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Player Grades: Northwestern 72, Minnesota 66

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Here's a report card most Wildcats can be proud of.

Nathan Taphorn made the honor roll with his performance tonight
Nathan Taphorn made the honor roll with his performance tonight
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
OVERALL: A

Offense: A

The Wildcats got great looks all night and knocked them down. Nathan Taphorn’s influence in this game cannot be understated. Minnesota’s big forwards were either afraid or unwilling to extend out and guard the sophomore, and he made them pay. Northwestern also had 18 assists on their 24 made shots, a phenomenal ratio. Finally, the Wildcats, who struggled to break the press at times earlier in the season, broke it well tonight against a team that tries to force turnovers all game long. Northwestern only finished with 10 turnovers.

Defense: B+

The zone looked a step slow in the first half, giving Minnesota lots of open looks and a lot of entry passes into the middle of the zone. But there must have been halftime adjustments, as there were fewer breaches into the zone, and the Cats, although out-rebounded by three, did a good job on the defensive boards for the most part.

Bryant McIntosh: A

Field Goals

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Turnovers

5/12

17

2

6

2

McIntosh played well offensively tonight and he was really feeling it from deep, hitting four of seven from three. He also played well defensively, as Minnesota’s standout guards Andre Hollins and DeAndre Mathieu both went 4/11 from the floor. McIntosh led the offense well in both the press break and the half-court sets. His six assists were impressive, especially compared to just his two turnovers. Another impressive night from the Northwestern freshman point guard.

Alex Olah: B-

Field Goals

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Turnovers

3/9

11

8

1

3

Olah didn’t have his finest night offensive night, but he still wound up in double digits thanks to some free throws down the stretch. His eight rebounds were key, however, and he provided solid defense in the second half after looking a step slow at times in the first half. Back-to-back solid nights for the big man, although one would like to see him shoot the ball at a higher percentage.

Tre Demps: B+

Field Goals

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Turnovers

4/11

11

5

7

1

Demps provided a great secondary ball handler tonight when McIntosh was out. Although he forced a few shots, he remains Northwestern’s best shot creator. Additionally, his five rebounds helped greatly, and his seven assists was probably the biggest surprise of the night. Additionally, only one turnover was huge against a team that thrives off creating turnovers.

Scottie Lindsey: B+

Field Goals

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Turnovers

4/6

10

2

1

0

Lindsey provided solid minutes, and after a couple of off games, he was able to find his stroke from deep, hitting two of three. He continues to provide good off-ball movement, especially by utilizing the backdoor cut. A good performance from the athletic wing.

Sanjay Lumpkin: C-

Field Goals

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Turnovers

0/1

0

2

1

2

Lumpkin didn’t have a great performance tonight. He wasn’t good on offense, and he didn’t provide any memorable moments defensively. He also committed one dumb foul about 90 feet from his own basket. Not much on Lumpkin’s performance tonight, but Northwestern didn’t need a lot from him tonight thanks to Taphorn and Law.

Nathan Taphorn: A

Field Goals

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Turnovers

4/8

11

2

0

2

In his second game back from injury, Taphorn provided the scoring from the forward position that Northwestern sorely missed while he was out. He knocked down three threes, showing his value as a stretch four. Taphorn really helps the offense run more smoothly, and at times he even helped break the press.

Vic Law: A-

Field Goals

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Turnovers

3/5

9

4

1

0

HOW ABOUT THREE THREES FROM VIC LAW? The freshman really got going during a big second-half run by the Wildcats, and all shots came within a few minutes of one another. Law provided a huge lift off the bench, and also put in his customary solid work on the boards, grabbing four rebounds. Perhaps the nicest surprise was the zero turnovers. This was a big game for his confidence.

Gavin Skelly: B

Field Goals

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Turnovers

1/1

3

2

1

0

Skelly looks to have replaced Kreisberg in the rotation, and it’s because of his boundless energy and impressive strength. In limited minutes, Skelly had a nice tip-in and added a couple of boards. Skelly is giving Coach Collins exactly what he wants: energy.

Dave Sobolewski: C

Field Goals

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Turnovers

0/2

0

0

0

0

Sobolewski didn’t really do anything wrong tonight, but he also did not have a positive impact either. The senior missed his only two shots, but both were good shots; they just didn’t fall.