Northwestern played much better from minute one against Brown than they did in Friday's opener against Houston Baptist. They moved the ball very well and shot excellently from the perimeter, and the game was not nearly as close as the final score indicated (Northwestern led by 22 deep into the second half).
As Chris Collins has said would be the case, different players stepped up tonight than did in the opener and did in the scrimmage against McKendree. Unless someone emerges from the pack (looking at you, Vic Law), expect this trend to continue. The 'Cats don't have a go-to guy, per se, so each night should see a different guy caring the scoring load.
Here's my grades for Northwestern's win over Brown:
Stat line: 6 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 4 turnovers, 2/10 FG, 2/2 FT
McIntosh spoiled us with his performance in the first two contests and came back down to earth tonight. McIntosh struggled with his shot all night long, with even his trusty floater not falling. But he stayed aggressive throughout the game, showing a type of confidence you don't often see in a freshman point guard. The offense also flows noticeably better when he's on the floor, and he was Northwestern's best facilitator on the night. He's going to be a very, very good player for Northwestern but you can't expect a freshman point guard to play great each and every night, and this wasn't B-Mac's best game.
Stat line: 16 points, 4 rebounds, 0 assists, 1 turnover, 4/7 FG, 3/4 3FG, 5/5 FT
Cobb scored a quiet yet very efficient 16 points against Brown, mostly as a result of his excellent shooting from three-point range. After a pedestrian first half, Cobb came out attacking in the second and his scoring burst helped give Northwestern the comfortable lead they never surrendered. But Cobb still shoots too many long twos, the most inefficient shot in basketball. He's clearly a talented shooter, but he'd be best served to make sure his foot is behind the three point arc when he decides to fire away rather than on the line or one foot in front of it. Still, this was a good bounce back game for Cobb overall, who played less-than stellar (to put it lightly) against Houston Baptist.
Stat line: 4 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 turnover, 2/4 FG
Law did a bit of everything as his stat line shows. Collins has described Law as a jack-of-all-trades type player, the kind of guy who does a whole lot more for his team than just score. But Law was a bit too timid for my taste. He was by far the best athlete on the floor, yet he was hesitant to attack the lane off the dribble. It's clear he's still learning the college game, and it's safe to say that Law's best basketball this season is ahead of him. Still love the way this kid attacks the boards, though.
Stat line: 15 points, 12 rebounds, 0 assists, 0 turnovers, 5/6 FG, 1/2 3FG, 4/5 FT
Sanjay Lumpkin scored a career-high 15 points in what must be one of the best games he's had in college basketball. Lumpkin didn't hesitate when an opportunity to shoot came and he even showed a few offensive moves that we weren't sure he was capable of. Lumpkin also rebounded excellently and, per usual, played good defense and hustled all night. Coach Collins said it best after the game: "I thought Sanjay Lumpkin was just tremendous. He was our rock."
Stat line: 4 points, 3 rebounds, 0 assists, 1/2 FG, 2/4 FT
Olah was in foul trouble, so take his measly stat line with a grain of salt. But after an excellent opener in which he took over in the post, he settled for his jump shot too often and didn't rebound very well during his 18 minutes on the floor. Olah will need to stay out of foul trouble for Northwestern to be its best this year, so it's on him to avoid ticky-tack fouls and to be mindful of how many fouls he has.
Stat line: 11 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 4/13 FG, 1/4 3FG, 2/3 FT
Plain and simple, Demps put up way too many bad shots: contested threes, step back twos, wild floaters. Demps is probably the quickest player with the ball that Northwestern has, and he's able to create space very well, but he still doesn't look to pass nearly often enough. Yes, he's a solid shooter, but it's not in Northwestern's best interest to have Tre Demps score 11 points on 13 shots.
Stat line: 10 points, 1 rebound, 0 assists, 1 turnover, 3/4 FG, 2/3 3FG, 2/2 FT
I'm a big, big fan of Scottie Lindsey. I know it's early, but this kid comes off the bench looking to score, and it's not out of the question to think that he'll cut into Demps' minutes. Lindsey filled it up, scoring 10 points in only 13 minutes and showed off a silky jump shot. Look for him to play more and more as the season wears on.
Stat line: 3 points, 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 0 turnovers, 1/1 FG, 1/1 3FG
Sobolewski only saw 6 minutes of action, and that's because Bryant McIntosh has firmly established himself as this team's point guard. He didn't play at all in the second half, but knocked down his only shot of the game: a wide-open three in the first half.
Stat line: 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 0 turnovers, 0 shots attempted
Taphorn saw four minutes of first-half action and didn't really do anything all that noteworthy.
Stat line: 0 points, 3 rebounds, 0 assists, 1 turnover, 0/2 FG
Skelly saw his first action of the year and it was evident that this was this first college basketball game. Skelly had his shot blocked violently and looked shaky on the offensive end. He did show an ability to rebound the basketball in traffic, and that was nice to see.
Stat line: 0 points, 4 rebounds, 0 assists, 4 turnovers, 0/1 FG
4 turnovers is simply too many for someone who plays a backup big man role.
Brown's radio announcers
I can't believe I paid $10 to listen to those two "announcers." They were comically biased to the point where they were arguing literally every single call that went against Brown in the second half. They also acted like they had never seen a three pointer actually go through the basket ("DID YOU SEE THAT?"). There was also a point in time where they compared Alex Olah to Olaf from Frozen (great movie) and made a reference to Shaggy's 2000 smash hit "Wasn't Me." It was tough to listen to.