2005 Northwestern Wildcats Basketball Preview
2005 Northwestern Wildcats Team Preview
Northwestern has never made it into the NCAA Tournament. For two seasons running they have finished one win short of .500. In five years at the helm of the Wildcats Coach Jim Carmody has posted a 68-80 record. Every year before the first tip-off it looks as if it may finally be “the year” that Northwestern breaks into the post-season dance. Will this be that year? You decide.
The starting five has a plethora of experience-- four seniors and one junior. This could be a solid team in the frontcourt with forward Verdan Vukusic’s sweet shot good for 16.8 points per game and center Michael Thompson’s 6’ 10”, 250 pound frame able to mix it up inside. At the other forward position is Kentucky transfer Bernard Cote, who possesses refined passing skills and an accurate shot. The major concern for the front three is Thompson’s health-- he’s spent a decent amount of time off court due to injury; if the big guy can stay in there, so will the frontcourt.
The backcourt situation for the Wildcats is much dicier. Point guard T. J. Parker decided, much to everyone’s surprise, to go pro after last season. Although not a standout, he was a solid player who ably anchored the club. Senior Michael Jenkins is now the designated guy at the point; Jenkins, who has never been an everyday college player, will be tested. This test will be especially difficult because he’s across from shooting guard Mohamed Hachad, whose inconsistent play ranges from brilliant to just plain dumb. Can someone like freshman Craig Moore, known as a conscientious ball handler and sweet shooter, be more adept at keeping things together? His lack of experience says, “No.” But Carmody, who has a reputation for effectively utilizing his limited reserves to their fullest, will certainly make sure the new guy gets playing time.
For the Wildcats and Coach Carmody 2005-06 may be a repeat of the last two seasons. If it’s to be any different, they’re going to have to get more out of their backcourt than they ever have before.
For more info on the 2005 Wildcats check out the official Northwestern athletic site.