A take on Northwestern's loss

A lot of my feelings about the Northwestern game on Sunday against Wisconsin are summed up in this post on Welsh-Ryan Ramblings. I didn't write it, but I think it conveys the general feelings of people around the program at the moment.

I'll add these three thoughts to the discussion. 
1. Northwestern can't play from behind. The Wildcats don't force turnovers on defense and don't grab offensive rebounds, so the only way they can come back is by forcing missed shots. This team doesn't force a lot of those either. That's the problem with having to out score every opponent. Eventually you find that one that just isn't going to miss, that was Wisconsin on Sunday.
2. This team reacts differently to its competition. For fun, here are two lists of numbers: A) .939, .863, .905, .920; B) 1.32, 1.30, 1.25. What are those? Northwestern's offensive efficiency, measure in points per possession, against the good Big Ten teams (A) they've played and the bad ones (B). That's a huge difference! There's one outlier here - the first game of conference play against Purdue where the Wildcats scored 1.05 points per possession - but otherwise the reality has been stark. This team needs to fix the offense too.
3. The season isn't over. This is a huge week for Northwestern. If the Wildcats go to Minnesota and get a win on Wednesday then they've got another huge game on Saturday at Welsh-Ryan Arena on national television against Ohio State. That said, Minnesota is a pretty good team. Northwestern needs to attack from the beginning of that game and play confidently. It's their only hope.

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Tags: Northwestern, statistics


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  • It always feel like whenever the Wildcats start playing good and they raise the expectation level, they played an awful game.

    Hopefully they'll get a win against Minnesota and they'll manage to compete against Ohio State.

  • In reply to Dro94:

    Minnesota loss of Al Nolen might give Northwestern a better chance too. Tough to play against Northwestern's zone without your PG. We'll see on Wednesday.

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