Sunday, February 8, 2009


(courtesy of AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Northwestern LOLcats v. Iowa Hawkeyes

Finally. One went the way of the Hawkeyes. The players needed this one. The fans needed this one. I'm sure Coach Lickliter and the rest of the staff didn't mind the victory either.

Devan Bawinkel did the only thing he can do in his first career start: make 3-point shots, including an ice-in-his-veins type shot from the corner with only 55 seconds left and the Hawks trailing.

Freshman star Matt Gatens hit four clutch free throws down the stretch on his way to a 13 point night.
Point guard Jeff Peterson had the unenviable task of dissecting the long 1-3-1 zone of the LOLcats. He had 6 turnovers on the night, most in 4-5 minute period, but had a really good game other than the turnovers. He finished with 16 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. Not too shabby considering he's playing with a broken bone in his wrist.

The young Hawks hoisted up an astounding 30 3-pointers, hitting at a 40 percent clip. They made a whopping two field goals inside the arc.
But somehow, some way, the baby Hawks stole this game away from a Northwestern team that isn't completely awful this year.

One thing is for sure, Lickliter is rebuilding a broken program the right way.

First, he's finding the right players for his system. Gatens is a star that fell into his lap, but either way, is the type of player/leader you can build a program around. Tucker, when he's not contracting mono or passing out behind Union, can definitely shoot. If he sticks around and gets out of the massive doghouse he's surely in, he could be a special player.

Secondly, Lickliter has obviously stressed the importance of protecting home court. The Hawkeyes are 11-2 at home this season, with their only losses coming to ranked Minnesota and Michigan State squads.

Finally, he realizes the importance of getting the community and students involved in the program again. Some suit decided to lower all remaining tickets to $10. Drastic, but proved to be effective Saturday. Someone else also convinced the players to wear the student section "Hawkamanic" shirts as warm-ups for the Michigan State game and to toss shirts during the Northwestern introductions.

Random Game Notes:

  • Jarryd Cole is baaaaack. Despite only scoring two points in the Northwestern game, he averaged 9 points the three games before that. He also blocked the Wildcats feeble last shot off the backboard for, just good measure. He's not a skilled big man, but he's a physical force. There's a reason why Coach Lickliter made this kid a captain before the season.
  • The President David Palmer didn't even take off his warm-ups. Yikes.
  • Cy Tate is also back. It's clear he's not 100% yet. Hopefully he gets there soon, this team needs its senior leader.
  • Northwestern C Kyle Rowley is one of the worst Division I basketball players I've ever seen. He's humongous and really, really bad.
  • Bill Carmody reminds me of my mildly creepy great uncle. I don't what it is about that guy. He made me uncomfortable from the stands.
  • Prediction: Kevin Coble will be cast in a Revenge of the Nerds remake by 2012.
  • "Hawkamaniac" is just an awful title for the student section. It's a travesty.
  • Special Note: I won the musical lay up contest during the 4th media timeout. I ordered a large, stuffed crust pepperoni pizza from America's favorite pizza place, Pizza Hut. Deliciosity.

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