Still, Northwestern doesn't need Coble to win this season, it needs to play better defense. Unfortunately, we're not going to learn much about that problem tonight. You see Pine Bluff's offense is offensive. It is ranked dead last in the NCAA by Ken Pomeroy.
More revelations about Kevin Coble
Northwestern plays tonight against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, but the game isn't what people are going to focus when it comes to the Wildcats.
That's because Kevin Coble, in an email to SI.com, appears to have made this situation all the more perplexing.
Why he'd email a reporter about the incident after the season is already a week and a half old sort of blows my mind. But it's brought a lot of attention onto the program again about the incident.
Bill Carmody doesn't have to say anything about the incident tonight. He could merely "no comment" if someone asks, but I bet someone will ask. It's going to be an interesting post-game press conference tonight, much more so than your typical 20-point blowout over a SWAC team.
Did you know that Northwestern is allowing one of the worst effective field goal percentages in basketball? It's mostly because teams are making their shots from beyond the arc, but it's not like they're finding much resistance in the paint either. Where have all the blocks that John Shurna, Drew Crawford and Luka Mirkovic got last season gone? Last season they combined for 2.5 blocks per game, as Northwestern had one of the highest block percentages in the country on defense, this season they've blocked just 3 shots total combined.
Actually, this might be a place where the graduation of Jeremy Nash is being felt. While Alex Marcotullio is able to get down and get steals, he's not much of a threat at 6'3 to slam a ball back in someone's face.
If the Wildcats can't play man against the Golden Lions, then they can't play man-to-man against anyone. Nebraska held Pine Bluff to 0.625 points per possession and Colorado State allowed 0.699. If Northwestern allows anything more than 0.75 points per possession, and that's being generous, the defensive effort should be considered a failure - I don't care what system they're in.
But honestly, Pine Bluff is a terrible team and even winning this game by 30 points isn't going to solve the fact that a home win could end up hurting Northwestern's overall profile in the end.