So far this year Northwestern is known for its star player leaving taking a leave of absence to be with his cancer-stricken mother and losing to Brown. It is going to be another long year in Evanston. The loss to Brown (don’t worry Northwestern, you’ll always have academics) wasn’t a complete surprise, Kevin Coble’s decision to be with his mother while she underwent chemotherapy was, but a pleasant one. It is a nice to see a kid keep things in perspective, and realize that family is more important than a few basketball games. I just hope opposing fans realize this too.

What we know:

Northwestern is terrible, horrible, no good, and very bad, and they don’t really have an excuse. Iowa has a new coach and lost their best player, Michigan lost their starting line up, has a new coach, and played a ridiculous non-conference schedule. Northwestern is just…Northwestern. In addition to their aforementioned loss to Brown, they’ve won games that most other teams would consider losses. A two point victory against at Western Michigan and a 10 point win at home over Savannah State aren’t much to brag about. But, NU has won four in a row, so maybe things are at least looking horizontally in Evansville (maybe someday things will be looking up).

Who to watch:

  • If and when Kevin Coble returns to the team (he hopes to be back for the Big Ten season) he is a force to be reckoned with. He led the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding last year, and is already considered to be the best player in Northwestern history. This is a bit like being considered the best mountain climber in the Netherlands, but its something.
  • Michael Thompson is just a freshman, but he sure isn’t acting like it. He averages 13 points, 5 assists, and only two turnovers per game.

How they’ll do:

Wins: Michigan, Minnesota (Whelsh-Ryan is cursed), Iowa

Losses: Penn State, at Ohio State, at Minnesota, at Wisconsin, Michigan State, at Illinois, at Indiana, at Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, at Iowa, Indiana, at Michigan, at Purdue, Wisconsin

Record: 3-15 (9-20 assuming the split against Chicago State and Texas-Pan American)

What we don’t know:

What impact will Coble have after sitting out for for the first couple months of the season?

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