Time take a few minutes away from the television and your bracket to post some gameday stuff with the Huskies hosting Northwestern in the second round of the NCAA tourney.
Northwestern poses some problems for UW with its ability to shoot the ball. Head coach Lorenzo Romar compared the Wildcats to South Dakota State in that ability. We all know how that went.
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"The challenge is a little bit like South Dakota State,” Romar said. “They have four guys between 6-1 and 6-5 on the floor that can all shoot. They shoot close to 40 percent as a team from (3-point range) when you talk about their 18 conference games. Those are running around shooting 3s within that motion and it’s hard to defend.”
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But there are other factors that make the Wildcats hard to defend, different from South Dakota State, particularly their offensive philosophy.
Northwestern runs the Princeton offense under coach Bill Carmody, who coached at the Ivy League school before taking the Northwestern job. Carmody learned the offense as an assistant to Hall of Fame coach Pete Carril, who is credited with perfecting the motion offense that features multiple backdoor cuts, screens that open layups and 3-point shots. It’s not something modern teams deal with frequently, and it’s tough to prepare for in just a few days.
“Oregon State uses some variations of it, but (Northwestern) will run it in its purest form of anyone we’ve played,” Romar said.
Washington will have to be sound defensively. There can be no miscommunication on screens and rotations or the result will be easy baskets. The Huskies can’t be overaggressive. The backdoor cuts work when opponents are too eager to challenge passes.
“Most offenses you play against, you know where you are going to get their shots from. But Northwestern is different,” Romar said. “You have an idea where their shots are going to come from, they get them all over place. Northwestern can get shots from anywhere and anyone on the floor can get them.”
Senior forward John Shurna earned first-team All-Big Ten honors for the Wildcats, averaging 19.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
“I had the opportunity to be around him the last few years with USA Basketball,” Romar said. “He’s 6-9 and shoots it as well as any one of them.” Here's some video of John Shurna, who became Northwestern's all-time leading scorer this eyar.