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Messages - Next Man Up

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Also, those uniforms the beloved Cards were wearing tonight are God awful to look at.

Allow me to agree, even as an Elmhurst fan. When I first heard of their grey uniforms I thought they'd at least have red numbers and letters (similar to a Bulls alternate of recent years), but these are just drab. If you randomly tuned into a game, you'd have no idea what school is even out there.

Seems the consensus is understandably thumbs down on the Cardinals new home “grey,” and “God awful” uniforms.
This is on top much criticism of the shade of their road unis going back several years.

Perhaps Coach Figueroa can prevail on everyone’s favorite NCC administrator to spring for some admirable new home whites next year. The old ones which did need replacement, and were replaced with the greys, were very nice looking.

I’m pretty sure the listed attendance of 307 at The Hangar last night is just the number of paid admissions. The entire NCC football team, all other NCC students, all Elmhurst students, all the NCC and EU women’s and men’s bball players parents, recruits and their families, Tip-Off Club boosters, and many other NCC bball family members who were on last night’s pass list aren’t included in that total. The D3Hoops listed seating for the Hangar is 2420 so just looking around tells you the crowd was far above 307.

Despite other talented players, I think Ittounas is the straw that stirs Elmhurst’s drink.

Wes Hooker is one of the CCIW’s most athletic and talented players but has a tendency to sometimes be overzealous both in celebratory exhibitions of his accomplishments, and when showing disagreement with officials rulings. This is nothing new and goes back to his high school days. Although it must also be said that he has matured to an appreciable degree since that time.
And why does Tagen Pearson seem to want to fight with any opponent who has the audacity to guard him tightly?

NCC sits at 6-6 in conference and gets the other three teams in the log jam of 3rd-6th place at the hangar in the next two weeks (plus a trip to Wheaton to break it up). Won’t be easy but I’d rather have them playing those games with me watching from just off center court.

I was checking the Cardinals' schedule to confirm the game time for Saturday, and realized while doing so that North Central has won as many games at Van Male this year as they have in the Hangar.  It will be good to have threeeeeeeeeeee of the four conference matchups in Naperville as we reach the regular season's endgame.

The Cardinals need to take care of business today vs Elmhurst in order that they avoid the same calamities that befell them vs both Augie and Millikin wherein they were victorious the first time they played those teams, but inexplicably lost the rematches.
For what it’s worth, Massey favors EU 76-75.

Despite the fact that many players do it on an almost constant basis, we rarely see "carrying" the ball called.

Here is a perfect example of the violation that officials appear to be unable to see, or just plain choose to ignore.

North Park 79
North Central 65

Shamar Pumphrey: 17 pts, 6:4 a:to, 3 stls
Kolden Vanlandingham: 16 pts, 3 stls
Davante Robinson: 11 pts (3-4 trey)
Jordan Boyd: 5:0 a:to, 3 blks
Marquise Jackson: 4 stls

Mitch Lewis: 27 pts (9-9 FT), 12 rebs

This was an impressive win by NPU, not only in that the Vikings beat a good team, but because they had to stave off multiple Cardinals runs in order to do so. NPU enjoyed a double-digit lead for most of the middle of the game, but NCC cut it to two at one point and to four in a couple of other instances, due in large part to the phenomenon that is Mitch Lewis.

Barring a CCIW tournament meet-up, this will be the first and last time that North Park will ever face Mitch Lewis. And good riddance, I say. That man is a beast.

Since joining the Cardinals team 9 games ago, Mitch Lewis has now played 153 minutes.
In those 153 minutes, he has scored 145 points.  8-)

One of Kyle King’s teammates on the Saarland Hurricanes is previous adversary. Former All-American WR Andrew Kamienski from North Central is also a member of the German League team. They might make a rather dynamic duo.

I apologize if this has been posted previously.
Former UMHB QB Kyle King has been signed by the Saarland Hurricanes of the German Football League.

It appeared Elmhurst’s Wesley Hooker is not playing today.

The 'jays didn't need him. They beat Carthage in Tarble without him, 70-64, behind double-digit-scoring performances by Elmhurst's entire starting five: John Ittounas (16), Tagen Pearson (15), Matt Woloch (12), Ocean Johnson (10), and Jonathan Zapinski (10). Fillip Bulatovic had 20 and 12, Antuan Nesbitt contributed 18, and Julian Campbell had 12 for Carthage, which has suddenly gone into free-fall with three straight losses, the last two in Kenosha.

Millikin held serve in Decatur against Augie, 79-73, to draw within a game of the Rock Islanders for seventh place. Nate Straughter had 19, JT Welch added 17, and Noah Livingston recorded 10 points to lead the way for the Big Blue, while Augustana was paced by Tyler Knuth with 22 (including 9-11 from the field and 4-6 from downtown). Matt Hawkins added 15, Matt Hanushewsky 11, and Dan Carr 10 in the losing cause.

I understand Elmhurst was able to win without Hooker today. However, he will likely be a repeat All-Conference player this year, and is usually an important cog on both ends of the floor for EU. Accordingly, inquiring minds might be wondering if anyone is aware of the reason for his absence.

North Park      79
North Central  65

Mitch Lewis had 27 points in 22 minutes for NCC.
But NPU’s quickness caused an astronomical 23 NCC TOs, and that really tells the story.

It appeared Elmhurst’s Wesley Hooker is not playing today.

IWU has had injuries and hasn't been playing at their expected level to this point, but they are still a very good D3 team.

IWU fans have been leaning hard into that "oh, so many injuries" narrative this season, but the reality is that only one player from last season's rotation -- Nick Roper, who appeared in 25 of IWU's 30 games last year and averaged 9 minutes played per game -- has been sidelined by injury. Grant Hardy and Pryce Punkay, two other injured players whose absence has been bemoaned by Titans faithful, saw a grand total of 52 and 7 minutes of varsity floor time last season.

Obviously, IWU lost four starters from last season's team to graduation, so scads of minutes opened up this season for the Titans, and the guys named above (plus incoming freshman Nathan Boldt) were expected to grab some of them. But you can't make any assumptions about players who've seen little or no playing time in terms of their future success when they're directly thrusted into prominent roles; IWU's Harrison Wilmsen and Hakim Williams, for example, have not exactly set the world on fire this season upon being asked to play much bigger roles for the Titans. And when you have a bunch of young guys collectively being asked to step up all at once, your team thus by definition becomes a wild card -- which is one reason why I thought that the Titans were overrated going into this season, even before all of those injuries became an IWU talking point. (And I wasn't alone in thinking that, either.)

The mainstays for the Titans this season have been their rotation holdovers from 2021-22: Cody Mitchell, Ryan Sroka, and Lucas Heflen. That's what people should've been expecting. That's not to say, of course, that some guy from any generic team who played seven minutes of varsity time last year couldn't step up and become the team's star this year. That happens all the time in college hoops. But you can't bank on it happening, especially in a league this tough. The CCIW is a prove-it-to-me league -- and many IWU fans foresaw big accomplishments in 2022-23 for a whole bunch of guys who hadn't proven anything whatsoever to date at this level. I suspect that this comes from the whole "if IWU recruited him, he must be a future star" syndrome, the hubris of which never ceases to amaze me.

I thought that the Titans would be a pretty good team this year, and thus far they've been a pretty good team. Very good? Nope. Too slow -- this past Wednesday night was a classic example that the reigning mathematical formula in D3 hoops right now is (speed > size), too lacking in ball protection, and -- most oddly, given IWU's tradition of having more good shooters than anybody else in the league -- not very good when it comes to shooting. With one round-robin in the books, the Titans rank fifth in shooting percentage in CCIW play despite being by far the league's tallest and longest team (i.e., the team most likely to benefit from pounding the ball into the post for high-percentage shots), dead last in three-point shooting, and dead last in free-throw shooting. Again, these are CCIW stats, not overall stats, so nobody can argue that the dismal shooting of the Titans is reflective of the fact that they've played better overall competition than have the other eight CCIW teams. What success the Titans have had this season (8-7, 5-3) has been because of their defense.

Like I said ... pretty good team? Sure. Very good team? No way, José.

I have a very strong suspicion that Wheaton, a quick team full of high-motor guys that can shoot, is going to wipe the floor with Wesleyan tomorrow in King Arena.

Wherever did you get that idea? ???
If IWU recruited him, he must be certainly be a future star ::).
Whoever would propagate such an outlandish theory?  ;)   :o

Only way to March now is winning the CCIW tournament, if they make it, and that is very unlikely at this point.

Remember that six teams make the tournament.  It would take quite a collapse for the Titans to fall below both Augustana and Elmhurst, let alone the teams they are currently even with in the standings.

CarrollBooster, don't worry . . . it happens in the CCIW.  No easy nights.   IWU is crashing down to earth too, after a good win vs. Elmhurst earlier.  Not even sure IWU will make the CCIW tournament.   1-19 from three??   Come on, man!



One for 19 from three is certainly something you would think you would never see from the Mighty Titans.
I mean as a certain IWU booster always prophesied, if you wear a Titans uniform you’re automatically a star,  and it’s difficult to understand how a collection of such good players could ever go 1 for 19. As such, your aghast over the statistic is understandable.

However, I am quite sure that you can put your fears to bed as far as the Green Team making the conference tournament. I believe only a miracle could keep that from happening. However, short of winning the tournament, there just could be a bit of trepidation with regard to their Pool C chances. However, they’ll most likely clear that hurdle as well.  8-)

As I said before, I think it would take a miracle to prevent IWU from making the conference tournament.

North Central’s Mitch Lewis, who last night put up 20 points in 22 minutes in the Cardinals win at Carthage, now has 118 points in 131 minutes of PT since joining the team 8 games ago.

Maybe Massey’s HAL 9000 is overdue for its 45,000 mile tuneup?  ::)

Couple observations from being at the Carthage game tonight.

*.  The game turned as soon as Lewis came in the game.  He hit a number of nice jump shots and Campbell just couldn’t guard him (part of the reason for lack of minutes)
*.  Bulatovic had a poor game tonight.  He didn’t score in the first half and the majority of his shots were taken off balance.  He did end up in double figures, but not a great game.
*.  NC went 25 for 28 from the FT line vs. 9 for 15 for Carthage.  Hard to overcome that advantage and efficiency.
*.  Carthage cut the lead to 4 twice in the second half, but couldn’t get a big stop to get it down to one possession.
*.  Nesbitt started out hot with I think the first 8 points and then didn’t really get going again until middle of second half.  Not flashy, but a real nice player who is provides good defense, scoring and very unselfish play.

* Carthage shot 45.5% overall, and 32.0% from beyond the arc, while North Central shot 43.4%, and 31.6% respectively, so their really wasn’t a large advantage for Carthage as far as shooting accuracy went.
* As kiko said earlier, it’s highly likely this wasn’t one of CC’s better games. One of the primary reasons for this was that the Cardinals often interrupted the Carthage offensive flow, chiefly through excellent help defense. The Firebirds offense could frequently be described as herky-jerky.
* North Central cemented the game from the foul line. In shooting 25 of 28 (89.3%), the Cardinals made 10 more FTs than the home team even attempted. They hit their last 11 in a row!
* Bulatovic is a great scorer (and rebounder), but he can’t shoot either from distance (7 three pointers all year) or from the FT line (54%).   :o

* The Carthage announcer referred to the Carthage Pep Band as “the finest in the CCIW.” Obviously, he wasn’t at The Hangar Wednesday night.   8-)
* Does every young lass who matriculates at Carthage automatically make the dance team??   :D

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