This is the first in a series of posts about the players leaving and joining Chicago's college basketball teams. Obviously, for some schools, like DePaul, it will still be awhile before the final hit to the roster is established. For Northwestern though, it is a pretty clear cut case.
- Drew Crawford (photo) - A 6'5" swingman from nearby Naperville Central, Crawford was recruited by Wake Forest, Oklahoma State, UIC and DePaul. He chose Northwestern because of the academics and his comfort level with head coach Bill Carmody and assistant coach Tavaras Hardy. I saw Crawford play at the Chicago High School Classic and was impressed by his size and court awareness. He played a good all-around game. Crawford is the type of player that can play the wing in the Princeton offense and play anywhere in the 1-3-1 or 2-3 match-up zone defenses. Crawford is going to need to make an impact early in his career, but he seems to understand his role. In a recent feature in The Daily Northwestern Carmody said about Crawford, "He's going to be a pretty good player for us. He's one of the better guys that we have brought in." (Scout Profile, Rivals Profile)
- Alex Marcotullio - A classic shooting guard, Marcotullio is what people think of when they think Northwestern. He should eventually fill in well for the departed Craig Moore. Marcotullio is from De Le Salle Collegiate High School in Warren, Mich. It is interesting to note that while Rivals and Scout consider Marcotullio a two-star prospect, Scouts Inc. rates Marcotullio as a touch better than Crawford at 87 versus 86 overall. (Scout Profile, Rivals Profile)
- Craig Moore - Moore is Northwestern's all-time leader in three-point attempts and makes. He was second on the team last season with a .406 three-point percentage. (Michael Thompson shot .417 on fewer than half as many attempts.) Moore was also the leader in free-throw percentage at .794. The loss of his 14.3 points per game and veteran leadership will be felt throughout the Northwestern lineup. There were games last season when Moore seemed to will the Wildcats back into the contest with unbelievable threes. Next season it will have to be Thompson or John Shurna taking and, more importantly, making those shots.
- Sterling Williams - The loss of Williams will be felt more in the locker room than on the court. Williams was a veteran presence who did his best to quietly fit into the plans of coach Carmody and the Wildcats last season. He appeared in 28 games and scored 25 total points. When on the court Williams was one of Northwestern's better ball-handlers. He was typically used as a defensive stopper when Jeremy Nash or Thompson was in foul trouble.