Weekly Wildcat Watch

This week's Weekly Wildcat Watch is big on predictions. Speculation abounds about where the Wildcats will finish in the Big Ten -- it's none too flattering. Oh, and NU's John Shurna and Team USA won the U19 world title. Articles this week come from Sporting News, South Bend Tribune, ESPN.com and others.

First off, congrats to John Shurna and the U19 Team USA hoops team. Here you'll see that Team USA captured the U19 world basketball title over the weekend, its first U19 title since 1991. The US beat Greece 88-80 in the championship game, although NU's Shurna played the fewest minutes of any American with seven. He had three rebounds, one point and one really goofy picture of himself afterward.

Shurna finished the tournament having played in all nine Team USA games. He averaged 12.2 minutes and six points, shooting 68.4 percent from the floor, 33.3 percent from downtown and averaging 3.9 rebounds. He also averaged .7 blocks, including four swats against Canada.

This is a column from Sporting News about the triumph.

Switching to football, this is an article by someone named Jimmy Boyd, who authors a Web site called Locksmith Sports – basically a betting site. In the piece, Boyd talks offers up some predictions about NU's season, including a sixth-place finish in the Big Ten.

This is a good one from the Detroit News, looking at various preseason publications that are out right now and breaking down how each one predicts the Big Ten. Suffice it to say people aren't giving NU much respect heading into the season. The Wildcats, for example, rank ninth in the Sporting News, Phil Steele and Yahoo polls, and sixth in Athlon. Doesn't seem like anyone has them much higher than that.

I don't quite understand why this article was published. Or rather, I don't understand why it was published in the South Bend Tribune, nor why it was published this week instead of 13 years ago. Anyhow, the piece takes a look back at Pat Fitzgerald's tenure as a player and at the Wildcats' 1995 and 1996 seasons.

The Chicago Now blog has a wannabe Weekly Wildcat Watch in which the author, you know, looks around the Web and finds Northwestern news. Including this one from Purple Reign.

The blog is fine, although when linking to Purple Reign's article about Josh Gasser, the writer misspelled Gasser's last name. Inexcusable.

Josh Gosser is a two-sport athlete that will be putting away the football cleats after this fall to concentrate on playing basketball.

This blog entry by ESPN.com's Bill Kurelic talks about the Cats nabbing Chi Chi Ariguzo, an Ohio linebacker who became Northwestern's sixth commit this week. The Columbus native is 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, and chose NU over Kansas, Illinois, West Virginia, Boston College, Wisconsin, Minnesota and a few others.

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