Casey Sapio-US PRESSWIRE
Northwestern improves to 4-0.
In a remarkably quick game (it barely took 90 minutes to finish), Northwestern overcame a sluggish start and rolled to an easy win over Delaware State. Drew Crawford led NU with 18 points, Dave Sobolewski had 14, and Reggie Hearn added 12. Delaware State got off to a quick start thanks to Tahj Tate, who led all scorers with 23, but Northwestern's superior talent eventually took over. It also didn't help when their only legitimate inside presence Marques Oliver had to leave with an injury, allowing Northwestern to have their way on the glass (37--22 advantage).
And with that, the warm-up portion of the schedule is over. Northwestern has gotten all their new players plenty of game experience, avoided any serious injuries (losing only backup center Nikola Cerina to an ankle injury), and most importantly didn't suffer an NCAA hopes crippling loss. Now, NU heads into a difficult stretch of schedule, starting with the South Padre Island Invitational this weekend and continuing with games against Maryland, Butler, Stanford and Baylor.
Tonight we got a good idea of whom Carmody trusts to play at important times, and it doesn't look like he's got too much faith in his bench, and with good reason. For now, Alex Marcotullio appears to have returned to his familiar role of first guard off the bench, taking the spot of Tre Demps. When Demps comes into the game, he's immediately looking to shoot, but the problem is his jump shot has been subpar so far this season, and his shot selection has been even worse, such as In this game when he jacked up a contested three when NU was playing 5 on 4 due to a Delaware State injury. Kale Abrahamson doesn't appear to possess a Big Ten ready skill besides shooting, so Carmody hasn't been going to him much, and Mike Turner is the backup center by default with Cerina's injury. In short, Northwestern doesn't figure to go very deep into the bench in the immediate future; while Carmody has plenty of options available on the bench, most of them aren't good options right now. That may change once Sanjay Lumpkin recovers from mono though.
Next up is a game against TCU on Friday in the aforementioned South Padre Island Invitational. TCU's last three games have been a loss to SMU, a 44-39 win over Prairie View, and a 47-45 win over Navy, so they aren't very good, but they will be the best team NU has faced so far this season.