Northwestern's outlook actually is pretty rosy this year: John Shurna is back to look like a total spaz nerd and do a little bit of everything, Drew Crawford now has two years under his belt and should just continue to get better, Luka Mrkovich will once again be the middle moving very little, JerShon Cobb should be a breakout candidate, and most of the little bit parts are here once again as well.
The first being that the major piece that is gone from last season is Michael Thompson who I refuse to call juice, the guy who piloted this team for the last four years - including two of the best in the program's history - and left as the all-time leader in assists for the Wildcats. That's not easy to replace and I don't know who is going to do it. Actually I don't think Northwestern knows yet. Alex Marcotullio is probably first in line, but let's be honest if he wins the job there's no chance this team makes the NCAA Tournament. If Drew Crawford or JerShon Cobb can't transition from off the ball player to ball-handler the Wildcats will have to hope one of their promising newcomers - guards Tre Demps and David Sobolewski - are good enough to step in right away. Both are described as combo guards which normally I'd make fun of because there's not a real PG on the roster but the Gophers are basically doing the same thing so who am I to judge?
The second problem is that, even if they work the PG spot out perfectly, I've already fallen for this. I was convinced last year everything had come together for Northwestern to finally, mercifully, grab that first ever NCAA Tournament bid. And how I was I rewarded for my faith? Just like Snape was rewarded by Voldemort - a painful death. So no, I refuse to buy in. There's no reason to think they'll be better than last season, last season was supposed to be their perfect storm, and they sucked last season. Boom. The end.
DWG Over/Under Conference Wins: 7.5