Northwestern 63, Stony Brook 58: Don't Ever Do That Again

Well then. Let's start with the positives.

1) Northwestern won the game

2) Dave Sobolewski played well, with 16 points and 4 assists.

And that's about it. Luka Mirkovic and Davide Curletti combined for zero points in 40 minutes. The best play either one made was Mirkovic giving a foul in the back court to prevent a three on one break for Stony Brook late in the game. It was so bad that at one point Luka shot a ball over the backboard on the fly from inside the paint in a futile attempt to draw a foul. The ball was so far from going in that he was given a turnover in the official stats.

Northwestern also allowed Stony Brook to record 17 offensive rebounds, which is really bad. The good news was that Stony Brook missed a ton of shots (43 total), so Stony Brook's 39.5% offensive rebound rate is merely bad and not historically bad, so there's that. But if Northwestern can't stop Stony Brook from getting second chance points, it raises the question of who in the Big Ten they'll be able to rebound against. NU's man to man defense did a good job of forcing difficult shots, but that doesn't mean much if they can't rebound the ensuing miss.

On offense, Northwestern took way too many threes, as 29 of their 48 attempts were from behind the arc. That kind of ratio would be understandable against a team with a massive front line like Minnesota, but against a Stony Brook team that had no one who could be confused with an inside presence, it's not good. Drew Crawford and John Shurna both were able to score with relative ease when they attacked the basket, but they didn't do nearly enough of it. Crawford in particular had some very impressive baseline drives, but he deferred too often to others. 

As ugly as this was, it's still a win, which I guess is a mildly encouraging sign; Northwestern used to lose at least one non-conference game per year to a mediocre mid-major like Stony Brook. Obviously, a better effort will be needed to win at Georgia Tech on Tuesday. Also, Bill Carmody's rotations were a bit strange in this one: Tre Demps got some brief run after not playing at all in Charleston (and looked terrible, forcing up an airballed three early in the shot clock) and Alex Marcotullio didn't play at all. JerShon Cobb got almost all of the non-center minutes off the bench, and was fairly quiet, although he did hit a big three with just over a minute to go to extend NU's lead to six.

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