Northwestern Wildcats

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Northwestern finds new home for 2017-18

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Northwestern has found a temporary home while its arena undergoes a nine-figure renovation.

The Wildcats will play the 2017-18 season at Allstate Arena, about 15 miles west of Evanston, Ill. in Rosemont, the school announced Tuesday.

“We are excited to partner with Allstate Arena to host Northwestern men’s basketball games during the 2017-18 season while Welsh-Ryan Arena is undergoing its renovation,” Northwestern vice president for athletics and recreation Jim Phillips said in a statement. “The venue has a rich college basketball tradition in the Chicagoland area. I know that our fans will enjoy cheering on our team at Allstate Arena during what will be an exciting season.”

Allstate Arena previously had been home to DePaul, which is moving into its own new building this year. Capacity is around 18,000 for basketball.

Northwestern had its best season under coach Chris Collins last year, going 20-12 overall and 8-10 in the Big Ten.

The renovation to Welsh-Ryan Arena will bring the building – which opened in 1952 and last renovated in 1983 – into the 21st century by replacing wood bleachers, widening concourses, adding concessions, improving arena technology and adding new locker rooms at the cost of at least $110 million.

Construction is slated to begin in spring of 2017 and be completed in the fall of 2018.

VIDEO: Northwestern’s four-part summer series

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Northwestern released a unique four-part look into its summer preparation for its trip overseas.

“The Foundation” follows head coach Chris Collins and the Wildcats as they were followed by cameras throughout the summer in a Hard Knocks-style format. The videos include footage of the start of summer practices, the team’s summer workouts, some off-the-court looks at the team and concluding with the team’s trip to Spain.

The four videos combined total a little over 22 minutes and it offers an up-close look at being a Big Ten player during a summer where an exhibition trip is included.

You can view all four videos here:

POSTERIZED: Northwestern’s Scottie Lindsey dunks on a defender on team’s foreign trip (VIDEO)

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Many colleges have already started fall semester, but Northwestern is still on an overseas trip in Spain thanks to the school being on trimesters and starting later.

The trip is a big one for a young Wildcat roster that needs all the experience they can get before a crucial Big Ten season. Sophomore wing Scottie Lindsey is one of the players Northwestern is hoping makes a leap during the 2015-16 season and he showed a positive flash in a win this weekend with a poster dunk over a defender.

The Wildcats finish the trip in Spain with one more game.

Joey van Zegeren’s three alley-oop dunks in the third quarter highlight Northwestern’s win

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Northwestern turned a seven-point halftime lead into a rout, defeating UCAM Murcia II, 94-54, in the third game of the team’s tour of Spain.

The Wildcats outscored UCAM Murcia II 32-11 in the third quarter with Joey van Zegeren, the transfer forward, finishing three alley-oop dunks.

Those dunks resulted in half of van Zegeren’s offense output, finishing with a dozen points. The 6-foot-10 forward from the Netherlands spent his first three seasons at Virginia Tech, but decided to enroll at Northwestern as a graduate transfer. He averaged 9.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in a shortened 2014-15 season with the Hokies after being suspended in early January

Scottie Lindsey finished with a game-high 20 points. The team’s top returning scorer, Tre Demps, added 18 points while freshman forward Aaron Falzon scored in double figures for the third straight game.

The Wildcats are 1-1 on the tour so far, which continues on Saturday in Barcelona against CB Tarragona.

Northwestern adds four-star Class of 2016 center to recruiting class

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Northwestern landed a big commitment on Monday night as in-state, four-star big man Barret Benson pledged to the Wildcats. The 6-foot-9 Benson hails from the Chicago suburb of Willowbrook and attends Hinsdale South High School.

Under head coach Chris Collins, the Wildcats have made recruiting the Chicagoland area a major priority and Benson is one of two top-five local prospects in the Illinois Class of 2016 to commit to Northwestern. With quality high-major big men lacking in the Midwest in the class, the Wildcats were able to pounce on two local big men who have a chance to become quality additions with some seasoning.

Benson is the third commitment for Northwestern in the Class of 2016, joining in-state three-star forward Rapolas Ivanauskas and three-star point guard Isiah Brown. Regarded as the No. 108 prospect in the Class of 2016, according to Rivals, Benson plays for the Illinois Wolves and averaged 6.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game this spring. A fundamentally sound big man, Benson won’t do too much to blow anyone away athletically, but he knows his limitations and his skill level has improved every year of high school.

Three-star 2016 point guard commits to Northwestern

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Having already landed one verbal commitment in the Class of 2016, Northwestern head coach Chris Collins and his staff landed a second on Sunday. 6-foot-2 point guard Isiah Brown has verbally committed to the Big Ten program according to Scott Phillips of

Brown, a native of Seattle who also held an offer from Washington, joins forward Rapolas Ivanauskas in Northwestern’s 2016 class to date.

Brown, who attends Lakeside HS in Seattle and plays for the Team Bradley NW Panthers program on the adidas Gauntlet circuit, was offered by Northwestern in late-April according to Wildcat Digest. Among the reasons for his interest in Northwestern at the time of the offer were the academics and the fact that there’s room to make history in a program that has yet to reach the NCAA tournament.

Then [Brown and Collins] discussed the direction of the program. Brown sees the Big Ten as possibly the best conference in the country, and he had watched the Wildcats play this year. Like most recruits, the most obvious fact was the school’s lack of an NCAA Tournament berth. But that became a positive.

“[They] haven’t had the kind of success that Coach Collins is accustomed to,” Brown said of Northwestern. “He’s definitely there to make changes and make history, and that’s something that’s also really unique about the situation. It’s intriguing.”

In adidas Gauntlet play Brown’s performed well, averaging 20.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists per contest, shooting 41.1 percent from the field and 51 percent from beyond the arc. Along with sophomore guard Daejon Davis, Brown helped lead Lakeside HS to a fourth-place finish in the Washington Class 3A state tournament, and his 78 points over three games tied a 3A state tournament record set by current Cal guard Ahmaad Rorie in 2013.

With Northwestern losing rising senior Tre Demps at the end of the 2015-16 season, Brown gives the Wildcats another piece on the perimeter alongside the likes of rising sophomores Bryant McIntosh, Scottie Lindsey and Vic Law IV and incoming freshman Jordan Ash.