Last season was supposed to be the year for the Northwestern Wildcats.
After wins over the likes of Seton Hall, Illinois and Michigan State, "Chicago's Big Ten team" was poised for their first NCAA Tournament appearance in program history behind senior John Shurna's third full-time season in Bill Carmody's Princeton-style frontcourt. But it wasn't meant to be: The Wildcats lost a bubble-burster to Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten tournament that left them in the cold.
Now they're picking up the pieces from another let-down season. Shurna is gone, reserve big man Luka Mirkovic is gone and frontcourt reserver and sometimes-starter Davide Curletti has departed.
But everyone else returns, including All-Big Ten Third Team swingman Drew Crawford, starting two-guard Reggie Hearn, starting point guard Dave Sobolewski and part-timer JerShon Cobb in the backcourt. And Carmody has landed two big-name transfers to shore up his vacated...