Northwestern's 8-point loss to Georgia Tech was a disappointment, there's no other way to go about it. Maybe it was the fact that Northwestern began the game in a 20-2 hole, only to comeback and cut the deficit to just one point with a minute left. Or maybe it was the 17.4 percent shooting from three-point range. Or, it could have been the 8-14 from the charity stripe. It also could have been the fact that other than three players, no Northwestern player had more than three points or made more than one shot. The two-faced nature of this Northwestern team is damning, and these grades reflect that.
Looking at that stat line, Alex Olah deserves an "A." The thing is, Olah only scored four first-half points and was just 2-6 from the field. He look slow against Georgia Tech's smaller but athletic frontline. He seemed bothered in the post, unable to find comfortable position. It wasn't until the second half when Olah began to take over. He was very aggressive and didn't miss a shot, even hitting a huge three to bring Northwestern back late in the contest. Defensively, he collected two blocks in the second period and seemed like a shot-altering presence down low.
This was, undoubtedly, Bryant McIntosh's worst game of his short career. He looked out-of-sync on offense and often lost on defense. He strays from his man too often off the ball, giving his man an opportunity to get a step on him. He was beaten off the dribble on drives late in shot clocks, giving Georgia Tech opportunities for easy buckets down the stretch. There was a moment when Northwestern made a little run to settle the storm late in the first half to claw back into the game and McIntosh seemed to be the catalyst as he pushed the ball up the floor, but his lack of a scoring punch to go with his seven assists plagued the Wildcats as they searched for some more perimeter shooting.
JerShon Cobb played easily his most minutes of the season against the Yellow Jackets but that was probably due in large part to Vic Law being in foul trouble. Still, that's encouraging. His shooting woes continued though, going 1-5 from the field and missing all four three-pointers he took. Most of them, if not all, were pretty open. His shooting has to turn around or else he may find himself playing less, not because of injury, but because of performance.
After back-to-back poor games, Sanjay Lumpkin bounced back against Georgia Tech. Lumpkin hit one of the team's four threes and was effective offensively moving without the ball to put himself in position to get easy buckets. He didn't rebound very well and committed some stupid fouls away from the hoop.
Like Olah, Tre Demps turned his game around in the second half as he scored 13 of his 14 points in the final 20 minutes. My biggest qualm about Demps is that he doesn't assert himself quite as much early in games. He always seems to come on in the second half. Chris Collins mentioned that he may change around the starting lineup and it may work to give the starters a little more of a scoring punch with Demps out there.
Vic Law is still adjusting to the college game, there's no doubt about that. He seemed really out of his element against Georgia Tech, a frontline that he, in theory, could match up with due to his athleticism. But Law was frantic on the perimeter. He committed five turnovers in 13 minutes and collected four fouls. This game has to be a learning experience for the young freshman.
I really like Scottie Lindsey's game. He's long, athletic and has a sweet stroke. To be honest, I think Northwestern could have used him more against Georgia Tech. He spaces the floor well and moves the ball around the perimeter and really seems like he makes the right basketball play. I'd be really interested to see how he performs in extended minutes.
Honestly, I was surprised that Kreisberg played that much. He played mostly in two-big lineups with Olah or Gavin Skelly and all of his time came in the first half. He really didn't have much of an impact on the game.
Like Lindsey, Johnnie Vassar is another guy that I am curious to see play bigger minutes. Every time he gets on the floor, he does something of note. Whether it's taking a charge, drawing a foul or crossing someone over for a pull up jumper, the team always seems to pick up the intensity when he's on the floor. I would love to see him play with McIntosh and having McIntosh work a little bit off the ball to utilize his ability to score. Vassar does look a little jumpy on offense but wasn't too bothered by Georgia Tech's pressure.
Dave Sobolewski, Gavin Skelly and Nate Taphorn all played but did not record any stats.