In the weeks leading up to the 2017-18 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing its preview series breaking down each Big Ten team. These will come in a set of series previewing the overall team, the team’s backcourt, wings, and big men, and the team’s schedule. Each post will take a look at its top in-depth and give predictions on the upcoming season.
Today's edition of the 'BTPowerhouse Preview Series' will take a look at the wings for Northwestern. The Wildcats lost two wings to graduation, but have depth and return their star Vic Law.
'BTPowerhouse Preview'- Northwestern Wings
- 2016-'17 All-Big Ten Qualifiers: Vic Law
- Departures: Nathan Taphorn, Sanjay Lumpkin
- Additions: Rapolas Ivanauskas (Redshirted last season due to injury)
- Top Player: Vic Law
Northwestern loses their “glue guy,” as Chris Collins called him, in Sanjay Lumpkin. He was a defensive and post specialist for the Northwestern Wildcats. They also lose Nathan Taphorn, a reserve three-point specialist, who started a few games last year when Scottie Lindsey was out with mono. Vic Law is the star of the wings and he will continue to be in his redshirt junior season. The wings go as Law goes and he will continue to play a major role in the success of Northwestern this season.
Vic Law is a lock for one of the wing spots and it is expected that Aaron Falzon will take the starting role beside him. Falzon started all 32 games his freshman year in place of Vic Law when he underwent surgery. Last season, It was assumed that Falzon would come off the bench, but he missed the whole season due to an ACL tear in his knee.
Falzon impressed in his freshman season. He’s a catch and shoot player and can absolutely make opposing players regret leaving him open when he’s behind the three point line. What will be important to see is Falzon’s defense and how he adjusts to his role alongside Vic Law and Dererk Pardon.
Gavin Skelly, the veteran senior, is most-likely to be the first player off the bench this season. Last year, in non-conference play, he looked as though he could contend for Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year. However, he was plagued by fouls in conference play and had a difficult time.
Rapolas Ivanauskas, a redshirt freshman who missed last season due to injury, will also compete for minutes off the bench. From his high school film, it seems that Ivanauskas is great at attacking the rim and can be a driving present. His skill set looks like it is a mix of Law and Lumpkin, which will be helpful for Northwestern.
Scottie Lindsey played on the wing his freshman and sophomore year and could be a candidate to do so again at times. If Anthony Gaines plays alongside Bryant McIntosh in the backcourt, Lindsey can slide over to the wing.
Northwestern has depth at the wings this year, which is something they didn’t have as much of last year. In the first full year of all the recruiting classes belonging to Chris Collins and his staff, Northwestern will have added athleticism at the wings and players who will have the opportunity to help Vic Law on the wings.
Northwestern’s wings will need to help Dererk Pardon, Bryant McIntosh and Scottie Lindsey spread the floor to allow for the guards to help create offense.