Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wrapping up the Northwestern Loss

Northwestern pummeled the Mount 70-47 on Thursday afternoon in Evanston. I did not see any of the game, so my comments may be more generalized and based on stats than normal.

  • I was at a holiday gathering and checked my phone about 3:20 for the score. So much for a Happy Festivus. 20-0 at the point. Not sure it really got any better...although some of the folks I was with joked that it did. Only down 39-16 at the half meant that it was fairly even after the start.
  • But it got to 50-18, which is pretty embarrassing. We can try to drink the Mount Kool-Aid and say that Northwestern is really good. And the fact is they are better than most of the teams the Mount has played thus far (exception being Cincinnati) and better than most they are going to play the rest of the way (exception being Virginia Tech). But this is still a team that is questionable. They have played one tournament caliber team this year and lost. Handily. They will likely be underdogs everytime they go on the road in the Big Ten (except for at Penn State). The will struggle to finish .500 in the Big Ten, and if they make the tournament, it will be because they expanded the field.
  • I kind of thought this was the type of game the Mount might be able to steal or stay close with the Wildcats. The fact that Northwestern had played late on Tuesday night. Were now playing a game looking forward to the Christmas Break. The Mount had flown out Tuesday. Should have been the more mentally prepared team. But it didn't happen.
  • I think this team has lost a lot of confidence in itself over the last few weeks. The losses seem to be taking a lot out of them. Three of the last four efforts have been questionable. But we knew that the schedule was going to get more difficult when we got into December. And it will level out when we get back into the conference season. I hope the losses haven't had too much of an effect.
  • Biggest positive number for me was 8 rebounds from Evan Cleveland. I've harped on the poor rebounding numbers. And even though Northwestern had 11 offensive rebounds, it was only at at 31% clip. The Mount had needed support rebounding from the wing. Really miss Will Holland and Kelly Beidler in that regard. And Cleveland just might be able to give them some of that.
  • Norfleet's 21 on 8-of-12 shooting was also a good thing. The kid can shoot the basketball. Sometimes he has struggled by trying to do too much. Sometimes not all of his shots have been good shots. But if he's making more than he's taking, he's going to be an real asset.
So the Pre Christmas portion of the schedule is over. Nobody expected this to be easy. But I'm not sure that anybody was sure what to expect. Vermont and Virginia Tech await before the conference schedule gets into full gear. I still think this team can be highly competitive in the conference. But they've got to continue to believe in themselves.

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  1. I'd say that they will do slightly better in conference, but only because some of the other teams are so similar to the Mount. My expectations were not that high to begin with, but they were higher than what has transpired. I had thought that these games would be wins at the beginning: Savvannah, FAMU, Navy, Loyola, Albany, Sacred, and maybe Niagara. At least I was right about a few , but nearly every Div 1 and some D2 teams beat FAMU and Sav St. My biggest disappointment was Loyola and the blowout by Navy. Originally thought they'd win about 9 in conference. That would have made for 15 wins- not shabby at all. Now I have to say a resounding 'Whoa!', It would be a stretch to win more than 5 more. Hopefully I am wrong because they have shown flashes of being great- rarely though. I guess we shall see. I am almost debating on whether or not to give my VaTech ticket to a Mount fan that needs one and would like to go. Normally, I still wouldnt expect them to win, but at least it could be more similar to the Penn St game. Penn St. must blow considerably. Too many games in which effort just is not there. I have no clue what some other Mount fans are seeing. I know the difference between what I have seen out of them in the past.

  2. Anonymous8:51 AM

    Richard has no sense and NO MEMORY

    MSM 3-11
    Loses to unranked opponent by 28 point
    Loses to Niagara at home by 10
    Loses first 2 conference games
    Has much better players


  3. I saw the game in its entirety. Mount had at least 6 chippies in the first 6 minutes; missed them all. They did not show any confidence until the second half, too bad.

    Have to like the performances of Norfleet, Cleveland and Barber this game. Trice OK. Atupem needs a better plan.

    Whatever happens before the NEC games start, I am looking for a surprise starting five then:

    Trice, Cajou, Barber, Norfleet, Krajina.

    And a "second team" substitution:

    Atupem, Golladay, Castellanos, Cleveland, Thompson.

    I do not see Wells contributing yet and Jackson is simply not mentioned because there are only 10 available slots if you are doing 5 times 2!

  4. Heck, last year's team was 2-6 in their first 8 NEC games.

  5. Well 'k'. When I am wrong then you can rub it in. We all knew they had talent last year, we all were just waiting for the wins to come. How in the heck can any of you compare this years team to the previous 3 years? So far, I have been right. I did not expect a whole lot at the beginning and it has held true. Stop comparing them to our previous teams please! You have nothing to really base a comparison on for that, other than a few players and it is the same college. Ridiculous. raff, you thought this NW game would be a game we could 'steal'??? I wonder what would bring you to that? The only BCS team I remember Mount ever beating was Ga Tech way back during the best ever McGuthrie, hardly something in which a fantasy of beating NW could take root. If Mount beats RMU this year, then I will be satisfied, otherwise it doesn't matter like it has the past few years for me.

  6. The NEC is more talented and has more potential this year than in in recent years past, too. It remains to be seen if the potential will be fulfilled but it is better. I tell ya though, on paper, Quinnipiac could win a few NCAA tournament games this year. maybe they can be this years George Mason. they probably have close to GMU level of talent, it simply has to be proven though. I bet Rutty ends up in the pros at the rate he is playing. James Johnson is bigtime too.