Bryant McIntosh: B+
9 points (3 of 7 FG, 1 of 3 3PT), 7 assists, 1 rebounds, 1 turnovers, 2 steals, 26 minutes
This was a consistent performance for BMac, who finished just 1 point and 3 assists shy of a double-double. Like nearly every Northwestern player, he played solid defense, holding New Orleans’ second leading scorer, Christavious Gill, to just 7 points. It was nice to McIntosh get out and run in transition, and he was able to find Scottie Lindsey for easy buckets. If a couple more plays had been finished at the rim, most notably by Law and Taphorn, McIntosh could have reached double digit assists for the first time this season. Instead, he matched his season high and added two steals.
Scottie Lindsey: A-
16 points (6 of 9 FG, 2 of 4 3PT), 1 assist, 1 rebound, 2 turnovers, 32 minutes
It’s hard to put into words just how big of a leap Lindsey has made from last season. He looks so confident with the ball, shoots without hesitation, and is contributing much more on defense than he did in previous seasons. Tonight was another efficient outing for Lindsey, who poured in 16 points on just nine shots. It would have been nice to see the junior match his assist and rebound averages, which are 4.0 and 5.0 respectively, but Lindsey deferred to McIntosh as the playmaker and still made an effective contribution on offense.
Vic Law: C-
11 points (1 of 10 FG, 1 of 5 3PT), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 24 minutes
Law got to the line early and often for Northwestern, but that’s pretty much it. Nothing seemed to fall for the redshirt sophomore. He finished with 11 points on 10 field goal attempts, and 8 of those points came from the free throw line. On both ends, however, Law was active, and played a big role in forcing Privateers’ power forward Travin Thibodeaux to the bench with early foul trouble. It wasn’t a great night for Law, but it’s good to get these games out of the way in the non-conference slate.
Sanjay Lumpkin: A
2 points (1 of 1 FG), 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks, 3 fouls, 16 minutes
The numbers don’t stand out to you at all — Lumpkin didn’t even log very many minutes. When he was in, however, he was terrific. He shut down New Orleans’ leading scoring Erik Thomas, helping force four turnovers in just the first half and holding Thomas to just three points while guarding him. Lumpkin’s defensive savvy gives him the ability to effectively match up against bigger guys like Wake Forest’s 6-foot-10 John Collins, or the 6-foot-5 Thomas. Lumpkin excels at positioning and moving his feet, he rarely puts himself in a position where he needs to foul, and that defensive versatility bodes well for Big Ten play.
Barret Benson: B
5 points (2 of 2 FG), 3 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal, 4 fouls, 14 minutes
Benson had himself a fine game tonight. Early in the first half he showed great recognition after getting the ball at the top of the key, avoiding a steal attempt, and taking it strong to the rim for tough left-handed layup. The freshman also showed nice post presence on his second basket of the game. Playing in a heightened role with the absence of Dererk Pardon, Benson is still adjusting to a faster pace of play. It’s great to see his effort and energy however; he dove for loose balls multiple times.
Gavin Skelly: A
14 points (4 of 7 FG, 1 of 1 3PT), 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 28 minutes
Another game, another double-digit point total for Skelly. That’s four in a row for the junior, who contributed 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks as well. What’s so impressive about Skelly is just how active he is. He seems to be involved in every play, and is always around the ball. Four of his rebounds came on the offensive end. Skelly knocked down his only three of the game, and that stretches Northwestern’s offense to new lengths. Skelly is a plus passer, and forcing opponents to defend the three opens up passing lanes down low. He’s been thriving in his role off the bench this season, and don’t expect that to stop.
Nathan Taphorn: A+
18 points (7 of 11 FG, 3 of 7 3PT), 6 rebounds, 0 assists, 1 steal, 22 minutes
After logging single-digit minutes in the last three games, Taphorn certainly earned his playing time tonight. The senior dropped a career-high 18 points backed by a trio of three-pointers, and at one point in the second half, went on his own little 6-0 run. The play of the game, however, was something few knew Taphorn had in him. He came in from the baseline on an Isiah Brown three-point attempt and threw down the put-back dunk, putting Northwestern up 19 late in the first half and bringing the crowd to its feet.
Jordan Ash: C
0 points (0 of 3 FG, 0 of 2 3PT), 2 assists, 1 rebound, 2 steals, 13 minutes
Ash lost a lot of his minutes in favor of Isiah Brown. When he did play, which was primarily later in the game, Ash did not do much. He picked up a couple of assists and steals, but his shooting woes have continued. Ash hasn’t scored since the loss to Notre Dame, and he’s missed his last nine field goal attempts. Look for him to come back with a solid performance against Chicago State on Wednesday.
Isiah Brown: C
9 points (3 of 11 FG, 1 of 3 FT), 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 block, 22 minutes
You have to love the confidence that Brown plays with. He has a quick trigger, and takes a lot of shots you like to see. Brown pulled up in transition to knock down a mid-range jumper, and he shook two defenders on his way to basket for a layup in the second half. However, he plays a little out of control at times, and that’s a common trait among most young players. Brown’s a prolific scorer still adjusting to a faster pace, and it’s exciting watching him grow. His play has fallen off after a hot start to the season, but his confidence certainly hasn’t.
Charlie Hall: A
0 points (0 of 0 FG), 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 0 blocks, 0 turnovers, 0 fouls, 3 minutes
First trillion of the year for Charlie, and it was a three trill.