Northwestern Wildcats


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Arena: Welsh Ryan Arena, Allstate Arena
Coach: Chris Collins


Northwestern Wildcats

Team Summary

Northwestern got off to a hot start to the 2021-22 season as they started 8-2 on the year. Northwestern started to struggle once they got to the Big Ten portion of their schedule as they are 2-5 so far this year in the conference season. They sit at 11th in the conference and will need an undefeated run to end the year if they want to get into the NCAA tournament.

Northwestern does score the ball well as they average 77.6 points per game and only allow 68.0 points per game. The Wildcats grab 38.4 rebounds per game so far this season. The Wildcats move the ball really well as they have dished off 18.2 assists per game and are eighth in the country in that category.

Pete Nance leads the team in scoring this year as he scores 16.6 points per game. Nance also leads the team in rebounds with 7.6 per game and also leads the team in blocks with 1.5 per game. Ryan Young leads the team in field goal percentage as he shoots the ball at a 58.3 percent clip. Boo Buie leads the team in assists with 5.6 per game.

Northwestern Wildcats Standings

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Team History

Northwestern has spent the most of its time in the Big Ten’s bottom half since WWII, despite its early success in the twentieth century. The Wildcats were declared national champions by both the Helms Athletic Foundation and the Premo-Porretta Power Poll in 1930–31, although they have only won one other conference title in 1933.

It has never finished better than fourth place twice since World War II, and it hasn’t won a conference game since 1968. During that time, only the 2003–04 team had a .500 conference record.

On March 1, 2017, the Wildcats won their 10th conference game to earn their first winning Big Ten record in more than half a century. That season, the Wildcats also made their first NCAA Playoff participation, defeating Vanderbilt 68–66 in their first NCAA tournament game. The Wildcats have also competed in the NIT seven times (1983, 1994, 1999, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).

In March 1939, Northwestern hosted the first NCAA tournament in basketball history. Northwestern was one of the original five NCAA Division I schools and the only power conference school to never participate in an NCAA Tournament game before their first participation in 2017. In their first Tournament game, Northwestern beat Vanderbilt 68–66.

2022 Key Stats

Northwestern scores the ball very well, averaging 77.6 points per game while allowing only 68.0 points per game. So far this season, the Wildcats have averaged 38.4 rebounds per game. The Wildcats are quite good at moving the ball, as they average 18.2 assists per game, which ranks them eighth in the country.

This season, Pete Nance leads the program in scoring with 16.6 points per game. Nance also leads the club in rebounds, averaging 7.6 per game and blocks at 1.5 per game. Ryan Young has the highest field goal percentage on the squad, shooting 58.3 percent. With 5.6 assists per game, Boo Buie leads the team.

Championships Won by the Team

Northwestern has never won an NCAA title, and in fact, they have only played in the NCAA tournament one time. Northwestern was dubbed the Premo-Porretta and the Helms NCAA champions in 1931 prior to the NCAA tournament taking place.

Northwestern has won the regular-season conference title on two occasions as they took home the crown in 1931 and 1933. Northwestern has never won the postseason conference tournament. Not March Madness yet, this could be their year.

Important Team Events

Northwestern has a huge rivalry with Illinois and is one of the longest-running rivalries in college basketball. The two teams have met 182 times in their history, and Illinois holds the edge 139-43. Northwestern has really struggled in the matchup with Illinois, and Illinois has two different 16 game win streaks in the series.

Northwestern does not have anything that they do special for their basketball team, but they do have a very good student section that supports them.

Top Players

John Shurna was one of Northwestern’s most talented players. He won the Big Ten scoring championship in 2012 and remains the all-time top scorer. He was named to the All-Big Ten Conference team three times (2010–2nd team; 2011–3rd team coaches/honorable mention media; 2012–1st team) and led Northwestern in various statistical categories. He was named the Most Improved Player by Sporting News in 2010.

He owns a number of Northwestern all-time scoring marks, including single-season and career totals. He was named an honorable mention All-American in the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament by the Associated Press. At 2012 Final Four, he won the State Farm College 3-Point Championship three-point shooting challenge.

When Evan Eschmeyer was finally allowed to see the court, he was another terrific player for Northwestern. He played for the Wildcats for six years (1993-1999), missing the first two due to a foot ailment. He finished with 1,805 points and 995 rebounds in his career.

He helped lead Northwestern to a 15–14 record in 1999, and he led the Wildcats to an NIT bid. His 8th seeded Wildcats came close to defeating the #1 seeded Michigan State Spartans in the 1999 Big Ten Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament but were defeated.

From 1999 through 2003, Eschmeyer appeared in four NBA seasons. From 1999 to 2001, he was a member of the Brooklyn Nets, and from 2001 to 2003, he was a member of the Dallas Mavericks. He scored 2.9 points per game, grabbed 3.9 rebounds, and blocked 0.6 shots per game.

Bryant McIntosh is another Northwestern athlete that has excelled throughout his career. He owns the single-game, single-season, and career assist marks for Northwestern. He earned a second-team All-Big Ten pick in 2017 and guided the 2016–17 Northwestern Wildcats to their first NCAA Tournament appearance.

He was chosen to the 2015 All-Big Ten Freshman team as a freshman for the Northwestern Wildcats in 2014–15. He established the school single-season assist record (213) as a sophomore for the 2015–16 Northwestern Wildcats, surpassing Tim Doyle’s 157 set ten years prior.

Coaches and the media named him to the 2016 All-Big Ten team as an honorable mention. He was a co-captain for the team as a junior.

McIntosh was named to the preseason All-Big Ten team as a senior. Preseason watch lists for the John R. Wooden Award and the Bob Cousy Award included him. McIntosh set the Northwestern single-game assist record with 16 against Minnesota on January 10, surpassing Patrick Baldwin’s 14 from 1992.

Top Coaches

Northwestern’s all-time wins leader is Arthur Lonborg, who led the Wildcats to 236 victories during his tenure as head coach. He coached the squad from 1927 to 1950, winning the program’s only two conference championships.

In 2000, Bill Carmody succeeded Kevin O’Neill as head coach of the Northwestern Wildcats men’s basketball team. Carmody coached the Wildcats for 13 years and guided them to 192 victories. Carmody enjoyed early success, leading the Wildcats to an 8–8 Big Ten record in 2003–04, their first conference non-losing season since 1967–68.

Carmody’s Kevin Coble-led Wildcats defeated number-seven Michigan State University for the first time in school history on January 21, 2009, in the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan, earning their second consecutive win over an AP top-25 opponent. The 2008–09 squad was the first in school history to win 20 games and came within a whisker of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament for the first time.

On December 28, 2009, Northwestern was ranked 25th in the Associated Press Basketball Poll, the first time the Wildcats have been ranked in the poll since 1969. The 2009–10 team also had the school’s second-ever 20-win season. Carmody’s Wildcat teams never finished higher than sixth in the Big Ten, and his 2003–04 club was the only one to finish with a.500 conference record.

After the Wildcats’ first losing season in six years, Carmody was fired on March 16, 2013. After Lonborg, he retired as the school’s second-winningest coach.

Carmody was fired as Northwestern’s head coach in March 2013, Chris Collins was listed as a top target. On March 27, 2013, Collins’ appointment was made public.

After three years of gradual progress, Collins guided the Wildcats to their best season since before World War II in 2016–17. The Wildcats won their first Big Ten Conference game in 49 years, qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time, and won their first NCAA Tournament game. Northwestern was the only major conference program to never make it to the NCAA tournament.

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Northwestern Wildcats FAQs

Who is the current Northwestern head coach?

Chris Collins is the current head coach at the school.

What is the all-time record for Northwestern?

Northwestern has a 1092-1521-1 record in their program history.

Who is the all-time winningest head coach in Northwestern history?

Arthur Lonborg won 236 games in his 23 years at the helm of Northwestern.

How many times has Northwestern made the NCAA tournament?

Northwestern has made one appearance in the NCAA tournament.

How many times has Northwestern won a conference title?

Northwestern has won two conference titles in the regular season.

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