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Northwestern Continues To Finalize Its Roster For Next Season

As the Wildcats approach double-digit days until the start of the 2017-2018 season, we look at news and notes of the Wildcats heading in to the season.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Gonzaga vs Northwestern Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past few weeks, Northwestern Wildcats men’s basketball has finished summer school and participated in summer workouts.

What else has been going on in Evanston?

Here is a run down:

-Jersey Numbers and Changes Announced:

-Anthony Gaines: #11

Incoming freshman Anthony Gaines will wear #11 for Northwestern in his first season. The number 11 was previously worn by Reggie Hear, who played for Northwestern from 2009-2013. Gaines will compete for minutes in the back court behind expected starters Bryant McIntosh and Scottie Lindsay, as well as Isiah Brown, Jordan Ash and walk-on guard Tino Malnati.

-A.J Turner: #21

A.J Turner, a transfer from Boston College, will wear number 21 this season. He will sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules. The number 11 was previously worn by Tino Malnati, who redshirted last season. Prior to that, it was worn by Ivan Peljusic from 2007-2011.

-Tino Malnati: #33

Malnati, a walk-on guard who redshirted last season, will switch to the number 33 for the upcoming season. The number 33 was last worn by Matt Steger, who played for Northwestern from 2007-2010. Malnati will be eligible to play this season after deciding to redshirt his true freshman season. Malnati is the grandson of Lou Malnati, who started the famous pizza restaurant in Chicago.

-Rapolas Ivanauskas and Aaron Falzon Cleared to Play

Per Jon Rothstein on Twitter, Aaron Falzon and Rapolas Ivanauskas have both been fully cleared to practice and play in the upcoming 2017-2018 season.

This is great news for Northwestern. After losing sophomore Aaron Falzon to a knee injury early on in the season, it will be great for Chris Collins and his staff to have Falzon back playing. Falzon was granted a medical redshirt from the NCAA for the 2016-2017 season. Falzon appeared in three games in the 2016-2017 season. He came off the bench in each and totaled 20 minutes of playing time before undergoing season-ending knee surgery.

Falzon had an impressive freshman season, starting 29 out of 32 games on the year. He was a three-point shooting specialist and shot 35% from beyond the arc. With the departure of Sanjay Lumpkin and his starting experience, Falzon should start alongside Vic Law on the wing this season.

Ivanauskas tore his labrum in the offseason and underwent season-ending surgery before the 2016-2017 season began. Ivanauskas is a local product out of Barrington, Illinois but spent his senior season at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. With the departures of Nathan Taphorn and Sanjay Lumpkin to graduation, Ivanauskas should see plenty of minutes on the wing this year. He will be competing with rising senior Gavin Skelly for minutes.

-Bryant McIntosh Named to Top 50 Players List by The Big Lead

Bryant McIntosh, the senior guard and leader of the Northwestern Wildcats, was named #26 out of 50 on the top 50 college basketball player list by The Big Lead. McIntosh sits just outside of the top 25 players.

McIntosh has been a leader for Northwestern since stepping on campus his freshman year. Although he did not shoot the ball as well last season, he lead the Wildcats to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. With the losses of Tre Demps, Alex Olah to graduation, and illness to Scottie Lindsey mid-season, McIntosh was asked to do a lot this past season. He finished his junior year by scoring 45 points in two NCAA Tournament games, including the winning free throws in the first game against Vanderbuilt.

If you aren’t on the Bryant McIntosh train, you’ve got 99 days to join.