New York Knicks sign John Shurna to one year deal

John-Shurna-Northwestern

The leading scorer in the Big Ten last season, and greatest player in Northwestern history finally has a NBA home, as multiple sources report the New York Knicks have signed John Shurna.

It’s a one year deal for Shurna, who struggled with the Atlanta Hawks summer league this past season.

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Atlanta Hawks sign Northwestern’s Shurna to summer league deal

Northwestern’s John Shurna Declares for NBA Draft, No Agent

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Northwestern Wildcats junior forward John Shurna declared for the 2011 NBA Draft but hasn’t hired an agent. He’s eligible to return to NU for his senior year if he withdraws by May 8th.

“This is an exciting opportunity for John and I fully support his decision,” Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody said in a statement. “It’s a chance for him to pursue his dream and we look forward to helping him gather information throughout the process.”

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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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Northwestern to Meet Milwaukee in NIT Game Tonight

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Northwestern hosts its first National Invitation Tournament (NIT) game since 1994 Wednesday as the #4 seed Wildcats take on Milwaukee at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Tip is 7 p.m.

The winner of Wednesday’s contest advances to take on the winner of the game between #1 seeded Boston College and #8 seed McNeese State.

Milwaukee, the Horizon League regular season champ, fell to the Butler Bulldogs in the HL conference tourney, and were denied a NCAA Tournament bid. They are 19-13 overall, 13-5 in conference. The Panthers won nine of their last 10 regular-season game, had a double bye in the conference tourney,  then defeated Valparaiso in the semifinal before falling to Brad Stevens and company.

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Indiana Hoosiers First Big Ten Victim for Northwestern

Two teams entered 0-3 in the Big Ten; one emerged with a tremendous burden removed from their shoulders. Since the injury to star forward John Shurna, the conference’s leading scorer, the Northwestern Wildcats have been struggling mightily. But they took care of IU 93-81 Sunday night, to improve to 10-4.

The Indiana Hoosiers got off to a 6-0 start against some really terrible competition. But they lost to both Northern Iowa and Colorado, and now find themselves 0-4 in conference play.

By Paul M. Banks

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Northwestern takes Michigan State Down to the Wire

Tom Izzo

Although the final outcome was still a loss, it was a much more exciting and interesting loss to Michigan State this time for Northwestern, who took one of their toughest Big Ten opponents down to the final possession.

No wants to believe in nor accept moral victories, but losing to the #18 Spartans, when your star forward John Shurna (the Big Ten’s leading scorer) is clearly not anywhere near himself, is not the worst thing in the world.

By Paul M. Banks

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John and Juice Leading 9-1 Northwestern into Big 10 Play

Michael juice  Thompson

Northwestern hoops has been “sipping on John and Juice” this season. (At least I didn’t make the “purple drank” joke which seemed obvious given the team’s colors). This college basketball season in Evanston, the Wildcats have been led by junior forward John Shurna, the Big Ten’s leading scorer and one of the most underrated players in the country. And senior point guard Michael “Juice” Thompson.

Both are local products; Thompson, the team’s second leading scorer and leading assist man hails from Chicago and played prep ball at Lincoln Park high school. His fellow member of the 1,000 point club, Shurna, is from suburban Glen Ellyn.

By Paul M. Banks

(note: the phrase “john and juice” in the title must be credited to the Big Ten Network’s Tim Doyle)

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Northwestern’s Shurna Wins 2nd Big 10 Player of Week Award

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A Northwestern player winning the Big Ten Silver Basketball award? We’re a long way off from that and there’s a ton of college basketball left to be played, but it might just happen. NU junior forward John Shurna (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West) earned his second Big Ten Men’s Basketball Player of the Week honor this season and the fourth of his career.

Shurna led the undefeated Wildcats to a pair of victories last week, averaging 27 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2 blocked shots per game. He shot 76 percent from the field in the contests in helping Northwestern to its first 7-0 start since the 1993-94 season.

Shurna leads the Big Ten and ranks ninth nationally with an average of 23.7 points per game. He’s also third in the nation with a .622 3-point field goal percentage and sixth with an overall field goal percentage of .643.

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Northwestern Heads to MSG Undefeated; Perfect Preconference?

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With their 78-62 win over American University on Thursday night, the Northwestern Wildcats improved to 7-0 on the season. They’ll now head to the Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival with a perfect record where they’ll take on St. Francis (Pa.) at 6pm Monday and then St. John’s (in a de facto road game) or Davidson the following day at a time TBD.

It’ll most likely be the Johnnies, led by charismatic new first year coach  Steve Lavin. However, Coach Lav’s bunch is struggling this season, with losses already to St. Bonaventure, Fordham and St. Mary’s.

There’s been nothing “saintly” about their play so far, and as vulnerable as the Red Storm have looked, they’re the best opponent/possible opponent NU will face in MSG.

All signs point to the Cats being undefeated for their New Year’s Eve date at Purdue,which commences the Big Ten conference season.

By Paul M. Banks

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Northwestern’s John Shurna: Big Ten’s Leading Scorer

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It’s very early in the college basketball season, but Northwestern’s John Shurna is first among all Big Ten players in scoring; as well as first overall in 3pt field goals made. Shurna’s teammate Drew Crawford is third, giving the ‘Cats an exciting high-scoring team.

In 2009-10, Shurna was named the nation’s Most Improved Player by Sporting News. Shurna’s scoring average ranked third overall in the Big Ten, while his norm of 20.1 points per game in conference play were one point shy of surpassing Ohio State’s Evan Turner (the man challenging Jenn Sterger for the prize of “individual I’ve written about most) for the scoring title.

Shurna was a second-team All-Big Ten selection last season, pacing the Wildcats with averages of 18.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. His 619 points set a Northwestern single-season record and helped the team to a program-best 20 victories and its second straight appearance in the National Invitation Tournament. He also took home the Chicago Invitational MVP award as the Cats took home that tournament title.

I still think he’s one of the more overlooked and underrated players in college basketball, but he was named to the watch list for both the Wooden and Naismith awards, two of the most prestigious honors in the game.

By Paul M. Banks

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Northwestern’s John Shurna named to Wooden Award Watch List

john shurna

Despite the departure of star forward Kevin Coble, things are looking up for the Northwestern hoops program. When was the last time a Wildcat player was named to the Wooden Award watch list? Evan Eschmeyer during one of his 12 years of college eligibility? Jim Stack in the 1960s?

Well you can add junior forward John Shurna to the list.

By Paul M. Banks

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