Previewing Northwestern

NC State returns to action tonight at 7:30 against Drew Crawford and Northwestern in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Here is a quick preview of the Wildcats.


    G- 03 Dave Sobelewski 6-1, JR (10.1 ppg, 3.5 apg)
    G- 23 JerShon Cobb 6-5, RJR (15.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg)
    G/F- 01 Drew Crawford 6-5, RSR (14.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg)
    G/F- 34 Sanjay Lumpkin 6-5, R-FR (5.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg)
    C- 22 Alex Olah 7-0, SO (8.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg)

    Drew Crawford -- The Big Ten's active leading scorer (1,518 points), Crawford is expected to return after missing the UCLA game with an injury.

    Northwestern Notables

    One of the highlights of Chris Collins' playing career came against NC State his senior year. On Jan. 18, 1996, Collins' 24-footer bounced on the rim four times before falling through the basket with 5.5 seconds remaining, giving Duke a 71-70 win over the Wolfpack at Reynolds Coliseum.

    JerShon Cobb's jumper with 2.3 seconds remaining in a 63-61 win over IUPUI Nov. 22 marked the first time NU scored the game's decisive points in the final five seconds of a contest when either trailing or tied since John Shurna hit two free throws with 2.6 seconds to go in a 67-66 win at Penn State Feb. 25, 2012.

    It has been quite some time since Northwestern had as large of a margin of victory on the road as it did in at UIC Nov. 20. The 35-point margin was the Wildcats' largest in a true road game since a 77-20 victory at University of Chicago on Jan. 14, 1944.

    Junior guard Dave Sobolewski had the hot hand in a victory over UIC Nov. 20. He scored 17 first-half points en route to tallying a career-best 25 points, knocking down 9 of 14 shots from the field, including four 3-pointers. The effort came one day after Sobolewski's Benet Academy high school teammate Frank Kaminsky set a Wisconsin school record with 43 points against North Dakota. Sobolewski's mark topped his previous best of 23 points achieved as a freshman against Iowa on Feb. 9, 2012.

    Redshirt senior Drew Crawford returned to the Northwestern lineup with a vengeance 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 is the Big Ten's active leading scorer with 1,518 career points. The total ranks 10th in school history and is three points behind Jitim Young (2001-04) for ninth place and 15 behind Cedric Neloms (1992-95) for eighth place.

    Crawford missed the majority of the second half vs. Missouri and the entire game vs. UCLA due to injury.

    After sitting out all of last season, JerShon Cobb has been impressive in his return to the court. He leads Northwestern and ranks 13th in the Big Ten with an average of 15.1 points per game. Cobb handed out a career-high eight assists in the Wildcats' season-opener vs. Eastern Illinois. He followed up the performance by scoring 19 points at Stanford Nov. 14 and then scored 19 again vs. Illinois State Nov. 17. Cobb's 11 free throws and 14 attempts against the Redbirds were both career highs.

    The 14 attempts were the most by a Northwestern player since Jitim Young had 15 vs. Michigan State on March 12, 2004. Cobb also posted a career-best 12 rebounds in a win at UIC Nov. 20 and knocked down the game-winning shot with 2.3 seconds remaining in a 63-61 win over IUPUI Nov. 22. His 22 points vs. Missouri Nov. 28 and again the following day vs. UCLA were two shy of his career high achieved vs. Minnesota on March 8, 2012.

    Redshirt freshman Sanjay Lumpkin has been an effective rebounder so far this season. After grabbing 7 boards at Stanford Nov. 14, Lumpkin notched his first career double-figure rebounding game on Nov. 17 vs. Illinois State. His 11 rebounds were the most by an NU freshman since Drew Crawford had 12 in an NIT game at Rhode Island March 17, 2010. He followed it up with 10 boards at UIC, which coupled with 10 points gave him his first collegiate double-double.

    Lumpkin is the first NU player with double-figure rebounds in consecutive games since Crawford vs. Purdue (10) and at Rhode Island March 12 and 17 of 2010.

    Tre Demps has provided Northwestern with some scoring punch off the bench so far this season. The redshirt sophomore is averaging 9.6 points per game, including scoring in double figures five times in the team's eight games. Demps tallied a season-high 15 points vs. No. 19/21 UCLA Nov. 29.

    When Chris Collins won his debut as head coach with a 72-55 victory over Eastern Illinois on Nov. 9, he became the 17th head coach in program history to debut with a win. Collins is the 24th head coach all-time at Northwestern.

    Northwestern suffered an excruciating string of injuries a year ago that left the squad shorthanded for a large portion of the season. The list of returning Wildcats who were lost for the season at one point or another include Drew Crawford (shoulder), JerShon Cobb (violations of team policy), Sanjay Lumpkin (wrist) and Chier Ajou (knee).

    Northwestern's victory over Eastern Illinois marked its sixth straight victory in a season opener as well as home-opener. The last time the Wildcats dropped their first game of the season was Nov. 11, 2007 when it fell at home to 20th-ranked Stanford, 71-60. NU posted at least seven wins through its first nine games in each of the last five seasons.

    Redshirt senior Drew Crawford and junior Dave Sobolewski have been named the team's captains this season. Crawford also served in the role a year ago. He has appeared in 116 career games, making 115 starts, to date while Sobolewski has started each of the first 70 games of his career.

    Northwestern has two players who have earned postseason honors from the Big Ten. Drew Crawford was a consensus third-team all-league pick as a junior in 2011-12. He also was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick in 2010. In addition, guard Dave Sobolewski earned a Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection in 2011-12. He was the fourth NU player to earn the honor over a seven-year span.

    Northwestern athletics contributed to this report.

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