Chicago Sun-Times
with Neil Hayes

January 2013 Archives

Northwestern coach Bill Carmody answered questions during the Big Ten weekly conference call with media members on Monday morning. Here are some highlights:

Carmody summing up a week that saw the Cats defeat No. 12 Minnesota and lose at Nebraska: "We had a nice win against Minnesota and a tough loss at Nebraska. We didn't shoot the ball in either game well. We were able to pull it out against Minnesota but our shooting woes continued into Nebraska. They did a nice job on us defensively and challenged us to shoot he ball and we weren't able to knock it down.

"We just have to figure out how we're going to score, basically, we took a lot of threes the other day. Sometimes when teams are playing off you, and are giving you that, you have to knock them down. If you do you can make a few more things open up a little bit but we weren't able to do that. We're hoping to do that Wednesday at Michigan and then home against Purdue."

Carmody said improving the offense is as simple as making more shots: "If teams are playing you from top of the key in you have to make shots. It's not just us, it's everybody. If you're not then you don't get easy baskets. We don't have a real scoring threat inside, like a post game, and not many teams really have that. Three our four do. Maybe they get something off the backboards, second shots and stuff. In the past we've gotten easy baskets because we open things up with our long-range shooting and we get layups. When we're missing those it's really difficult for your offense and it seems like it has happened to us a lot this year."

The Wildcats play at No. 2 Michigan on Wednesday and host Purdue Saturday.

Northwestern coach Bill Carmody spoke with the media the day before his Wildcats play Illinois in Champagne. Here are some highlights.

On Illinois senior guard Brandon Paul: "I have loved that kid since he was a sophomore in high school. He's smart, he's athletic, he's shooting the ball very well now. He's always been an open-court player but now he's much more potent in the halfcourt. When you can play full court and get easy ones and also knock down shots it's make you tough to guard."

On the Big Ten: "All coaches say their league is the best but there's an awful lot of evidence that this is a terrific year for the conference."

On NU's offensive struggles: "I'd like to see us have more balance and score some more easy ones. We're not going to get too many offensive rebounds but we can start making some of our backdoor cuts and start making some easy shots. If we can get that balance it takes the pressure off your shooting and they start going in more."

On Illinois coach John Groce: "He's doing a very fine job. It sees like they are playing with a lot of zest and enthusiasm. Different guys are coming through at different times."

J. Landis (Lanny) and Sharon Martin have contributed $15 million to Northwestern's new athletics and recreation complex, the university announced, bringing the current money raised to $70 million.

 The project is expected to cost $220 million. Although no timetable for construction has been established, donations are well ahead of schedule and the project could break ground sooner than expected.

 Northwestern will name soccer and lacrosse stadiums built at the new lakeside athletic complex after the Martins, who created the J. Landis Martin Professorship of Law and Business and have contributed to the Law school fund and the Bienen School of Music fund in recent years.

Plans for the new and renovated sports facilities were revealed four months ago. They will be located next to the shore of Lake Michigan at the north end of Northwestern's Evanston campus.

A design competition is underway and will conclude in the summer of 2013 when the winning design is selected.

Northwestern has received substantial gifts from Lanny Martin, Chap Hutcheson and Bob Unger, who were all fraternity brothers at the university.



Northwestern coach Bill Carmody admitted guard Reggie Hearn has yet to fully recover from spraining his ankle during Christmas break.

"He's still not 10o percent. He's not jumping really well right now but he's giving it 100 percent."

Hearn sat out a loss to Michigan in the Big Ten season opener before scoring 11 in a loss at Minnesota on Jan. 6. The senior had six points in 26 minutes in Sunday afternoon's 70-50 loss to Iowa at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Northwestern and WGN have announced a three-year radio rights extension.

WGN has been the radio home of Wildcats sports since 1996.

Dave Eanet will continue to be the voice of Northwestern sports with Ted Albrecht continuing as football analyst and Tim Doyle and Jitim Young splitting analyst duties for basketball.

"The Northwestern Athletics brand has experienced substantial growth over the past several years due in part to the massive reach and presence of WGN Radio," athletic director Jim Phillips said in a statement released by the university. "We've been extremely proud to call the station home for 17 years, and to have a wonderful partner in telling the stories of our world-class student-athletes." 

The Wildcats will be without senior Reggie Hearn and freshman Sanjay Lumpkin when they host No. 2 Michigan in their Big Ten opener on Thursday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena. 

Hearn did some light running Wednesday but still hasn't practiced since twisting his ankle in a loss to Stanford on Dec. 21. Lumpkin injured his wrist during practice. The severity of Lumpkin's injury was not known as of Wednesday afternoon. 

Coach Bill Carmody said he would know more after Lumpkin was examined by doctors later in the day.

Lumpkin has played 26 minutes in four games this season after recovering from mononucleosis. If his wrist injury is season-ending, he will likely be redshirted.

Northwestern (9-4) had trouble scoring earlier this season when Carmody's entire roster was healthy. With Drew Crawford out after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery, and Hearn sidelined, Carmody is now without his top two scorers.

"Where are we going to get the scoring from?" Carmody asked. "Three weeks ago, we had Drew and Reggie and they gave me 30 a game. Who are you going to get it from?"

The schedule is no help. NU will play five of its first seven games against teams currently ranked in the top 11 of the Associated Press poll.

Carmody will need everything he can get from sophomore point guard Dave Sobolewski, backup guard Alex Marcotullio and transfer forward Jared Swopshire until Hearn returns.

They will also need major contributions from freshmen and/or redshirt freshman forced to log major minutes instead of playing bit parts during their first Big Ten season.

"Coach Carmody has had a lot of success with freshmen in his system and it's one of those years where we're going to have to have freshmen step in and do the best they can and play with confidence and run the stuff they run," Sobolewski said.



Jared Carpenter made 10 tackles and was named MVP although several players were worthy of the honor, including defensive end Quentin Williams, who returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown, tipped a pass that resulted in an interception, had a sacked and two tackles for losses totaling nine yards.

Defensive end Tyler Scott added two sacks while Chi Chi Ariguzo, Ibraheim Campbell and Nick VanHoose also had interceptions.

 That's pretty much the way they have played all season long," Fitzgerald said of his defensive ends.

The SEC is a great conference. Is it better than the Big Ten? It can't be disputed.

But SEC arrogance has no bounds. After Venric Mark displayed a burst of speed in Northwestern's 34-20 win over Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl on Tuesday, the following statement was overheard in the press box.

"He's fast but he's not SEC fast."

For goodness sakes. Mark won Texas state championship in the 100- and 200-meters in high school. Trust me, he's fast in any conference, including the NFL's American Football Conference and the National Football Conference.

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald and players grew weary of questions about how they would deal with the speed and athleticism of SEC-member Mississippi State. As it turns out, the Wildcats became the first Big Ten team since 1998 and only the ninth ever to defeat two SEC teams in the same season. They beat Vanerbilt 23-13 on Sept. 8.

"The Big Ten can run a little bit," Fitzgerald said. "We proved that today. We can run. Enough said about that."

Mark had 118 all-purpose yards to finish the season with 2,166, just shy of Damien Anderson's school record of 2,195 set in 2000.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --- Northwestern's 34-20 win over Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl on Tuesday was the 50th of coach Pat Fitzgerald's career, making him the winningest coach in school history.

Pappy Waldorf is second on the list with 49. Ironically, it was Waldorf who went to Cal after his successful stint Evanston and coached against Northwestern in the 1949 Rose Bowl, which was the last bowl game the 'Cats had won until Tuesday's victory.

"It's very humbling, but it was all about me, how selfish would that be?" Fitzgerald said. "It's about all the young men I've had a privilege to coach and our staff. We've had great continuity and consistency on our staff."

Fitzgerald now has a career record of 50-39.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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