Roundtable: Forecasting Northwestern's basketball season
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    Max Jones: How about an overall prediction? Will the ‘Cats make the tournament? What about their record? Is Bill Carmody still in Evanston this time next year? Kim, what do you think?

    Kimberly Alters: As much as I want to say that this is finally the year, that Shurna will accomplish what Juice couldn't, I'm thinking the ‘Cats are NIT-bound once again. I think it's possible NU could win the NIT, but I don't think Northwestern is dancing this year. Unless the ‘Cats significantly underachieve, I think Carmody's here next year and ready to shape that 2012 class and the younger returners into players who can fill both Shurna's and Juice's vacated roles.

    Stanley Kay: I'm with Kim on this one. In my opinion, the two most important aspects of a college basketball team are a good point guard and a solid low post game. Northwestern has neither. Though I think JerShon Cobb could develop into a playmaker at point guard as the season wears on, I think his talents would be better served at shooting guard, a more natural position for Cobb. Unfortunately, he may be Northwestern's best option for point guard. Down low, the Wildcats will once again struggle to defend big men like Ohio State's Jared Sullinger and Michigan State's Draymond Green. Northwestern does not have any player that can match up with players like Sullinger and Green. I think this team will make the NIT but once again fail to make the NCAA tournament without a true point guard or a serious post presence. I think the Wildcats will be a tough matchup for a lot of teams and will likely upset one of the power teams in the Big Ten, but I don't see Northwestern making the 20-win mark. I think the 'Cats will win around 17 games once again.

    Max Jones: Unfortunately, we're simply not going to get any clarity about this season until after Christmas. It's hard to imagine a non-conference stretch where the Wildcats lose more than two, but even going undefeated against this slate means very little. So I'll say 11-1 in non-conference, with a Charleston Classic crown to speak for. But the Big Ten outlook is pretty bleak – anything above .500 seems like a stretch. If Luka Mirkovic makes the leap to being a force in the paint (or Davide Curletti, for that matter, who was far more consistent than Mirkovic most of last season) then everything goes out the window. But as the team is assembled now, they just don't have the front-court firepower to play with Ohio State, Michigan State and Purdue. 7-9 in the Big Ten sounds about right, and another riveting NIT run.

    Kit Fox: On the men's side, I won't delve into too much detail because you guys covered a lot. I do think an NCAA bid is somewhat unrealistic but not out of the question. I think the 'Cats will get 16 wins this season and have a decent run in the NIT. I think the women on the other hand have some serious potential. I do not believe they will win the Big Ten but dancing in March is pretty feasible. This is an experienced team that is going to use their speed to win games, and they have huge potential to upset some ranked teams. I'm predicting a 20-win season with a bubble bid into the tourney.

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