Originally posted on The B1g Time  |  Last updated 4/25/13

Remember the book and movie "The NeverEnding Story"? If not, well, just think of it as a fantasy version of the Northwestern Wildcats who are on a never ending quest to make just one, yes ONE NCAA Tournament birth. 

2012-13 was the season - or so we thought could be possible if things went their way for a change - but instead they were nearly dead in the water as the season began with Jershonn Cobb suspended for the year for academic reasons and the devastating news that star forward Drew Crawford would be out the rest of the season thanks to a torn labrum after just 10 games played. 

From then on this team was completely different and their decent start to the year went down the tubes. It all ended with Bill Carmody being let go as the head coach of the Wildcats and the announcement of Chris Collins, the son of long-time NBA coach Doug Collins, as the next man to lead the Wildcats' quest for an NCAA tournament birth. 

That said, 2012-13 wasn't devoid of interesting news, notes, or trends for NU, so let's explore a season most want to forget in Evanston.

How We Predicted Things:

Regular Season Record: 18-14
B1G Record/Finish: 6-12 (9th after losing 8th place tiebreaker)

How It Actually Turned Out:

Regular Season Record: 13-18
B1G Record/Finish: 4-14 (11th)
Postseason: None

- Well, I was off, as in nearly opposite direction off with this team, even predicting they'd be good enough for the NIT tournament once again. However, no one saw the loss of Drew Crawford coming and this team was totally different without him. With in the mix this team would've easily won two or three more games and I could've looked stupid for underestimating this team. 

What Went Right? 

Anytime you have a coach that gets fired it's hard to say much of anything went well and that's the case for the Wildcats. But if there is a silver lining on the season it's perhaps the fact that young players like Kale Abrahamson and Tre Demps got plenty of playing time and actually were productive as freshmen. 

Demps averaged 7.8 points per game while Abrahamson averaged 4.9 points per game on a team that needed both to produce. For first campaigns on a team where neither were first or second or even the third option. 

Hey, I know we're stretching on this one, but come on... Always look on the bright side of life..... right? 

What Went Wrong?

Where do we start? Well, first there was losing the team's leading scorer, Drew Crawford (13.5ppg), after just 10 games and then there was the whole we can't shoot or defend situation going on. Just how bad was it? 

Northwestern ranked 11th in scoring offense (60.7ppg), 9th in scoring defense (63.7ppg), 10th in scoring margin (-2.9), 11th in field goal shooting (40.1%), 10th in field goal defense (42.8%), and dead last in 3pt field goal defense (34.6%). O.k., so you get the picture and all, but just to hammer the point home, Northwestern failed to rank in the top half of the conference in any major statistical category expect 3pt shooting offense (where they ranked 4th btw). 

It was all sorts of awful for this team in 2012-13 to say the least. 

Biggest Surprise:

My biggest surprise came in the fact that they actually let Bill Carmody go after this season. One could argue he was about to have his deepest and best roster next season, even with Reggie Hearn departing. 

Biggest Disappointment:

No questions asked it was the loss of Drew Crawford to the torn Labrum in his shoulder. I've had personal experience with that injury and it's no fun coming back from it. However, it exposed this team as lacking anyone that can truly penetrate into the middle of  defense or create his own shot. That more than anything on the defensive end (which he would've helped a ton with) is the reason for the failure of this team.

Looking Forward:

Good news abounds in Evanston as Drew Crawford announced he will come back to play his final season at Northwestern for new head coach Chris Collins. Unfortunately the Wildcats lost one of their biggest recruits from this last class. However, they return a solid core for Collins to build around and this team should be at least the equal of this past year if not it's superior with the experience guys like Demps, Abrahamson and Sobolewski all got last season. 

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