The Daily Northwestern

Men’s Basketball: Notes from Northwestern’s season-opening scrimmage

Jesse Kramer, Reporter

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Northwestern fans got their first look at the 2014-15 team Saturday with the annual intrasquad scrimmage. Although it is only a 20-minute sample in essentially a glorified practice, there is still something to learn from getting to see the Wildcats in action for the first time this season.

— Reading too much into scrimmage lineups is never smart. There’s still almost a month until the Cats’ first game, and lineups and rotations can change a ton in that time. Collins is still experimenting with this group.

But senior point guard Dave Sobolewski and freshman point guard Bryant McIntosh were on the same team and often on the floor together. McIntosh took on primary ball-handling duties, which begs the question: What does Sobolewski bring to the table?

Sobolewski has developed into an undersized shooting guard. He is not a particularly good ball handler for his position, and he struggles defensively.

He can make wide-open 3-pointers, but his lack of quickness and athleticism prevents him from creating his own shot.

With only seven players on the scrimmage team, of course Sobolewski was going to see the floor a good bit. But it will be interesting to see how much Collins uses the veteran during the season.

— Freshmen Vic Law and Johnnie Vassar provide quickness and athleticism that NU simply has not had. Multiple times, Law leapt over opponents to snag rebounds. He finished with four boards, the second-highest mark in the scrimmage.

Vassar struggled shooting the ball, but his speed allowed him to get into the lane often. He was also a pest defensively.

— Senior guard JerShon Cobb is the likely choice to lead the Cats in scoring after averaging 12.2 points per game last season. But he struggled in Saturday’s scrimmage.

Cobb shot 0-of-3 from the field and just 2-of-5 at the foul line. He also made a poor decision on the game’s final possession. With his team down 3 points, he tried to pump and draw a foul instead of working for an open shot for himself or another teammate.

Again, this is only a 20-minute sample, so take this with more than a grain of salt.

— Coach Chris Collins added Yale transfer Jeremiah Kreisberg to his frontcourt this offseason. Kreisberg, a 6-foot-10-inch graduate student, has one year of eligibility.

Junior Alex Olah will be the starting center, but Kreisberg will be an important piece on the bench, providing Olah with some rest. He held his own against Olah in the scrimmage, although the junior is clearly the more talented player.

— Sophomore Sanjay Lumpkin still likes to shoot even though he’s not too good at it. He attempted four treys in the scrimmage and made only one.

But Lumpkin also made a handful of good plays inside, including a vicious, one-handed slam on Vassar.

Twitter: @Jesse_Kramer