clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Northwestern vs. Ohio State: Player Grades

After a rough start, Ohio State rode DeAngelo Russell to a 69-67 victory.

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

When Ohio State took a timeout down 21-10, it seemed like an upset was a legitimate possibility. Northwestern had all the momentum, Ohio State looked sluggish and tired, and the crowd was into the game. But that's when DeAngelo Russell, as great players so often do, took over and brought his team back, closing the half on a 28-13 run. In the end, Ohio State was victorious by a final scoreline of 69-67

Let's see how each individual Wildcat performed against Ohio State. Per usual, we'll list players in order of minutes played.

Bryant McIntosh

Grade: B

McIntosh was outshined by one of very few freshman point guards who are better than he is. While it was clear that Ohio State made containing McIntosh a priority on defense, B-Mac was able to hit a couple threes and a few floaters, but had too many turnovers coming down the stretch, including throwing the ball away with 32 seconds left down four.

Tre Demps


Demps was pleasantly efficient tonight, shooting 4-6 from the field for 9 points and 3 assists. There was less hero ball from Demps which was refreshing to see (except for down the stretch- it seems he just can't help himself) and he attacked the paint better than he has in most games. Though he's small, it might be Demps' best bet to try and attack the basket more- he hasn't proven to be even an average outside shooter, and possesses the quick first step needed to be able to get to the hoop.

Alex Olah

Grade: A-

Olah came out aggressive and was a dominant force in the first half. When he plays like he did tonight, he's a big asset for this Northwestern team. My only complaint is that Olah didn't hit the boards hard enough, as he had more than one rebound taken from him from a much smaller player. But I'm nitpicking- he really carried the load for Northwestern offensively and was assertive all night. Let's hope this sort of performance is the norm for Olah going forward; there's really no reason it shouldn't be.

However, it was on Demps that Russell scored the majority of his one million points. Russell was excellent and made a ton of contested perimeter shots, but any time a guy scores 35 in college basketball, you're not doing enough.

Jershon Cobb

Grade: B

Cobb was virtually invincible in the first half (though he did rebound well), but made his shots when they were available to him. As Ben Goren detailed, that's Cobb's new role on this team: spot shooter. Gone are the days of Cobb creating his own shots, but if he can continue to take advantage of his opportunities he's still a valuable offensive piece for Northwestern.

Vic Law

Grade: C+

Law looked to attack in the first half, but didn't do much in the second half and took some terrible shots. He rebounded well but was made to look absolutely foolish by a D'Angelo Russell crossover after which he nailed a three pointer. That's really what stands out to me about his performance, which means it probably wasn't his finest.

Sanjay Lumpkin

Grade: C

It seems like forever ago that Lumpkin put up a few solid offensive performances and we thought he just might be of use on that end of the floor. As is often the case, we were wrong- Lumpkin has reverted to looking to pass each and every time he gets the ball, though he did hit all his free throws after being fouled shooting a three pointer.

The things Lumpkin does best don't show up in a stat sheet, but today wasn't one of his better games.

Dave Sobolewski

Grade: B+

Sobolewski has accepted his reduced role extremely well, always looking ready to go and unafraid to shoot when he is on the floor. It's no coincidence that he's starting to play more minutes, and was 2-4 from three for the night.

Scottie Lindsey

Grade: C+

Lindsey got his first start of the season and didn't take advantage of the opportunity like he'd have liked to. Lindsey was quiet offensively and missed an open layup down the stretch that would have brought Northwestern close.

Jeremiah Kreisberg

Grade: B-

Kreisberg did his best, that's about all I can say. He managed a nifty pump fake layup type deal early in the first half, which the crowd appreciated. Interestingly, Collins subbed in Kreisberg to play defense for Olah with about a minute and a half to go with Northwestern desperately needing a stop, suggesting that Collins sees value in Kreisberg on the defensive or rebounding end.

The takeaway from these grades is that Northwestern really didn't play poorly- Ohio State won this game because of #0, DeAngelo Russell, plain and simple. He was incredible tonight (for what it's worth, he gets an A+(x35)) and tonight was the rare case when one player really was the difference. When it looked rough for Ohio State, Russell took matters into his own hands. Impressive performance from the freshman, another tough, tough loss for Northwestern.