I noticed a heck of a lot of randos coming to my site from Missouri and Marquette sites of late. I figured that needed some serious 'splaining, and it came in the form of a tweet from Teddy Greenstein:
I hear Crawford being pursued hard by Marquette & Mizzou. But he has been taking part in #Northwestern off-season workouts.— Teddy Greenstein (@TeddyGreenstein) April 16, 2013
Hmm. Both teams would be looking for fifth-year transfers as they somewhat surprisingly lost players to the pros - I didn't think either Phil Pressey for Mizzou or Vander Blue for Marquette was going to throw their name into the draft, but both did. And Missouri in particular makes a living off of transfers - they had four on their roster this past season.
As of right now, Crawford's given no word either way, and we haven't heard anything from Chris Collins since the first day he took the job, when he said he was optimistic Crawford would stay. If Drew's looking for a place to improve his visibility before his pro career starts, both seem like good options. Both teams made the tourney last year, and take hits, and could use a strong player - and will probably have a little bit more opportunity to succeed - than Northwestern. Marquette, to me, seems the more appealing option for Crawford. Hell, they could've used Crawford this year, one of the best defensive squads in the country, but one of the worst at shooting. His offense will go a long way towards replacing Blue, and with him, that team could be capable of going as far - if not, close - as they went this year. Mizzou would be less appealing to me if I were in Crawford's shoes, because four of the top six players leave and the other two are both 6'5 wings just like Crawford. But as noted, Haith has done a good job integrating transfers.
Just on account of dealing with Drew these past four years, I'm leaning a lot more towards the idea Crawford stays than he leaves, but he's clearly weighing his options. Now, we see what those options Crawford is weighing actually are. He can stick at Northwestern to get the job done, and be the star of a team that has the potential to be on the fringe of the first ever NCAA Tournament, or he can be a hired gun on one team that look slightly more likely to be successful. But just being on a team that wins slightly more games won't boost Crawford's stock. He'll have to do that himself. Vander Blue isn't a top 20 draft pick, and he won't be just because his team made the Elite Eight - even if he did help push them there. Northwestern gives Crawford just as good a chance to show off as those places, in my opinion. It's been easy to get excited about the Chris Collins era, and that excitement starts with next year, so it would be kind of a bummer to see Crawford pass on it.