Initial thoughts on Northwestern's 54-47 loss at Nebraska.
- This is going to shock you, but Northwestern's offense was awful today. It took the Wildcats almost 15 minutes to score 10 points, and despite a late first half surge, they still only had .778 points per possession at halftime. The dismal offense continued into the second half, and if it weren't for Alex Olah's three-point barrage and a few nice shots from Tre Demps, the score would have been even worse. Without JerShon Cobb, it's clear that NU isn't going to be able to score without a huge game from beyond the arc.
- That being said, Olah has a tremendous game offensively. He finished with 20 points.
- Drew Crawford had another rough game today. That's become the norm since his big week in late January and early February. Crawford took far too many bad shots, which has become a trend as he tries to carry the team. That won't work if NU is going to be successful.
- Another game, another bad collective performance from the 3/4 players — Sanjay Lumpkin, Kale Abrahamson and Nate Taphorn. The Wildcats need someone from that group to step up. Lumpkin has always been the top candidate, but he's struggled offensively. NU tried out an interesting alternative to get some size in the game in Cobb's absence — Demps-Lumpkin-Crawford-Olah and Nikola Cerina. It did fairly well, all things considered, so we'll see if we see more of that the rest of the season.
- Dave Sobolewski got the start again, and other than hitting a three for the first points of the game, he didn't really contribute. However, now that Cobb is officially out for the year, don't be surprised if Sobolewski starts from here on out.
- Cerina showed off some decent post moves. Olah will get the praise today — as he should — but Cerina filled in nicely, as well. If he can teach Olah a left-handed post move for next season, that will be his best contribution to the program (and I mean that in a good way).
- Despite the bad offense, NU had a chance at the end of the game, but Olah and Lumpkin both passed up open threes so Lumpkin could drive the lane. Not surprisingly, it turned into an offensive foul.
- As of right now, NU would get the 12 seed and play fifth-seeded Nebraska in the Big Ten Tournament. However, given future schedules, the most likely scenario is Iowa ends up with the fifth seed. The Wildcats need to beat Penn State to avoid playing the Hawkeyes, who have been a matchup nightmare for them. If things go as planned — just like the Big Ten always does, right? — then an NU-NU matchup in the 6-11 game of the Big Ten Tournament looks like the most likely possibility.