Garrett Jochnau

Men’s Basketball: Notes from Northwestern’s exhibition rout of Illinois-Springfield

Men’s Basketball: Notes from Northwestern’s exhibition rout of Illinois-Springfield
(Daily file photo by Luke Vogelzang)

Northwestern walked away from its exhibition contest Friday night against Illinois-Springfield with a predictable double-digit victory. Freshman guard Isiah Brown led the way with 18 points as the Wildcats topped the Prairie Stars 89-52.

With nonexistent stakes and a decided outcome from the opening tip, the game offered plenty of opportunities for coach Chris Collins to experiment with different lineups.


Dererk Pardon injury scares are not fun

The sophomore center looked good when in, scoring 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting and adding four rebounds and three blocks. But he also left the game in the second half limping and holding his leg after heading into the tunnel earlier. According to Collins, Pardon had taken a knee to the thigh and was tightening but was ultimately fine.

He and freshman Barret Benson — who played surprisingly sparingly in the exhibition — constitute the team’s extremely thin center tandem and an injury to either would be costly.

Scottie Lindsey and Gavin Skelly are set to have big roles …

Last season, playing time for the then-sophomores was largely dictated by team need. When the offense needed energy or an athlete on the perimeter, it subbed accordingly. This year, it appears as though the Cats intend to lean on the third year duo in a broader sense.

Lindsey started the exhibition and finished with 13 points, going 2-of-3 from deep. Skelly saw plenty of action, playing both the 5 in NU’s small ball set and the 4 alongside another big. He ran the floor nicely and spaced the floor well, despite scoring only six points.

… but Brown might be the biggest X-Factor of them all

The freshman’s trademark scoring ability was on full display. Brown shot the ball well from deep and attacked the basket with confidence. Perhaps his best play of the day came in transition when Brown maneuvered through defenders and finished an acrobatic layup.

He’ll be leaned on as a shot-creator in the same vein as Tre Demps and appears to have a substantial role within the offense. If he can continue to score efficiently and in loads against higher-caliber opponents, Brown has the potential to be one of the offense’s most dynamic players.

Other notes

  • Benson looked very raw in the limited action he saw. It’s expected — he is, of course, a freshman — but will need to develop better instincts given the role he is expected to assume.
  • Vic Law (11 points) struggled out of the gate but found a rhythm late. After missing a chain of three-pointers, he finished the game connecting on a pair, hitting a jumper in between.
  • Jordan Ash looks doomed to the bench yet again. Brown figures to run the offense when Bryant McIntosh sits.
  • As for McIntosh, the newly-named captain struggled from beyond the arc, going 0-of-3 and scoring 11. The exhibition offered little evidence that the point guard took the next step, but it’s far too early to worry.

Men’s Basketball: Freshman Rapolas Ivanauskas to miss 2016-17 season

Northwestern freshman forward Rapolas Ivanauskas will miss the 2016-17 men’s basketball season as he recovers from shoulder surgery, the program announced Monday.

In the press release, coach Chris Collins said he expects a full recovery in four to six months. It is likely that Ivanauskas will be redshirted to preserve his four years of eligibility.

Ranked No. 97 in the nation by Rivals in the 2016 recruiting class, the 6-foot-9 Illinois native was the Wildcats’ top rated recruit and was expected to bring a much-needed scoring presence to NU’s frontcourt. After spending three years at Barrington High School and receiving all-state recognition from several outlets following his junior season, Ivanauskas transferred to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire for his senior year.

The loss of the forward depletes NU’s post options as the team looks to replace the production of graduated center Alex Olah. Freshman center Barret Benson is now the only player on roster who stands above 6-foot-8, with sophomore Dererk Pardon, junior Gavin Skelly and senior Nathan Taphorn listed at 6-foot-8.

Men’s Tennis: Zieba, Kirchheimer fall in first round of NCAAs, Shropshire advances

Men’s Tennis: Zieba, Kirchheimer fall in first round of NCAAs, Shropshire advances
(Daily file photo by Daniel Tian)

Junior Sam Shropshire’s run in the NCAA singles tournament will see another day after the junior escaped with a three-set victory in the first round. Teammates Strong Kirchheimer and Konrad Zieba’s respective runs were cut short, though, after straight-set losses.

Shropshire defeated UC-Davis’ Alec Adamson 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-5 — bouncing back from a 4-5 hole in the final set to secure the win. He’ll play TCU’s Cameron Norrie in the second round.

Zieba, the Wildcats’ top-ranked player, fell to Or Ram-Harel of Tulsa 6-2, 6-4. Kirchheimer, who anchored the No. 3 singles spot for NU, lost 6-4, 6-0 to Notre Dame’s Quentin Monaghan.

Morning Roundup: May 25, 2016

Morning Roundup: May 25, 2016
(Daily file photo by Keshia Johnson)

The Daily has you covered as the year draws to a close…

  • Joe Wilkinson recapped the women’s golf team’s heartbreaking loss in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Benjy Apelbaum previewed Sam Shropshire, Strong Kirchheimer and Konrad Zieba’s upcoming NCAA Singles Tournament draw.
  • Robbie Markus looked at what Maddie Lipp and Alex Chatt will look to accomplish on an individual stage.

And here’s a look at Wednesday’s back page: back

Northwestern to host Wake Forest in ACC-Big Ten Challenge

Northwestern to host Wake Forest in ACC-Big Ten Challenge
(Daily file photo by Daniel Tian)

The Wildcats are scheduled to face Wake Forest in the 2016 ACC-Big Ten Challenge, CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reported Monday.

The annual series pits teams from each conference against each other over the course of a weekend. Northwestern faced Virginia Tech in the 2015 incarnation and beat the Hokies 81-79 in overtime.

The matchup against Wake Forest adds to a developing non-conference schedule that will feature contests against Butler and Dayton, as well an opportunity to participate in the Legends Classic, a four-team early season tournament also featuring Colorado, Notre Dame and Texas.

Morning Roundup: May 11, 2016

Morning Roundup: May 11, 2016
(Daily file photo by Jacob Swan)

Northwestern’s sports seasons have hit a lull before their respective finales, but The Daily still has plenty of content to keep you busy:

  • Joe Wilkinson penned the latest entry in the Curtain Call series, a feature about Josh Jamieson and his career with the men’s golf team.
  • Northwestern President Morton Schapiro talked Wildcats football, reflecting on the 2015 campaign and looking ahead to 2016.
  • The recently-drafted Dan Vitale went retro in regards to his role with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

And here’s a look at Wednesday’s back page:

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Arvid Swan earns regional honor

Northwestern men’s tennis coach Arvid Swan has been named the ITA Midwest Region Coach of the Year after guiding the Cats to a top-16 ranking and a program-high 24 regular-season wins.

Since Swan joined the program at the helm in 2008, it has consistently been on the rise.

NU has enjoyed incredible depth this season, but the team has also made a noticeable jump from last year’s campaign. In particular, junior Konrad Zieba has emerged as a national powerhouse, while freshman Ben Vandixhorn has been a consistent threat at the bottom of the singles lineup.

The team suffered just three losses in dual play and fell to Illinois in the Big Ten Tournament. The Cats enter the NCAA Tournament as a regional host and a favorite to advance to the main tournament site.

UPDATE: Assistant coach Chris Klingemann has also earned ITA honors. Klingemann was named the Midwest Region Assistant of the Year in addition to Swan’s Coach of the Year award. Klingemann is in his fifth year coaching with the Cats.

Morning Roundup: May 4, 2016

Morning Roundup: May 4, 2016
(Source: Gary Prior)

The Northwestern softball team is entering its final road stretch in dire need of a few wins to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Melissa Haniff previewed the Cats’ upcoming slate.

In other news…

  • Tyler VanderMolen dove into the professional career of former NU golf star Matt Fitzpatrick, who participated in the Masters last month.
  • Garrett Jochnau wrote about Northwestern men’s tennis retaining its top-16 rank and earning the right to host the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
  • Ben Pope previewed the baseball team’s final opportunity to secure a win over cross-town rival UIC.
  • Lacrosse star Selena Lasota earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors after a career-high 8 goals.
  • The Women’s tennis team also earned themselves an NCAA Tournament bid and will face Ole Miss in their first round matchup.

And here’s a look at Wednesday’s back page:

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Wildcats’ women’s tennis team receives NCAA Tournament bid

Wildcats’ women’s tennis team receives NCAA Tournament bid
(Daily file photo by Lauren Duquette)

The Wildcats received their 18th-consecutive NCAA Tournament berth, the NCAA announced on Tuesday. Ranked No. 30 in the nation, the Cats (13-10, 10-1 Big Ten) draw No. 42 Ole Miss (13-11, 3-10 SEC) in the first round, which will be hosted by North Carolina and will be played on Friday, May 13.

A first-round victory would pit Northwestern against the winner of No. 3 North Carolina and East Tennessee State in a second-round duel, also hosted by the Tar Heels. Subsequent matches will be played in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Northwestern has advanced to the tournament’s Round of 16 in 12 of their last 17 berths, and to the national quarterfinals three times.

Bryant McIntosh invited to Stephen Curry’s basketball camp

Northwestern sophomore guard Bryant McIntosh was invited to join NBA MVP Stephen Curry to help out at Curry’s SC30 Select basketball camp, according to a video he tweeted out Tuesday afternoon.

The camp is intended to help a select number of elite high school guards hone their skills. McIntosh previously assisted Curry with instruction last year.

In the video, Curry also congratulates McIntosh on a great season and says that the Wildcats guard — in tandem with coach Chris Collins — have NU on the “up-and-up and in line to do some great things next year.”