Sure Northwestern basketball season already started. Yeah, that game against Mississippi Valley State was pretty much what we've been waiting the whole offseason for and totally had a major impact on Northwestern's NCAA Tournament chances (wanks)
Anyway, here's a bunch of posts about Northwestern's upcoming basketball season where SoP's contributors got together to say how they felt about the team. We wanna hear what you have to say too!
Today: Northwestern's team is completely different from last year. Not only in that John Shurna is gone, but also in that a whole bunch of people are here none of us have ever seen. Jared Swopshire, Nikola Cerina, Tre Demps, Michael Turner, Alex Olah, Kale Abrahamson, Sanjay Lumpkin, and Aaron Liberman are all in their first year in the program. That's two transfers, two redshirts, three recruited freshmen, and a preferred walkon, for eight new players. So: which newcomer will have the biggest impact on Northwestern's season?
I'll go with Alex Olah to become a more than competent big man and erase the ghosts of past, i.e. Mirkovic, Curletti, and everybody's favorite, Rowley.
Either Swopshire or Olah would appear to have the best chances of having a big impact on the team, simply by the fact that they're starters. I think Swopshire will end up having the biggest impact. I don't know how much offensive contribution he will bring, but his length and athleticism should serve the team well on defense. Also, as a fifth year senior, he's got a lot of experience under his belt. I look for him to be a leader on the team and hopefully a mentor to the younger guys.
Alex Olah, mostly because he already appears to be a huge improvement over his predecessors. Even average defense and rebounding from the center position will be a huge boost for this team.
One guy who will have to play a big role is Alex Olah. He's starting at center for NU right off the bat, and looks like he might fit the part. Judging from his early play, he's the first big man with suitable offensive skills Northwestern has had in some time. Luka Mirkovic and Davide Curletti occasionally displayed flashes, but by their senior years both guys had somewhat deteriorated into inconsistency. Olah's bigger than both, which should be a help on defense and on the boards. Northwestern doesn't need him to be great. Northwestern needs him to hold opposing big men and not make a huge mess of things offensively. I think he can do it, even as a freshman. It would be nice if Swop could fill in scoring and he's shot well early, but I don't think he'll be consistent enough.Northwestern has seven incoming scholarship basketball players who will be in their first year in the program, including Louisville transfer Jared Swopshire and starting center Alex Olah. Who makes the biggest impact on NU basketball this season? I'll settle for defense from him.