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Northwestern vs. Illinois player grades

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Bad grades, bad grades everywhere!

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern lost to Illinois 66-50, and it was miserable.

Bryant McIntosh - C+

16 points, 3 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 turnovers, 1 steal on 6/17 FG, 0/4 3FG, 4/5 FT in 31 minutes

It’s not like Bryant McIntosh wasn’t trying to save Northwestern from another humiliating defeat. He tried very, very hard. But his shot wasn’t there in the second half (he went 1 of 9), and he looked dead tired after a crushing workload over the past month. McIntosh needs to be great in order for this team to win, and he was slightly below average. Northwestern averaged 0.77 points per possession. A 77 is a C+ and so that’s the grade McIntosh will receive.

Dererk Pardon - B

6 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assists, 2 turnovers, on 3/3 FG in 32 minutes

Pardon had another half-decent game, but it was far from enough for the Wildcats. Pardon did have four offensive rebounds and opposing center Maverick Morgan went 3 of 9 from the field, but he was never impactful on offense. He’ll have a tall task against Thomas Bryant on Saturday.

Vic Law - F

3 points, 5 rebounds, 1 turnover, 1 steal, 5 fouls on 0/4 FG, 0/2 3FG, 3/4 FT in 22 minutes

Sorry Vic, this was a rather abysmal performance. Law committed three early fouls, which prevented him from contributing anything positive. While the third did come on a questionable reach-in call, he has to be smarter than that. This removed one of Northwestern’s best players for most of the game. But when Law was in, he missed everything and was not demonstrative at all on offense with Lindsey and McIntosh struggling.

Once again, the question of exhaustion has to be raised. His last few games have not been up to his usual standards. He’s been chasing around every opposing teams’ best player, but Malcolm Hill won that battle definitively in Champaign.

Scottie Lindsey -

2 points, 2 rebounds, 1/11 FG, 0/4 3FG, 21 minutes

He played like he’s recovering from a serious illness and yet still thinks he’s the guy he was two months ago. Unsurprisingly, this went very poorly. Lindsey is clearly far from 100 percent.

Sanjay Lumpkin - invisible

0 points, 0 assists, 1 rebound, 0/1 3FG, in 22 minutes

I don’t really know how to give a grade for this. It says here that Lumpkin played 22 minutes, and yet he was only used on 2 percent of possessions. He had one rebound and one missed three.

Gavin Skelly - A-

11 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 foul on 3/11 FG, 1/3 3FG, 3/5 FT in 24 minutes

In the midst of catastrophe, Skelly played pretty well. I would take this night from the backup big man any day of the week, and he was the only player who was consistently making his usual shots in this game. He was one of the reasons Northwestern was somehow still in the game with Law and Lindsey going completely cold. Unfortunately, a team that relies on McIntosh hero ball and Skelly hitting threes is not going to win.

Isiah Brown - Why?

9 points, 2 turnovers, on 4/14 FG, 1/3 3FG, 0 FT in 25 minutes

I don’t understand. It looked like Isiah Brown had made all the progress in the world, finally settling in and not forcing shots in this offense. After the Maryland and Wisconsin games, it looked like he was on the upswing. And then last night he went 4-for-14 from the field in just 25 minutes and picked up four fouls. He had several shots blocked. He recorded zero assists. He had zero rebounds. What happened? Why?

Sure, maybe Brown thought he could take charge with Lindsey and Law cold or dealing with foul trouble, respectively. But...it clearly wasn’t his night either.

Nathan Taphorn - B+

3 points, 1 turnover 1/2 3FG, in 14 minutes

Can someone explain to me why Nate Taphorn took two shots and Isiah Brown took 14? The team needed offense, and one of its most effective offensive players took two shots, one of which was in garbage time. Obviously Taphorn can’t create like Brown can, so the utter lack of ball movement really took NU’s best shooter out of the game.

Barret Benson - INC

4 minutes, 1 rebound, 1 steal

Benson can play, but Collins has decreed that Pardon and Skelly are the only two bigs who will see more than a handful of minutes.