The only addition of note (and it’s trivia based as much as anything else) is the addition of walk on Charlie Hall from Los Angeles…the 6’5″ freshman forward is the son of Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and ex SNL’er Brad Hall. Other than that, it’s status quo from the spring.
I really like what Chris Collins is doing in Evanston. In his first year, he ground out his way to 6 wins with a high effort, not-so-high talent group which showed more toughness and better defense than any Cat team in recent memory. Last season, the talent level improved and so did the offense, though the end result was the same 6 wins. So what’s on tap for his third season?
I think the team continues to get better in terms of overall athleticism and skill. The incoming freshman class doesn’t have quite the star power that last year’s group had, but Ash and Falzon should each get minutes somewhere in the rotation this season and they’ll help improve the overall depth immediately. The transfer big kid Van Zegeren is the biggest potential difference maker, though, as he brings size, toughness and experience to the mix, giving Collins another legit big option alongside Olah.
I like this team…objectively, I like them better than Nebraska but when I went through the schedule, I came up with a third straight 6-12 season for the Cats. The future is bright but Northwestern doesn’t have quite enough yet to compel me to put them any higher, which would place them in the mix for a Tourney berth potentially. That day is coming and I can’t even rule out that it could happen this season…but I think it might be one more year away.