Northwestern 72, Eastern Illinois 53

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Collins wins his Northwestern debut, thanks to a big game from Drew Crawford.

So Northwestern won their first game by 19 points. A few things:

1. Drew Crawford is a beast. He had 25 points and 11 rebounds and was by far the best player on the court. He looks like he'll have a good season.

2. JerShon Cobb apparently has learned how to play point guard. He had 8 assists tonight and did a great job driving to the basket, drawing defenders and then finding the open man.

3. The NCAA has decided to try to cut down on hand checking and physical play on defense, so they are calling any contact at all a foul. The game tonight was brutal, the refs called 49 fouls and the teams combined to shoot 67 free throws, and it took almost two and a half hours to complete. Games are going to be unwatchable until the players adjust to the new officiating.

4. Overall it's hard to judge Northwestern from this game, because Eastern Illinois isn't very good and because of the absurdly tight officiating. There were some stretches of great play followed by some stretches of terrible play. We'll get a much better idea on Thursday against Stanford.

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