Katz on Northeastern

Friar BlogContributor IJanuary 23, 2009

Northeastern makes its move in Colonial

Got a chance to see Northeastern on Wednesday night, and I really liked what I saw in the Huskies’ 58-57 win over George Mason. They have plenty of scoring options when they play the way they did against the Patriots.

Matt Janning gets to the rim and can consistently make 3-pointers. He scored 20 points, made three treys and picked up two steals.

Eugene Spates, who hasn’t been consistent for the Huskies, made two critical 3s for 10 points and played with confidence. Matt Smith came off the bench to make three 3s, and Manny Adako and Nkem Ojougboh can score in close.

The Huskies beat Providence on the road, knocked off Indiana (which isn’t saying much this season, but it still bodes well for a CAA team to beat a Big Ten team on the road), and are off to a 7-1 start in Colonial play.

“We can play with anybody,” Janning said. “That’s the mindset of everybody in this locker room.”

Northeastern has to go to Old Dominion and Virginia Commonwealth in the next two games, so whether NU can be a real threat to VCU and George Mason is yet to be determined. What is a known commodity is how much Bill Coen is making Northeastern a real player in this league. The facility at Matthews Arena is for hockey, not hoops. But Coen puts a quality product on the floor and should continue to make this a consistent winner.

If the Huskies defend, they’ll contend. Making shots the way they did against George Mason is the equalizer for any team in the postseason. NU was 8-of-18 on 3s, didn’t miss a free throw and shot 54 percent overall. If the team can keep hitting those numbers, it will be a factor to win a game in the NCAAs (if it gets a bid).