As Drew Crawford goes, so goes Northwestern

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Retaining Drew Crawford was priority number one for Chris Collins when he began his new regime at Northwestern. You may have been wondering why Northwestern forward Drew Crawford struggled so much during his senior season. His game was off because he wasn’t healthy. Drew Crawford underwent surgery on his right shoulder after being diagnosed with having a torn labrum. He was granted a medical hardship waiver.

And the presence of Drew Crawford has made a huge impact on the 2013-14 Northwestern basketball season. Last week he was named Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week by the United States Basketball Writers Association

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Northwestern upsets #12 Gophers, in front of very poor student showing

 

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Every year Northwestern Wildcats basketball beats a couple ranked teams during the Big Ten slate. So whenever they play someone good at home you want to be there so you can see a big event, right? Like when the fans stormed the court after taking down a top ten Michigan State team last year. Well the “Wildside” student section doesn’t seem to think so. They hardly showed up at all two home games ago when NU lost even uglier than it sounds, 70-51 to the Iowa Hawkeyes. And they didn’t come out last night either.

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#72 Northwestern Wildcats: College Basketball 111 in 111

northwestern dance team

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The streak continues… The Northwestern Wildcats missed the NCAA Tournament once again last season meaning the program has yet to put on their dancing shoes.  Bill Carmody loses star John Shurna and will likely see their streak go on for another year.

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Northwestern signs tallest player in school history; Luol Deng’s Cousin

chier-ajou

Northwestern basketball coach Bill Carmody announced the addition of Chier Ajou (pronounced SHEER ah-JOE) to the program for the upcoming 2012-13 season. But he may not be eligible until 2013-14, depending on the NCAA ruling

At 7-foot-2, Ajou becomes the tallest player in Northwestern history. He competed for two years for Culver (Ind.) Academies prior to attending prep school last year at St. Thomas More School in Connecticut.

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Louisville’s Jared Swopshire transfers to Northwestern

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Things are looking brighter for Bill Carmody in Evanston. Not only will he have one of his best recruiting classes ever coming in, with actual legitimate big men for the first time in a long time, but he also has immediate veteran help on the way to Northwestern.

That would be Louisville Cardinals forward Jared Swopshire, who was a contributor for the Big East power before getting injured and falling lower in Rick Pitino‘s rotation.

According to Scout.com (Purple Wildcats)

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Who might replace Bill Carmody at Northwestern?

northwestern

There are financial advantages to letting Bill Carmody finish out his contract at Northwestern, as there won’t be a buyout. NU needs to put more money into its next coach and the program as a whole when that coach takes over. Even if Carmody makes the Big Dance next season, the school has to help him out by upgrading facilities and re-examining admission standards.

Without a buyout to deal with, NU can put all its money into the program after next season, be it with Carmody or another coach.

If the Cats fall short of expectations again next season and Carmody isn’t resigned, NU will have had time to thoroughly evaluate coaching options and have a succession plan in place.

Guest post by Kevin Trahan of bigtenorbust.com, purplewildcats.com and the Daily Northwestern.

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Should Northwestern give Bill Carmody another year?

bill carmody

Bill Carmody’s seat is warm. Warmer than he has ever felt it before and warmer than a seat typically gets for coaches at Northwestern. After yet another year in which his team failed to miss the NCAA Tournament, Carmody is taking heat.

And he certainly deserves it.

This year’s team underachieved. It failed in the clutch so many times throughout the season and couldn’t come up big in big moments and that’s a reflection of the coach. Carmody’s level-headed approach to his job is impressive, but there’s also something to be said for igniting a fire under your time to provide a spark.

However, this isn’t a call to fire Carmody. There is certainly validity to the argument for it — 12 seasons without an NCAA Tournament appearance would do it — but the timing isn’t right. A few years ago? Sure. But not now.

Guest post by Kevin Trahan of bigtenorbust.com, purplewildcats.com and the Daily Northwestern.

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Michigan at Northwestern: can Wolverines carry momentum on the road?

trey-burke

Michigan picked up their most significant victory of the season Saturday night, edging Ohio State by five points in a game that had more to do with the Wolverines’ suffocating half court defense than any of the Buckeyes’ shortcomings on offense. The win pushed the Maize and Blue’s sterling record at  Crisler Arena  this season to 15-0.

In two key matchups where the Wolverines were at a perceived disadvantage, they came out on top: Trey Burke was better than Aaron Craft, and even more astonishing, Jordan Morgan was better than Jared Sullinger.

Impressive as it was, that victory won’t have any effect on how the Wolverines play Tuesday night when they go on the road to face a Northwestern team in dire need of a résumé-boosting win. Why? Michigan simply isn’t the same team away from home this season.

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Northwestern vs. Iowa Recap: Cats dominate Hawkeyes

John Shurna Northwestern

Northwestern knew it needed a win against Iowa Thursday night in order to keep its NCAA Tournament hopes alive. With that in mind, The Wildcats promptly turned in arguably their best performance of the season, a convincing 83-64 win over the Hawkeyes.

Point guard Dave Sobolewski led the way for NU, recording a season-high 26 points and team-high seven assists. The freshman’s impressive performance evoked memories of former Cats’ star Michael Juice Thompson. Sobolewski said that Thompson has helped him deal with recent criticism.

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#54 Northwestern Wildcats: College Basketball 111 in 111

northwestern mascot

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Northwestern Wildcats have the dancing ability of Elaine from Seinfeld.  The main difference between the two; at least Elaine has actually danced before.  Northwestern has still never played in the NCAA Tournament although they have flirted with being a bubble team the past three seasons.  That should once again be the case in 2011-2012.

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Northwestern Goes for School Victory Record in NIT Quarterfinals

Michael juice Thompson

Maybe this season wasn’t such a disappointment in Evanston after all? They’re the only team from the Chicago area still alive, even if it is in the consolation bracket that is the NIT. Still, by Northwestern Wildcats standards this season became a rousing success with their blowout 85-67 win at #1 seed Boston College this past weekend. It gave them win number 20, tying the school record for wins in a season, set just last year.

As much as Coach Bill Carmody has been maligned this year (mostly for not closing out any of the games in which he had ranked Big Ten opponents on the ropes and failing to reach the NCAA Tournament when the pieces seemed in place to do so) he certainly must have felt an injection of vocational capital with the last two wins.

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Wisconsin 78, Northwestern 63: Rapid Reaction


With the season-sweep of the Northwestern Wildcats, the #12 Wisconsin Badgers have won their 19th straight at home and finished a perfect 16-0 at the Kohl Center in 2010-11. For the Badgers (22-7, 12-4), it’s only the third time they’ve completed an undefeated home schedule in 80 years.

The Wildcats (16-12, 6-11) didn’t make it easy for Wisconsin as they pulled within three points late in the second half, but it was Jon Leuer who didn’t disappoint on Senior Night while going for a game-high 26 points.

By: Nick Grays

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