So Northern Illinois comes to the Barn tomorrow night to take on the Gophers and yawn I'm falling asleep here. These guys are terrible. They're 1-5 and lost to Northwestern by 22, Illinois by 19, Bradley by 14, and lost to the 296th best team according to kenpom.com in Southeast Missouri State. Their only win was over Tennesse State, a team that is 2-8 and ranked 280th (NIU comes in at #246). They're bad. Worse than the last 3 teams who rolled in here and all got stomped. So bad, in fact, that I can't even manufacture any interest or excitement like I did for St. Joe's and Morgan State. Even better, they haven't played since December 2nd, so they're going to rusty. Beautiful. This is just going to be a blood bath Elizabeth Bathory would be proud of.
Seriously, these guys are bad at everything. Their overall offensive efficiency ranks 311th in the nation. Mainly due to horrible shooting (24% from three, 343rd in the country and 53% from the line, 345th) and a propensity to turn the ball over like Troy Hudson on his worst day (they turn it over on 25% of their possessions, ranking 314th in the country). They are actually an ok defensive team, but their offense is so bad it won't even come close to mattering.
As far as individual players go I'm going to pretend to be interested in two guys: guard Darion Anderson and center Sean Kowal.
Anderson is the "do-it-all" type of player, as shown by his averaging 8.7 rebounds per game despite being just 6-2 while leading the team in assists as well with a whopping 3.0 per game. He's also the team's leading scorer at 12.8 per game, not counting a guy who played in their first game and scored 18 but hasn't played since (I'm way too lazy and disinterested to look up any further information). Anderson is wildly inconsistent, having scored in double figures just three times and putting up outings of 1-10 and 2-10 shooting so far this year, and can also get up there in turnovers in a hurry.
The other guy sort of worth talking about is Kowal, mostly because he's very large at 6-11, 248, and averages 9.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. He's really only had two good games this year and basically been invisible in the others. I don't know. It's so hard to care about this endless string of cupcakes.
Really that's what this is, just another walk-over, and maybe the worst of the bunch. Yeah, I'm mailing it in, but that's all the Gophers have to do, so why not me as well?
Gophers 123, Northern Illinois 18.
FUN FACT: Northern Illinois has had only 7 winning seasons since 1982, two of which came when Jim Molinari was at the helm.