Northwestern basketball exhibition: Wildcats 70, University of Chicago, 46

Andy Lyons

Northwestern won easily in a pretty milquetoast exhibition against the University of Chicago, which still managed to reveal some interesting things about Northwestern's horde of personnel.

Drew Crawford dunked on the first possession, which pretty much made it clear Northwestern wouldn't lose its basketball exhibition against the University of Chicago, and that held true: Northwestern played a solid game, winning by 24, showing some nice things and some things that really need work.

I couldn't watch and don't have stats in front of me, but here's what I could gauge:

  • Alex Olah, Northwestern's starting center-apparent played really nicely, scoring 12 with nine boards, although some of that probably has to do with the competition not having any players over 6-foot-6. The 7-foot freshman's hook shot will be the story of Northwestern's post game for years to come. Although Chier Ajou didn't score, he also benefitted from the crazy height advantage by swatting a Maroon on his first defensive possession. Heh. Swatting a Maroon. Sounds fun.
  • As one would expect, Drew effortlessly put up double digits. Bad opponent, gonna happen. He led all scorers with 13.
  • Tre Demps and Nikola Cerina displayed decent three point touches, which I suppose I wasn't expecting. Both guys are career 20-ish percent shooters from three - Demps' sample size is obviously crazy limited - but they combined to connect all five of their shots - perhaps some shooting practice during the redshirt year? Cerina seems like he'll be sort of a perimeter player with the capability to defend fours and fives, which is nice. Anyway, hope that shooting can continue. On the other hand, Kale Abrahamson, a supposed shooter, clanged a bit. Hope that shooting can't continue, and is just small sample sizes.
  • The starting five is Dave Sobolewski-Reggie Hearn-Crawford-Jared Swopshire-Olah. Hearn at the two makes a lot more sense than him at the four last year, and Swop should be a nice addition to the front court. I think we'll like that guy.
  • Bill Carmody ran Sobo and Demps together at points, which is weird, because he also ran the team with Alex Marcotullio at the point for some time, which really didn't work out well.
  • Michael Turner somehow got hurt on a charge, but it doesn't seem too bad and hopefully he'll be alright for real games.
  • For the bad stuff: UChicago got open for three after three after three, and snagged quite a few offensive boards.Not a big deal - it's an exhibition game - but also, kind of a big deal, because what happens when you play real teams?
  • It also seems like the Princeton Offense will be a learning issue for a team with 14 or so new guys. Two shot clock violations.
  • No Aaron Liberman? In the exhibition game? Outrage.
  • Chicago has a player named "Royce Muskeyvalley", which is great.

I think this team has some talent, but it's important they get some of the jitters out of the way in some of the easy, early games before conference play starts. Lotta inexperience, lotta new faces, hope they get used to playing with each other. Games that count start Tuesday against Texas Southern.

Anybody get a chance to watch? What did y'all see? Good things, bad things?

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