At a Glance: Northwestern

A closer look at Illinois next opponent -- the Northwestern Wildcats.

No. 23 Illinois (13-3, 2-1) at Northwestern (7-9, 0-3)
Sunday, Jan. 12, 6:30 pm CST - Evanston, Ill. - Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,117)
Big Ten Network - Eric Collins, PBP & Mike Kelley, analyst

Notes (per Northwestern sports info):

- Shooting star: Drew Crawford is the Big Ten's active leading scorer with 1,654 career points. The total ranks fifth in school history and is 35 points behind Michael Thompson (2008-11) for fourth place. Crawford missed most of last season due to injury and returned in the season-opener against Eastern Illinois, hitting five 3-pointers and scoring a game-high 25 points. The point total was the highest by a Wildcat in a season-opener since John Shurna scored 31 in a victory at Northern Illinois Nov. 12, 2010. Crawford ranks 12th in the Big Ten in scoring (15.9 ppg) and seventh in rebounding (6.9 rpg).

- On target: Northwestern sophomore center Alex Olah has been extremely accurate from the field over the team's first three Big Ten games. Against Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, Olah has shot a combined 16 for 22 (72.7 percent), including 16 for 19 on two-point attempts. Included in the start was a 10-for-14 effort from the field vs. Wisconsin en route to a career-best 23-point performance. Overall this season, Olah ranks fourth in the conference, shooting 57.7 percent. As a freshman, Olah shot 41.5 percent from the field.

- Double your pleasure: When Drew Crawford (26 points, 10 rebounds) and Sanjay Lumpkin (13 points, 10 rebounds) both posted double-doubles against Mississippi Valley State Dec. 16, it marked the first time that Northwestern teammates posted double-doubles in the same game since John Shurna (21 points, 13 rebounds) and Luka Mirkovic (11 points, 11 rebounds) accomplished the feat in a 53-44 win over Texas-Pan American Jan. 7, 2010.

- Boost off the bench: Tre Demps has provided Northwestern with some scoring punch off the bench so far this season. The redshirt sophomore is averaging 9.9 points per game, including scoring in double figures eight times. Demps posted a career-best 23-point performance against DePaul Dec. 27. The point total was the highest in a game by a Northwestern player off the bench since Cedric Neloms scored 25 vs. Ohio State on Feb. 10, 1993.

Probable starters:
Dave Sobolewski: G, 6-1, Jr. - 7.1 ppg, 3.3 apg
Jershon Cobb: G, 6-4, RJr. - 12.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg
Sanjay Lumpkin: F, 6-5, RFr. - 4.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg
Drew Crawford: F, 6-5, RSr. - 15.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg
Alex Olah: C, 7-0, So. - 9.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg

Off the bench:
Tre Demps: G, 6-2, RSo. - 9.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg
Kale Abrahamson: F, 6-7, So. - 4.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Nathan Taphorn: F, 6-7, Fr. - 3.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg

Series history:
Series record: Illinois leads 130-38
Series streak: Illinois W1
Record @ Evanston: Illinois leads 60-24
Series streak @ Evanston: Illinois W2
Last year's meetings: NU 68, No. 23 ILL 54 (1/17/13 @ Champaign
ILL 62, NU 41 (2/17/13 at Evanston)
Groce vs. Northwestern: 1-1

Fun fact:

Theodore Roosevelt spoke to Northwestern's graduating class in 1893, less than 10 years before he became president. President Barack Obama was the commencement speaker in 2006, three years before he took office.

Notable quotable:

"You look at their defensive statistics, I think those are the things that stuck out to me that are going pretty well. They're affecting field goal percentage in the two-point area. I think their positioning is really good. They've done a good job nationally on he statistical side on the defensive backboard. I think they play to their strengths. I like the stuff offensively. They run a lot of stuff and they execute it well, which is sometimes hard to do in your first year so I've been impressed with that as well." -- Illinois coach John Groce

Northwestern team info:


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