Getting to know Northwestern

The Chris Collins led Wildcats of Northwestern will be the Wolfpack’s opponent in tonight’s matchup in the ACC/B10 Challenge (ESPNU 7:30pm). Northwestern is currently 4-4 after a playing in the Las Vegas Invitational. They have played actual competition in their losses to Stanford, Missouri, and UCLA, with their worst loss coming against Illinois State. Where they are unknown is their wins, Eastern Illinois, Illinois Chicago, IUPUI, and Gardner Webb. They are a guard oriented three point shooting team that mainly plays man defense, though we all know it’ll be a heavy dose of zone against the Pack. One of their best players, Drew Crawford, has been sidelined due to back spasms that forced him to miss all of their last game, UCLA, and limited to a handful of minutes in the previous game, Missouri.

Henry Bushnell (
Northwestern Basketball Practice Notes: 12/3

- Crawford practiced yesterday, and is sure he will play on Wednesday. Collins was a little more reticent given the nature of the injury (back spasms), saying that they were “cautiously optimistic” about Crawford’s availability.

Crawford did say that one added benefit will be the charter flight that the team will take to Raleigh. He also noted that he will use an electronic muscle stimulation machine on the plane in an attempt to subdue the negative effects that the flight can have on his injury – it flared up on the plane to Vegas.
Collins also talked about how big of a blow it was when Crawford left the Missouri game due to injury. “That lets the air out of the building a little bit,” he said. “He [Crawford] is our leader. He’s kind of the big brother on the team. I think the guys saw him go down and it knocked them back a little bit. You’re always more confident when your big brother is at your side.”

Crawford himself downplayed the impact a bit. “I think my teammates are capable of playing great without me,” he insisted. “But that being said, I want to be on the court, to help my team, to show them that I’m leading by example.”

If Crawford can play these are the likely starters:

#23 JerShon Cobb : 6-5 Jr. Guard (43.3% 3FG)
#1 Drew Crawford : 6-5 R-Sr. Guard/Forward (44% 3FG)
#3 Dave Sobolewski : 6-1 Jr. Guard (25% 3FG)
#14 Tre Demps : 6-2 So. Guard (37% 3FG)
#22 Alex Olah : 7-0 So. Center

The Wildcats don’t like to push tempo, 64.6 (ranked 319 in the country), but they are fairly efficient. Now being a guard heavy team that loves shooting the 3 (34.3% of their points come from 3pointers) while averaging 37% from behind the arc they aren’t bad inside the arc either (51%) and okay at the line (71%). On defense they mostly use a man defense and are pretty bad at taking the ball away so we’ve got that going for us.

Coming off the bench will likely be:

#34 Sanjay Lumpkin : 6-6 So. Guard/Forward (55.6% 3FG – 5/9)
#32 Nathon Taphorn : 6-7 Fr. Forward (30.8% 3FG)
#13 Kale Abrahamson : 6-7 So. Forward (45% 3FG)

When Taphorn comes in the game the only place he’ll shoot from is behind the arc. Of the 10/30 FG’s this season he’s 8/26 3FG. It’s pretty clear, this team is going to slow it down, run a half-court offense, and take as many 3 point shots as they can.

More from KenPom:

NC State
Adj. Offensive Efficiency = 110.1 (58 – National Rank)
Adj. Defensive Efficiency = 102.6 (153)
Adj. Tempo = 68.2 (200)

Four Factors:
Effective FG% (Offense) = 52.7 (76) …. (Defense) = 46.4 (89)
Turnover % (Offense) = 15.0 (35) …. (Defense) = 19.9 (94)
Off. Reb % (Offense) = 38.3 (38) …. (Defense) = 30.7 (139)
FTA/FGA (Offense) = 34.0 (283) …. (Defense) = 44.4 (225)

Adj. Offensive Efficiency = 106.3 (118)
Adj. Defensive Efficiency = 102.1 (140)
Adj. Tempo = 64.6 (319)

Four Factors:
Effective FG% (Offense) = 53.2 (67) …. (Defense) = 48.6 (150)
Turnover % (Offense) = 18.0 (163) …. (Defense) = 16.5 (270)
Off. Reb % (Offense) = 26.3 (301) …. (Defense) = 28.6 (73)
FTA/FGA (Offense) = 44.8 (123) …. (Defense) = 48.6 (269)

Pomeroy likes us to win 72-66 giving us a 73% chance.

Just so you know, State is currently on a 5 game losing streak in the ACC/B10 Challenge with a 5-8 Overall Record and a 4-2 Home Record during the Challenge. Northwestern is on a 1 game losing streak with a 6-8 Overall Record and 2-5 Away Record in the Challenge.

Here’s a couple of previews for the game:

Joe Giglio (N&O)
Wolfpack zoning in on perimeter improvement

Ryan Tice (
Pack expects to see threes and zone defense

About 1.21 Jigawatts

Class of '98, Mechanical Engineer, State fan since arriving on campus and it's been a painful ride ever since. I live by the Law of NC State Fandom, "For every Elation there is an equal and opposite Frustration."

13-14 Basketball

185 Responses to Getting to know Northwestern

  1. BJD95 12/04/2013 at 5:52 PM #

    From Old Trafford: Everton 1, Manchester United NIL

    Woohoo, let’s make this sports day perfect for me (sorry, Alpha).

  2. Wufpacker 12/04/2013 at 6:25 PM #

    Figured I might as well put this here too…

    Lines on tonight’s games…

    Maryland @ tOSU (-10.5)
    Wiscy @ UVa (-4)
    Northwestern @ NCSU (-9.5)
    Carolina @ Sparty (-9.5)
    BC @ Purdue (-4.5)
    Miami @ Nebraska (-4.5)

    FWIW, like last night, all home teams are favored tonight (Last night, all home teams won…at least outright if not necessarily vs the spread).

  3. bill.onthebeach 12/04/2013 at 7:28 PM #

    OK… I can see that this thread is generating a whole lot of energy and enthusiam…

    ALL ABOARD … the VANDwagon pulls out in eight minutes.

  4. WallyB 12/04/2013 at 7:31 PM #

    Anybody got a link to a stream for us non-ESPN subscribers?


  5. wufpup76 12/04/2013 at 7:31 PM #

    Not exactly a huge crowd by the way it looked on the lead-in.

  6. bill.onthebeach 12/04/2013 at 7:33 PM #

    The Beaver said “try this Wally…”

  7. wufpup76 12/04/2013 at 7:34 PM #

    Another slow start with low energy. Three offensive rebounds given on one possession.


  8. bill.onthebeach 12/04/2013 at 7:35 PM #

    …^ except the VANDwagon is touching the ball almost every time down the floor on both ends….

    He might want to throttle down one notch if he wants to play forty…

  9. Wufpacker 12/04/2013 at 7:36 PM #

    Or this one. But don’t click on the ad…wait for it to disappear.

  10. Wufpacker 12/04/2013 at 7:39 PM #

    Wow…and ‘they’ thought Wiscy/UVa was gonna be the unwatchable game tonight.

  11. wufpup76 12/04/2013 at 7:41 PM #

    ^Yeah … yeesh

  12. 1.21 Jigawatts 12/04/2013 at 7:41 PM #

    Once again the NC State Bricklayers are not only settling for long range shots (that they can’t hit) but it’s the first thing they go for without trying to get inside (which is the only place we’ve scored so far).

  13. Wufpacker 12/04/2013 at 7:42 PM #

    C’mon Vandy….Jam that sh-t.

  14. BJD95 12/04/2013 at 7:42 PM #

    Getting to knooooowwww you
    Getting to know all abooouuuuttt you
    Getting to liiiike you
    Getting to hope you like me

    So ends your showtune interlude.


  15. Wufpacker 12/04/2013 at 7:44 PM #

    It would appear that 3 seconds is no longer a rule in The B1G.

  16. bill.onthebeach 12/04/2013 at 7:44 PM #

    Cuz is starting to feel it….

    while the VANDwagon is clearly distracting the hell out of ‘em…

    Now in second gear.

  17. 1.21 Jigawatts 12/04/2013 at 7:45 PM #

    WBS is in the game. Time to slllloooowwwwwwwwwwww it down.

  18. Wufpacker 12/04/2013 at 7:45 PM #

    Well look at Buckets creating off the dribble. Nice.

  19. wufpup76 12/04/2013 at 7:46 PM #

    - Give it to Warren

    - Warren: go do something

  20. bill.onthebeach 12/04/2013 at 7:47 PM #

    Tyler was sent it in to pick up the intensity level… not slow it down.

  21. wufpup76 12/04/2013 at 7:47 PM #

    There we go Vberg

  22. BJD95 12/04/2013 at 7:48 PM #

    Let’s hope Chrissy keeps trying to use honky mofos to guard Buckets. I know he doesn’t have many options, but still…

  23. wufpup76 12/04/2013 at 7:49 PM #

    Great play Warren

  24. 1.21 Jigawatts 12/04/2013 at 7:49 PM #

    Bill, call it whatever you want but the offense clearly slows down when WBS is running the point.

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