Drew Crawford will play his final year at Northwestern

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Good news is rare for the poor Northwestern Wildcats. Every year partisans get excited, hoping for the school’s first-ever NCAA tourney berth, and every year, the rising tide of the Big Ten swamps the purple and white.

Hard to say what’s in store for Northwestern next year, but we do know one thing: they’ll have Drew Crawford back to bring some excitement to Chris Collins’ first season as the team’s head coach. The senior wing player got off to a good start this past season – averaging 13.5 points per game – before he suffered a torn labrum and had to end his season early.

The hardworking upperclassman made good use of his time off the court and earned his degree, so he could have used the graduate transfer rule to play one last season elsewhere. Apparently, the advent of the Chris Collins era in Evanston is something Crawford wants to witness.

The Wildcats will need Crawford’s steady leadership if they hope to contend in a league that’s just getting tougher. Crawford’s decision to stick around seems like a pretty good sign that Collins can attract and keep some talent at Northwestern as well.

Hope springs eternal.

North Carolina to wear black jerseys December 19 vs. UCLA

UNC Athletic Communications
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While there have been some alterations made to North Carolina’s basketball uniforms over the years, there haven’t been too many drastic shifts. Of course there was the move to the Alexander Julian-designed argyle print during the 1990’s, and there were also those jerseys in 1999 that had the interlocking “NC” logo as opposed to “North Carolina” on the front.

Friday the program announced a major uniform change for its game against UCLA December 19 in Brooklyn. North Carolina will be wearing black jerseys for the first time in school history. Senior guard Marcus Paige showed off the new look to his teammates, and it’s safe to say that they’re happy with the new uniforms.

Traditionalists probably won’t like the uniforms, and that’s fine. Changes such as these tend to focus more on the younger crowd (especially recruits), which in some instances like the status that can come with having something that’s both new and exclusive.

Villanova forward to undergo hip surgery

Jay Wright
Associated Press
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Two-time defending Big East champion Villanova will be down a man in its front court, as the program announced Friday that freshman forward Tim Delaney will undergo hip surgery. According to the release a torn labrum in Delaney’s left hip is the reason for the surgery, and it has yet to be determined how long the freshman will be sidelined.

“I’m disappointed for Tim,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said in the release. “Tim had a great summer and preseason. He’s a very coachable young man and was picking up everything we do. The good news is that the doctors tell us this is an injury that can be fixed and we know Tim will be fully committed to his rehab.”

Villanova’s front court rotation will be led by senior Daniel Ochefu, who averaged 9.2 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game in 2014-15. Junior Darryl Reynolds and sophomore Kris Jenkins will also see minutes in the front court, with redshirt freshman guard/forward Mikal Bridges factoring into the competition as well.

Villanova also has Fordham transfer Eric Paschall, but he isn’t eligible to compete in games this season.