or part company. However, in lieu of all the injuries this year it’s my feeling he gets one more year and if we don’t make it next year you part company.
      The argument about nobody will come here is also fallacious. Believe me if you have Jim Phillips and Pat Ryan selling for you, it could be surprising who you get.
      Finally, I agree that we need a new facility, but if you stop to think about it the football had to go first, because otherwise you tear down Welsh Ryan and have to go play at the All State Arena or Loyola for possibly two years. This way you build the football deal, which frees up the use of the football practice area and that softball field to build a new arena and still play at Welsh Ryan. I assume the present indoor football facile would be torn down also or reconfigured.

      • PDXCat

        Phillips has been here 5 years, Ryan considerably longer. If it could be surprising who they could get, I suppose it’s equally surprising that they haven’t gotten him yet. Or maybe not a surprise at all.

West Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Nebraska3000
Minnesota2100
Iowa2100
Illinois2100
Wisconsin1100
Purdue1200
Northwestern 0200

East Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Penn State3010
Maryland2100
Ohio State2100
Michigan2100
Michigan State2100
Indiana1100
Rutgers2101