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Northwestern-Butler player grades

Led by Vic Law, there were some high marks. But turnovers lower several players’ grades.

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Butler Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern went into Hinkle Fieldhouse and went toe-to-tie with a very tough Butler team for 40 minutes. The Wildcats held the lead until late but ultimately ended up on the short end of a thrilling 70-68 scoreline. Here’s how each individual performed against the Bulldogs.

Vic Law - A

17 points, 6 rebounds, 0 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers on 6/8 FG, 5/6 3FG in 32 minutes

Law didn’t set a new career-high in points tonight as he did versus Eastern Washington, but he still had an outstanding game. His proficiency from beyond the arc is ridiculous, and he continues to check opposing teams’ best perimeter players. Law has lived up to the hype, and then some. He’s shown no signs of rust and if anything needs to be more involved.

Bryant McIntosh - B

12 points, 5 assists, 1 steal, 5 turnovers on 4/9 FG, 1/2 3FG, 3/4 FT in 36 minutes

The Bulldogs’ defense keyed in on McIntosh, forcing him into several turnovers, including a crucial one with the game tied with under a minute remaining. Still, he was able to make a difference, none more important than his triple to put the Wildcats up four late in the game. McIntosh has yet to reach his form of last year, which the team desperately needs if it wants to win games like these. Five turnovers, including several that led to easy points for the Bulldogs, are things that must be avoided.

Scottie Lindsey - C+

10 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 turnovers on 4/12 FG, 1/4 3FG, 1/1 FT in 32 minutes

Lindsey had another poor showing from the field, but his play improved as the game wore on. It’s clear his game is far better-suited for a bench scorer’s role. Yet, with no other options at shooting guard, Lindsey has held up reasonably well in the starting lineup.

Sanjay Lumkpin - B+

10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover on 4/8 FG, 0/2 3FG, 2/2 FT in 31 minutes

While he never puts up flashy numbers, Lumpkin always seems to do a little bit of everything. Tonight was no exception, as he produced on both ends and was on the floor during Northwestern’s late push to take a four-point lead. As the team’s senior leader, Lumpkin has set a great example for the youngsters on how to compete every game.

Dererk Pardon - C+

8 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 turnover on 2/3 FG, 4/4 FT in 26 minutes

Against the burly Butler front court, Pardon couldn’t keep up. While the blame doesn’t fall solely on his shoulders, the fact that the Bulldogs grabbed 12 offensive rebounds is an indictment on the team’s interior, of which Pardon is the core. He needs to get better at boxing out his man to end defensive possessions.

Isiah Brown - C+

7 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 2 turnovers on 3/7 FG, 1/4 3FG in 12 minutes

Brown’s shooting comes and goes, but he has a knack for getting buckets when the team needs them most. He wasn’t able to get to the free throw line tonight, a credit to Butler’s defense, so he had to force the issue from the perimeter. He also needs to look for his teammates more, a skill that should improve as he gets more reps.

Gavin Skelly - B+

4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover on 1/2 FG, 1/1 3FG, 1/3 FT in 22 minutes

Skelly’s performance tonight transcended the box score. He’s just got a great energy to him, and his play boosted the team on both ends. If he can refine his stroke from outside, he might end up stealing some of Pardon’s minutes, provided he doesn’t foul out.

Aaron Falzon - C

0 points, 1 rebound, 1 block on 0/1 FG, 0/1 3FG in 6 minutes

Until he’s fully healthy, Falzon won’t be able to be a reliable contributor. Offensively, he’s resigned to spotting up around the perimeter, a sign that his lateral movement is limited. If this continues, Collins should keep him out completely until he’s ready.

Nathan Taphorn - C

0 points, 1 rebound, 1 block in 2 minutes

Taphorn wasn’t inserted into the lineup until the second half, but he made small contributions during his time on the court. Collins even had him inbound the ball on the team’s final possession. If Falzon’s knee continues to hold him back, Taphorn could see more minutes come his way.

Barret Benson - F

0 points, 0 rebounds 0 blocks in 1 minute

Benson struggled mightily on defense, jumping at pump fakes, giving up offensive boards, and losing track of his man underneath the basket. With conference play still a month away, Benson still has time to get comfortable on the court. If tonight was any indication, though, he’s got a long way to go.