2015 is winding down, and it was an interesting year for Chicago basketball. Two programs reached their conference tournament semifinals, two programs experienced coaching changes and one program (Northwestern) is now receiving AP Top 25 votes.
The Catch and Shoot has chosen its Top 10 Chicago Basketball moments of the year and will be rolling out one per day starting tomorrow with No. 10 and ending on New Year’s Eve with No. 1.
But first, here are three honorable mentions that just missed the final cut.
Scottie Lindsey rejects Troy Williams
Welsh-Ryan Arena has felt electric only a handful of times in Chris Collins‘ three seasons as head coach. One of those times was Feb. 25, 2015, when Northwestern, trying for a four-game winning streak, hosted Indiana.
The Wildcats held a 51-48 lead in the second half when freshman wing Scottie Lindsey met Indiana forward Troy Williams, one of the Big Ten’s best athletes, at the apex of Williams’ dunk attempt for a phenomenal block.
— Northwestern on BTN (@NUOnBTN) February 26, 2015
The block on its own was enough to get the Welsh-Ryan Arena crowd roaring, and then Northwestern guard Tre Demps drilled a corner 3-pointer on the ensuing fast break. The Wildcats went on to win 72-65, although the Hoosiers got revenge in the Big Ten Tournament.
Dominique Matthews scores 12 points in two minutes.
The 2015-16 has been filled with growing pains, as expected. But Flames fans have witnessed a few moments that show the possibility of a very bright future.
Dec. 12 at the United Center, freshman guard Dominique Matthews exploded for 18 points in the first half against Illinois. Matthews scored 12 of those points in a 1:49 span. Matthews had a steal and breakaway layup, a tough layup in traffic, a pair of 3-pointers and a two-point jumper during that stretch.
— Herb Gould (@HerbGould) December 12, 2015
It doesn’t hold up to when Florida State guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes 30 points in a 4:38 stretch last season, but it’s quite impressive nonetheless for a Horizon League player.
Christian Thomas buzzer beater vs. Evansville
Trying to prove its worth as a legitimate MVC program, Loyola had an early January road trip to Northern Iowa and Evansville after tearing through non-conference play. The Ramblers were outmatched by Northern Iowa, and then they needed a six-point comeback in the final 2:05 to record a huge win at Evansville.
Trailing 70-69, Loyola got a huge stop with 12 seconds left. Guard Milton Doyle brought the ball up the floor, and a double team came when he dribbled to the foul line with two seconds left. Doyle jumped above the double team and found forward Christian Thomas for the game-winning layup.
The official scorer gave Doyle a missed shot and Thomas an offensive rebound and putback. Doyle’s mom adamantly disagrees with that (and I agree with her). Judge the play for yourself.