Jeremiah Kreisberg talks NU commitment

Jeremiah Kreisberg talks about his decision to commit to Northwestern.

In his freshman year at Yale, Jeremiah Kreisberg showed endless promise. The Berkeley, Calif. native averaged 7.2 points and 4.5 rebounds on 56 percent shooting.

Next season, in 2011-12, the number spiked again. He dropped 7.7 points and 5.1 rebounds with an 80 percent clip from the line.

Then everything collapsed. He went through a "pretty bad back injury" and failed to return to Yale at full strength. His numbers dropped to 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds.

Worse, Kreisberg re-tweaked his back before his senior year—and needed to redshirt the entire campaign. When he hit the transfer market this offseason, few schools took notice.

But Northwestern never sleeps. The Wildcats coaching staff zeroed in on Kreisberg and landed their desired fifth-year transfer.

"I'm 100 percent healthy," Kreisberg told on Friday morning. "I'm going to get back to where I'm supposed to be."

Kreisberg landed smoothly, joining a frontcourt that badly needs him. Without departing senior Nikola Cerina, the Wildcats' only frontcourt players were junior Alex Olah and freshman Gavin Skelly.

Better, this young team could use an infusion of senior leadership from Kreisberg. He's experienced just about everything in his college career, with Northwestern the logical stop.

"I have leadership on defense. They need four-year players, and senior leadership is a big thing because they're going to have five freshmen," Kreisberg said.

So a couple of weeks ago, Northwestern discovered its mutual interest with Kreisberg. Last week, the staff visited to watch him play, and apparently liked what they saw.

With one year of eligibility, though, Kreisberg needed to be convinced of their focus on competing this season. After opening his career with a 14-19 record, Collins found the perfect example in his conference. Nebraska made the NCAA Tournament in its second year with coach Tim Miles, and NU could do the same if its young players mature quickly.

"They definitely expect the postseason," he said. "That's one thing he mentioned to me. They definitely have a ‘win now' mentality."

Focused as always, Northwestern may have taken another step to getting there.

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