#20 Northwestern Basketball: Six Players to Watch vs Creighton

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The season really starts now for Northwestern basketball, as they welcome Creighton to Rosemont, IL tonight. It’s not often that NU is able to schedule a name brand opponent at home in the conference, so it’s a rather unfortunate that this happens now when they have to play at their home away from home this season, but that is the cards they have been dealt.

The Blue Jays will provide a great test for the Wildcats as they possess a lot of traits that befit a big boy high major program.

The Big East is a very haves and have nots kind of conference, with some genuine high major programs, and other bonafide mid-major. Creighton is obviously making a push to get/stay at the big boy table, and that have a lot of talent, which could propel them there.

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Northwestern basketball will see a major jump in the quality of opposition from their first two games tonight. Loyola Maryland and Saint Peter’s don’t provide much legitimate material for truly assessing where the Cats are right now, but it was a bit alarming to see Northwestern struggle a bit with both. When you play your nobodies you are supposed to curb stomp them, and when you don’t, well, I guess we’ll see.

Often times results like that aren’t indicative of how the season will go, but perhaps this tilt with Creighton will be. Here are six Northwestern basketball players to keep an eye on in this contest; and for the season at large.

For the Northwestern basketball season preview, go here.

Bryant McIntosh
Face of the Northwestern basketball program, you know all about the four year starter at point guard, who is the team’s odds on favorite for major individual honors this season. Sometimes, he simply carries them through to victory. “He gets the ball to the right people at the right time,” said teammate Dererk Pardon.

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Vic Law
The highest rated recruit in the history of Northwestern basketball is a star in the making, and in this his junior year, he should take another leap forward. Law perfectly summated what this season is all about for NU: “to not be complacent, to keep pushing, to keep trying to break records and achieve new records.”

We also asked him what he took away from winning and then losing a NCAA Tournament game last season: “It takes you to get knocked down to realize that you need to pick it back up again.”

vic law northwestern basketball

Dererk Pardon
No, there is no typo in his first name so quit asking. Northwestern basketball coach Chris Collins said in the offseason that Pardon has developed a mid range and perimeter game to go with his post moves. Pardon said that’s what he’s been working on the most this offseason: “spreading the defense, last year they kind of sagged off me in the lane.”

Scottie Lindsey
He was on his way to an all-conference first team kind of season before mono struck. He still made the leap last season, and he should only get better.

“I’ve dealt with that before, really missing being out there,” Lindsey said about dealing with mononucleosis, and missing an important part of the schedule, “probably our toughest stretch in terms of competition.”

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Barrett Benson

The young big man gives Pardon minutes off the bench, and he’s filled in admirably when called upon.

“It was a dream come true, playing against those top teams, showed us a lot of things that we can work on, but it also gave us a lot of confidence to show that we can play with great teams,” Benson said at Northwestern basketball Media Day of getting the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament last season. Benson says he models his game after The Big Fundamental Tim Duncan

Isiah Brown
Maybe the best pure athlete on this team, and in terms of raw ability he might just be the guy. Or at least he looks like he could be.

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However, he’s still raw, and very much a work in progress.

“Efficiency wise, he’s gotta improve,” said Collins.

“I don’t want to rob him of his aggressive nature, but that being said, to incorporate that in the way we’re doing things as a team and to be a little more efficient as a sophomore. I think he’s got a better feel of what he needs to do.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

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