This grade may seem way too high for a team that went over ten minutes without scoring a point at one point in the second half, but it was an important win for this young Wildcat team. Northwestern lost its first three Big Ten games last year, so it was good for the program to secure its first win in its first opportunity this year. Northwestern was far from great on this day, but so too was Rutgers. The Wildcats move to 10-4 on the year despite only shooting 39% from the field.
Tre Demps: A-
This was Tre Demps just about at his finest. He attacked the rim, didn't force shots and provided some savvy play, including stealing away a rebound from Kadeem Jack, retrieving the ball and knocking down a three. He also beat the first-half buzzer, something he has a knack for doing. He also impressed defensively, gathering in 7 rebounds (6 defensively) and only committing one foul. Northwestern will need Demps to play well if they want to compete with the elite of the Big Ten.
Bryant McIntosh: B
McIntosh started strong, but he struggled with the physicality of Big Ten play at times. He had four turnovers to match his four assists, which is not a good ratio. Still, however, McIntosh scored effectively and played good defense for the most part. How McIntosh adapts to the grueling games of conference play will be key in how Northwestern does this year. Thus far, his play was solid, but there is certainly room for improvement.
Vic Law: C-
Sickness was the main reason Law only got 10 minutes, and he seemed out of it from the start. He forced two long, contested shots. Still, he hit the boards well, gathering in three, all defensive. Law is probably the team's best rebounder, and even without his shot falling, he was able to help defensively. Law tends to force too many shots, and today was no exception.
Sanjay Lumpkin: C
Sanjay Lumpkin is always the toughest player to grade. He tied for the team lead in minutes and played, for the most part, solid defense. Anything he does offensively is a bonus, and his line-drive three helped. His airballed three from the corner didn't. Still, he gathered in a key rebound down the stretch after Rutgers missed three opportunities at the rim.
Alex Olah: D
Another tough day for Northwestern's big man. He didn't make a field goal, committed three turnovers and looked scared. It's a disconcerting trend that Olah isn't making any impact whatsoever. His five rebounds aren't anything notable, and none of them came on the offensive end.
Jeremiah Kreisberg: INC
Nathan Taphorn: INC
Dave Sobolewski: INC
Gavin Skelly: INC
Scottie Lindsey: B-
Lindsey once again provided a spark off the bench, knocking down a three and both of his free throws. Lindsey's confidence in his jumper is obvious. He also proved solid on the boards, and he didn't commit a turnover. Lindsey did commit three fouls, so that's something he will have to avoid.
JerShon Cobb: B-
Cobb wasn't expected to play this much in his return from injury, but Law's illness and Lindsey's foul trouble forced Collins to play the senior. It was good to see Cobb back on the court, and he looked confident, knocking down a couple of contested shots. Cobb wasn't perfect by any measure, including a bad pass on a pick-and-roll with Skelly, but to see him back on the court and seemingly confident was a good sign for Northwestern. His seven rebounds were really impressive.