The Northwestern Wildcats unofficially started their season against Quincy University with an 80-64 win at home. Obviously, it was an exhibition, but the Wildcats were still favored heavily to win over the division II school. The squads played a traditional game with two 20 minute halves, but Quincy outscored the Wildcats 27-24 in the second half. Defense seemed to be a little bit of a problem for Northwestern yesterday, and it might take some time to figure it out, but overall the Wildcats showed some great signs on the offensive end, particularly with their shooting.
Terrific three-point shooting and senior play
The team shot 48 percent from deep in last night's contest, and shot an impressive 58.3 percent in the first half. Freshmen Aaron Falzon, who was a big recruit for coach Chris Collins, shined by going 4 of 5 from deep and pouring in a total of 15 points, which led the team. Scottie Lindsey was perfect from deep on all three attempts and Vic Law shot 50 percent from beyond the ard last night. These players were the most efficient three-point shooters for the Wildcats last night and they will be called upon to keep shooting during the season.
Alex Olah and Tre Demps are going to be called upon this season to lead the Wildcats to hopefully their first NCAA tournament appearance. They are both senior leaders and they played really well last night. Olah added 12 points and Demps added 13 points. Olah is the main frontcourt scorer for the team and Demps is the floor general for the Wildcats, with Demps clearly being the best player on the floor last night. Olah's defense is a bit of a concern in the frontcourt because of his speed, and last night he did not play great defense. He is 7-feet tall and he did not record one block, which is a little disappointing against a weaker Quincy team.
Both of these seniors came to play last night and while it was an exhibition game, it was good to see both players assert their offensive skill to start the season.
The Wildcats did show some great signs in last night's game, but the team did look a little sloppy in other areas, especially on defense and scoring in the second half. The team was outscored 27-24 in the second half by Quincy and the team did not shoot very well in the second half either. The team shot 40 percent from the field after halftime and in the first half the team shot 60 percent. The Wildcats lost their fire for the second half of the game, but Falzon and Lindsey shot pretty well from deep in both halves.
Aaron Falzon might be the second most impressive player on the floor tonight (after Demps). He is from beyond the arc— Inside NU (@insidenu) November 6, 2015
Watch for the Wildcats to mix it up with different lineup combinations throughout the early parts of the season because this team has a lot of depth, which was on display last night. The team played 13 players last night, and it seemed like eight or nine of those players will be a part of the regular rotation. Coach Collins will figure out which combinations work best shortly for the Wildcats and having some depth is not a bad problem to have.
The Wildcats won an exhibition game over a Division II school, so take that how you want it, but a win is a win.