NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22:  Scottie Lindsey #20 of the Northwestern Wildcats puts up a layup against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the first half during the championship game of the Legends Classic at Barclays Center on November 22, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Northwestern leading scorer Scottie Lindsey out against Purdue with illness

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Northwestern leading scorer Scottie Lindsey will miss time due to an illness, the team announced on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-5 junior will miss the Purdue game at the very least as the Wildcats try to remain in the Big Ten race.

Attempting to make its first NCAA tournament in school history, the Wildcats will have to play without Lindsey and they’ll also likely be without senior Nathan Taphorn against Purdue after an ankle injury in the win over Indiana.

Without Lindsey and Taphorn, Northwestern is missing two of its biggest perimeter threats and that could make things a lot tougher for their offense.

Lindsey is averaging 15.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

Johnnie Vasser files antitrust lawsuit against Northwestern, NCAA over transfer rules

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 12: Johnnie Vassar #0 of the Northwestern Wildcats goes up for a shot against James Blackmon Jr. #1 of the Indiana Hoosiers during the second round of the 2015 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at the United Center on March 12, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Indiana defeated Northwestern 71-56. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Former Northwestern guard Johnnie Vassar has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Northwestern and the NCAA, claiming that the NCAA’s transfer rules are in violation of federal antitrust laws.

Included in the lawsuit is an allegation the Northwestern coaching staff tried to ‘run him off’, a practice of making life miserable enough for a player that he opts to transfer out of the program. It’s done to free up a scholarship. Division I college programs are limited to offering 13 scholarship.

Vassar played for the Wildcats during the 2014-15 season and tallied 70 total minutes, scoring 15 points in his career. His suit was filed on Nov. 14, 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The suit wants to change the NCAA’s rules that force players to sit out a season after transferring instead of allowing them to immediately play without losing athletic eligibility.

“In a competitive market free of the NCAA and its members restraint, these athletes would be allowed to transfer without restriction, particularly where, as in this case, their current coach no longer wants their services and ‘runs them off,’” the complaint said.

Vassar’s claims against Northwestern about trying to be run off are also included in the complaint. Vassar is claiming that Northwestern didn’t want him on scholarship so they tried to get him to sign a blank “Roster Deletion” form where he would voluntarily withdraw from the team. Vassar says he was also told by the staff to transfer.

Among the claims Vassar makes is he was placed in a team-induced internship where he worked as a janitor instead of being able to play with teammates. The lawsuit also claims that Northwestern falsified timecards to try to create misconduct so they could take away Vassar’s scholarship.

Northwestern announces plans for Welsh-Ryan Arena renovations

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Six years after recommendations were made for the renovations of athletics department facilities on campus, Northwestern revealed the plans for a project that will modernize Welsh-Ryan Arena. The project is estimated to cost more than $110 million, with donors stepping forward to help with the money needed, and it will begin at the end of the 2016-17 basketball season.

Construction will force the men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and wrestling teams to find new homes for the 2017-18 season, with those locations yet to be determined by the school. However the improvements to Welsh-Ryan are much-needed, and when completed will provide the programs with facilities expected to help them compete in the Big Ten. The school hopes to have the work done by the fall of 2018.

Among the changes to be made are chair-back seating throughout the arena, new locker rooms for the men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball programs, and new offices for the men’s and women’s basketball programs.

Illinois, Northwestern part of State Farm Chicago Legends event

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Thursday afternoon another in-season event was announced, with Big Ten programs Illinois and Northwestern being two of the four participants. The State Farm Chicago Legends event will be played for the first time December 17 at the United Center, with BYU and Dayton making the trip to Chicago as well.

The Cougars facing Illinois in one game and Dayton playing Northwestern in the other matchup.

Of the four teams only Dayton reached the NCAA tournament last season, and with most of their rotation returning Archie Miller’s Flyers are expected to do so once again in 2016-17. BYU, even with the loss of Kyle Collinsworth and Chase Fischer, should also be an NCAA tournament team with Nick Emery returning for his sophomore season and he’ll be joined by the likes of forward Eric Mika and guard T.J. Haws (both return from LDS missions).

Illinois will look to rebound from a disappointing season that included injuries (Tracy Abrams’ ruptured Achilles) and disciplinary issues. Malcolm Hill, one of the Big Ten’s top scorers, will be back to lead the way. And Northwestern will continue its quest for the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament bid, with a promising rotation that includes point guard Bryant McIntosh, small forward Vic Law IV and forward Dererk Pardon.

No. 17 Purdue outlasts Northwestern 71-61 in rugged game

Northwestern guard Bryant McIntosh (30) drives between Purdue guard Johnny Hill (1) and guard Ryan Cline (14) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in West Lafayette, Ind., Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) A.J. Hammons had 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Johnny Hill added a season-high 15 points to help No. 17 Purdue get past Northwestern 71-61 on Tuesday night.

The Boilermakers (21-6, 9-5 Big Ten) have not lost consecutive games this season.

Northwestern (17-10, 5-9) was led by Tre Demps with 16 points and Bryant McIntosh, who had 14 points and four assists. The Wildcats have lost seven of nine overall and five straight on the road.

Hammons had 11 points and eight rebounds in the first half as the Boilermakers saw a 12-point lead cut to 35-27.

Northwestern got as close as 39-35 in the second half, but Purdue got consecutive 3-pointers from Ryan Cline and Hill to spur a 10-2 run that made it 64-50 with 4:39 left. After that, Northwestern couldn’t get closer than seven.

The Wildcats struggled all game.

They missed their first eight shots, couldn’t make 3s and couldn’t match up with the bigger Boilermakers. And then they got into deep foul trouble.

Somehow, though, they managed to keep it close.

Purdue opened the game with eight straight points and strung together two 6-0 runs in the first half but led just 27-15.

When Northwestern closed out the half with a three-point play from McIntosh and a 3 from Demps, they trailed by eight. The comeback continued in the second half and when Gavin Skelly made one of two free throws with 15:58 left, the deficit was just four.

But the Boilermakers steadied themselves and used the late run to finally pull away.


How tough was the shooting? Purdue shot 38.3 percent from the field and was 4 of 13 from 3-point range. Northwestern shot 56 percent in the second half to improve its overall shooting percentage to 44.6 and was 6 of 27 from beyond the arc.


Northwestern: Fell to 5-8 when it fails to make at least nine 3-pointers. …. The Wildcats are 5-39 at Mackey Arena. … Northwestern was called for 26 fouls. Purdue 11. … Alex Olah had 12 points and two rebounds in 21 minutes.

Purdue: Improved to 15-1 at home and can tie the season record for wins (16) at Mackey Arena against No. 6 Maryland on Feb. 27. … After losing the rebounding battle for the first time this season on Saturday, the Boilermakers had a 45-24 advantage Tuesday. … Purdue had a 24-18 scoring edge in the paint but was outscored 12-8 in the second half.


Northwestern visits Michigan on Feb. 24.

Purdue visits No. 22 Indiana on Saturday.

No. 12 Michigan State makes 16 3s, beats Northwestern 76-45

Michigan State guard Denzel Valentine drives against Northeastern during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Boston Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) Denzel Valentine made five of Michigan State’s season-high 16 3-pointers and the 12th-ranked Spartans clamped down on cold-shooting Northwestern for a 76-45 victory Thursday night.

Valentine finished with 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds as the Spartans (18-4, 5-4 Big Ten) beat the Wildcats for the seventh straight time. Matt McQuaid scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half, and freshman Deyonta Davis had eight points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots.

Northwestern (15-7, 3-6) shot a season-low 20.7 percent from the field in its fourth consecutive loss. It finished with more free throws (17) than field goals (12).

Bryant McIntosh had 14 points on 4-for-15 shooting for the Wildcats, and Aaron Falzon finished with 11 points. Redshirt senior Tre Demps was 2 for 14 from the field, missing each of his seven 3-point attempts.

Valentine scored 14 points in the first half, and then focused on more of a distributing role as the Spartans pulled away in the second half.

Northwestern closed to 41-29 on Alex Olah’s two free throws with 16:44 left, but Michigan State responded with a 13-2 run. McQuaid had the final 11 points of the spurt, including three 3s – two of them coming off passes from Valentine.

It just got worse from there for the Wildcats, with little-used Matt Van Dyk giving the Spartans their biggest lead of the game with a fast-break dunk in the final seconds. Michigan State shot 51 percent (28 for 55) from the field, including its 16-for-26 night from long range.


Michigan State: Valentine’s 3-pointer with 8:06 left in the second half moved him past Julius McCoy (1,377) for No. 23 on the school’s career scoring list. … The Spartans’ previous season high was 12 3-pointers in a 78-35 victory over Maryland-Eastern Shore on Dec. 9.

Northwestern: The Wildcats have one game left in their first stretch of four straight against ranked opponents since the 1989-90 season. They take on No. 3 Iowa on Sunday. … Northwestern went 17 for 19 from the free-throw line, compared to 4 for 4 for the Michigan State.


Michigan State: hosts Rutgers on Sunday.

Northwestern: visits No. 3 Iowa on Sunday.

Jay Cohen can be reached at