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Butler 65, Northwestern 56: Player Grades

Northwestern came up just short of a big upset of Butler on Saturday afternoon. Here's how we graded the performance.

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Overall: B-

It was not pretty and Northwestern threw away a ton of opportunities to possibly take the lead in this one, but the Cats played pretty well against a ranked team. Butler's smothering defense made offense hard to come by but if a few NU shots rimmed in instead of out, maybe we're talking about a huge program win. Sometimes the breaks just don't fall your way.

Alex Olah

Points Assists Rebounds Field Goals Turnovers
11 0 4 4-8

2

Grade: C+

NU's key big man scored the Cats' first basket of the game and really didn't do much after that. He drilled a big three in the first half to cut the Butler lead to one but disappeared late in the game. Simply put, he needs to take more than eight shots and grab more than four rebounds if NU is going to make some noise in the Big Ten. He has to assert himself on both ends of the floor, and his teammates need to get him the ball.

Sanjay Lumpkin

Points Assists Rebounds Field Goals Turnovers
4 1 4 2-4

2

Grade: C-

Lumpkin did not play poorly or anything, but like Olah, he didn't make himself known at all. NU relies on him for rebounding, interior defense and occasional scoring and it didn't get any of those things from him today. Butler destroyed NU in the paint in the second half--stopping multiple comebacks before they amounted to anything--and Sanjay didn't do much to stop it.

Tre Demps

Points Assists Rebounds Field Goals Turnovers
4 1 2 1-8

2

Grade: D

Chris Collins put Demps and Dave Sobolewski into the starting lineups as late substitutions for Vic Law and Bryant McIntosh and neither upperclassmen made much of an impact. Demps could not find his shooting stroke all day but was still his usual trigger-happy self, putting up contested and low-percentage shots all around the floor. He needs to know when he has it and when he does not. Tonight, he certainly did not have it.

JerShon Cobb

Points Assists Rebounds Field Goals Turnovers
5 2 4 2-8

1

Grade: D+

Cobb and Demps had very similar games in that neither could hit a shot, regardless of whether they were open or not. The main difference between how they played was that at least Cobb crashed the boards a little and showed up on defense. Shooting has been an issue for Cobb during his NU tenure and today was a bit of a step back.

Dave Sobolewski

Points Assists Rebounds Field Goals Turnovers
3 1 1 0-0

1

Grade: C

Sobolewski's only scoring contribution to this game came on the three free throws he made after stupidly being fouled on a first half three-point attempt by Butler. The senior, who did not officially attempt a shot today, did not force anything on offense and stayed within the system well. He also played decent on-ball defense on Alex Barlow, who only scored six points. However, Sobo's teammates could not pick up the scoring slack so maybe today would have been a good day for him to push the envelope.

Bryant McIntosh

Points Assists Rebounds Field Goals Turnovers
12 5 2 6-13

3

Grade: B

The Indiana native came home for a big game on a big stage and did not disappoint, even as a bench player. McIntosh was NU's high scorer and kept confusing the strong Butler defense with jump shots and layups as well as some beautiful dishes to teammates. He missed all three of his longball attempts, though (NU was just 6-18 from three as a team), which could have really turned the tide of this game. On the negative side, he did commit a few bad turnovers.

Vic Law

Points Assists Rebounds Field Goals Turnovers
10 3 6 4-10

1

Grade: B-

After an ineffective first half, Law was key to NU keeping this game as close as it was for so long. After some ugly, ugly jumpers early on, he sunk two enormous threes to bring the Cats within one possession and on the doorstep of an amazing comeback. He also rebounded well, which is probably the most polished part of his game right now.

Nathan Taphorn

Points Assists Rebounds Field Goals Turnovers
7 1 1 3-3

0

Grade: B

He didn't play a ton of minutes but Taphorn provided a nice spark for Chris Collins off the bench. He hit all three of his field goals, including a second half triple, and used his length and size to help out on defense. Would have liked for him to get some more run because of how well he played.

Gavin Skelly

Points Assists Rebounds Field Goals Turnovers
0 0 2 0-0

0

Grade: INC

Did not play much but was able to hit the boards while he was in. Not too much else to say.

Jeremiah Kreisberg

Points Assists Rebounds Field Goals Turnovers
0 0 1 0-0

0

Grade: INC

Also was not in this game for very long. Really needs to work on his ball handling but you knew that already.

Johnnie Vassar played but did not record a stat other than one personal foul. Scottie Lindsey did not play.