Carmody, Wildcats seek to end NCAA drought

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 29, 2012
If Bill Carmody is feeling the heat, he did a good job of hiding it. He's back for a 13th season as Northwestern's coach after his future appeared to be in doubt, and the Wildcats are still searching for that elusive NCAA tournament bid. That's all that matters. And, maybe, this. ''I have an endorsement from our athletic director and our president so I feel fine,'' Carmody said. ''There's always pressure to win. You always want to win and like I said keep the program where it is. Now, you've got to move forward, not just incrementally. You've got to make a jump here. I think even though you lose (John) Shurna, people say, `Whoa, that was the year.' But I think that you'll be surprised with our guys. We've got some decent newcomers.'' Carmody's future was the source of heavy speculation and passionate debate after last season. The Wildcats went 19-14 and reached the NIT for the fourth straight year, an unprecedented run for Northwestern. So what was the problem? Well, you know. Northwestern, the host of the first Final Four, remained among the handful of schools without an NCAA appearance, and to critics, Carmody had enough chances to fix that. Supporters could point out that with four straight winning seasons, the Wildcats are in the most successful stretch in program history. Either way, Carmody is back, and Northwestern's quest for that NCAA bid is still going. ''I'd say the last time we talked about it was when we were in the bubble talk for last year, and we haven't talked about it since,'' guard Dave Sobolewski said. ''It's a goal for us, as it's a goal for every team in college basketball. I wouldn't say that we talk about it. We don't have anything up on our locker room wall. I'm sure it's in the back of all our minds, but we've got to take care of business each and every day, try to get better each and every day.'' As for Carmody? ''I know I wanted him to stay,'' guard Alex Marcotullio said. ''I didn't want to have to go through a coaching change. His system and his philosophy has really helped me grow as a player and has really put me in the position to succeed. I respect him as a coach and I didn't want him to leave. And I think the other guys felt the same way.'' Now, Northwestern will try again to take another step. The Wildcats will have to get by without junior guard JerShon Cobb after he was suspended for the season for violating team policy. He started 33 games the last two years, averaging 7.1 points as a sophomore, and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining. Cobb's suspension was another big blow for a program that was already dealing with the loss of all-time leading scorer John Shurna, who finished out his four years. The Wildcats will lean on senior Drew Crawford after he averaged 16.1 points last season. Northwestern has plenty of size up front after adding the 7-foot-2 Chier Ajou, 7-footer Alex Olah, 6-9 TCU transfer Nikola Cerina and 6-8 Louisville transfer Jared Swopshire. But whether the Wildcats can reach that next level remains to be seen. The Wildcats have never had a winning Big Ten record under Carmody, who is 179-191 at Northwestern after four successful seasons with Princeton. The Wildcats' best record in conference play during his tenure was an 8-8 mark in 2003-04, and when it comes to the NCAAs, all they've had are some close calls. ''It's not frustration,'' Carmody said. ''Maybe back then it was, but you move forward. I just think that the program has gotten much, much better over the last four years, and we'll get in the tournament this year and next year or maybe this year and not next year but the year after. I think that the program is stable. It's very competitive. It's stable so we're going to be in the mix every year. We're getting better and better players, and you know better players make better coaches.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Data shows NFL-backed youth program that claimed reduced concussions is bogus

Report: Odom’s family working hard to get him to go to rehab

Drug dealers adding Olympic rings to cocaine wrappers in Rio

Report: Cowboys have ‘no interest’ in Freeney, Hardy

Report: Bradham was defending girlfriend during alleged assault

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

Robbie Keane rescued on highway after running out of gas

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Tigers play high stakes game of Rock, Paper, Scissors

Tavares dismisses rumors, wants to stay with Islanders

UFC signs a new broadcast deal in the U.K.

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker