So here we go again. Another season with high hopes for NU hoops. This time things are a little different as the so called "NU Era" has begun under new coach Chris Collins. I was a little nervous about a guy with no head coaching experience taking over a Big Ten job (and I guess to some extent I still am) but Collins seems very popular with players and other NU students and the team certainly played hard. Plus, the students showed up for a non conference game vs a directional school most couldn't even locate on a map. So outside of basketball a ton of good things happened today.
In regards to basketball some good things happened as well. Most importantly we saw the return of Drew Crawford. He led NU in scoring and rebounding with 25 points and 11 rebounds. That's a great night, but it's also the type of night Crawford is more than capable of putting up on any given night and NU will need such nights if they're going to win consistently this year.
Three other returnees made big impacts for NU as well. JerShon Cobb had at least eight assists and seemed to consistently find open shooters as he drove into the lane. That ability to get into the lane and pass out to a shooter will be a staple of the NU Era's offense so the fact Cobb is so adapt at it is huge. One of the guys Cobb passed to several times was Sanjay Lumpkin. He's not known as a shooter but he knocked down several shots today. Plus, it's hard to know all that much about a guy who sat out all but four game last season. Nikola Cerina also saw more time on the court tonight than it seemed like he did all of last year after an early season ankle injury. I think his size and physical play and think it'll be a huge factor vs power-conference teams.