Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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The 23rd annual Chicago Pride Fest features JoJo Siwa, Sapphira Cristál and Bob the Drag Queen
Queering The Map shows queer love on campus
‘You know absolutely nothing’: Students frustrated with NU’s handling of academic integrity cases
NU’s Summer Class Schedule offers flexibility, opportunities for academic advancement
Community awards, advocacy headline Evanston’s fifth annual Juneteenth parade
Race Against Hate: Ricky Byrdsong’s Legacy
The Week Ahead, June 17-23: Juneteenth, Summer Solstice and Pride Celebrations in Chicagoland
Perry: A little humility goes a long way

Brew, Hou, Leung, Pandey: On being scared to tweet and the pressure to market yourself as a student journalist

June 4, 2024

Haner: A love letter to the multimedia room

June 4, 2024

Derrick Gragg appointed as Northwestern’s vice president for athletic strategy, search for new athletic director begins

Lacrosse: Northwestern’s Izzy Scane wins 2024 Honda Sport Award

June 13, 2024

Lacrosse: Northwestern’s Izzy Scane wins 2024 Tewaaraton Award

May 30, 2024


The secret (and short) lives of cicadas on campus

NU Declassified: Prof. Barbara Butts teaches leadership through stage management

Everything Evanston: Behind the boba in downtown Evanston

Undersized underdog (Men’s Basketball)

Most basketball teams will send out a small lineup every once in a while. But Northwestern sends out a small squad every night – which also happens to be its tallest.

NU (6-9, 0-5 Big Ten), which has no player taller than 6-foot-8 on its roster, has routinely faced teams with opposing big men towering three or four inches taller than the Wildcats. As a result, NU’s largest liability this season has been rebounding.

“It’s tough,” sophomore forward Kevin Coble said. “We have to work on executing our defense instead. I think the 1-3-1 works to negate some of their size, but it is a problem for us.”

The Cats are giving up 11.8 more rebounds per game to their opponents this season while averaging a Big Ten-worst 24.7 boards per game.

To rectify this, the Cats are working extra hard in practice and executing post-up drills to focus on rebounding fundamentals.

“We made this a point of emphasis to work on,” Coble said. “But it comes down to assertiveness on our part, and hopefully everyone is willing to take the effort to throw their body around.”

The Cats are also at the bottom of the Big Ten in offensive rebounding, averaging 6.47 per game – less than half of what the top four teams in the conference boast.

But missed rebounds on the offensive glass can lead to fast breaks if the ball takes a bad bounce off the rim. Because of this, the Cats are more concerned with getting back down the court to keep pace with faster teams in the conference, like No. 10 Michigan State (16-2, 4-1), the Cats’ opponent tonight at 8 p.m. at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

“We can’t afford to attack the offensive glass,” NU coach Bill Carmody said, “especially against a team like Michigan State that beats everyone down the court.”

Because the Cats are dropping back into their defensive set more quickly than other teams, they have a better opportunity to force turnovers. Junior guard Craig Moore is fourth in the Big Ten in steals with 1.94 a game, and the team’s 9.27 steals per game is second only to Minnesota’s (10.53).

“We just try to get as many steals as we can,” Moore said. “Anything that we can do to disrupt the other team, and if we force 20 turnovers and only have eight, that’s 12 more possessions, essentially like having 12 more rebounds.”

Although the Cats don’t usually keep a big man inside, even the occasional matchup of freshman point guard Michael Thompson against an opposing center doesn’t intimidate NU.

“I’d say we give up (not having a big guy down low) for better shot-selection and less of a chance of a blocked shot,” Moore said.

Because of its deficiency on the glass, Coble said the team is focusing on one alternative that will help it overcome its lack of height and rebounding woes.

“We wouldn’t need to worry about rebounding as much if we shot the ball better,” Coble said. “That’s the perfect solution for us.”

Reach Brian Regan at [email protected].

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Undersized underdog (Men’s Basketball)