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Northwestern vs. Illinois State game thread/preview

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Northwestern plays Illinois... State, who is not nearly as good as they were last year.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern has actually won a basketball game this year! Let's pay attention to that instead of football for a few hours!

My apologies for not having time enough to put together a Northwestern-Illinois State preview as I have intended. Here's a summary: remember when Northwestern played a tight OT game against Illinois State last year? Well, their team this year doesn't have Jackie Carmichael OR Tyler Brown, who combined for 35.5 points last year. Brown in particular was a thorn in NU's side, scoring 36 points in that game. Actually, Illinois State lost NINE players last year, four seniors, four graduating, and one dismissed from the team.

Hence, this team isn't nearly as good. They've gotten blown out by VCU and lost to Drexel as well. Their leading scorer, Zach Lofton, is shooting 22.2 percent on the year, their second-leading scorer, Paris Lee, is shooting 30.4 percent on the year. They are not good at offense.

Kenpom gives NU a nine-point victory, but a game like this against a not-so-awful mid-major team at home would go a long way towards boosting my confidence about this team after looking dismal in the second half against Stanford.

The game's on the BTN Digital Network, AKA that thing you have to pay for to watch the game. Talk to us if you're around!

Go Cats! Eat it, Redbirds!