NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS

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    Feb. 13, 1998

    Northwestern Takes on Indiana

    Eschmeyer Continues to Light It Up

    Northwestern (9-12; 2-9 Big Ten) vs.
    Indiana (16-7; 7-4 Big Ten)
    Sat., Feb. 14, 1998 * 12:15 p.m.
    Assembly Hall (17,357)
    Radio: WGN Radio
    TV: ESPN Regional


    NU's Possible Starting Lineup
    No.                                 ppg     rpg
    5   Joe Harmsen (F, 6-9, Jr.)       4.5     3.5
    13  Joe Branch (F, 6-3, Sr.)        2.3     3.2
    42  Evan Eschmeyer (C, 6-11, Sr.)   22.5    11.2
    4   Julian Bonner (G, 6-1, Jr.)     9.4     3.1
    22  Sean Wink (G, 6-2, Fr.)         12.3    2.2
    Off The Bench
    No.                                 ppg     rpg
    35  Aron Molnar (F, 6-11, So.)      4.9     3.0
    31  Nate Pomeday (G, 6-2, Jr.)      3.6     1.2
    23  Napoleon Harris (F, 6-4, Fr.)   2.2     3.7
    32  Terence Avery (F, 6-9, Fr.)     2.1     1.2
    44  Jeff Eschmeyer (F, 6-4, Fr.)    0.3     1.2
    10  Matt Kammrath (G, 6-1, So.)     0.0     0.1

    Scouting Northwestern: The Wildcats enter today's game with an 9-12 overall record and a 2-9 mark in Big Ten play. NU broke a three-game losing streak with a 47-39 victory over Wisconsin on Wednesday. All-America candidate Evan Eschmeyer posted his 15th double-double of the season with a game-high 26 points and 10 rebounds. NU freshman Sean Wink also chipped in 12 points. NU's defense went to work early and forced Wisconsin to go scoreless for 11:23 in the first half, missing 17-straight shots after opening up the game four-for-four. The second half was much the same as the 'Cats did not allow a single Badger to score in double figures.

    Eschmeyer leads the Big Ten Conference in overall scoring (22.5 ppg), rebounding (11.2 rpg) and is second in field goal percentage (.624). Wink is second on the NU team in scoring (12.3 ppg), while junior Julian Bonner is third in points per game (9.4 ppg) and first in assists (4.1 apg).

    Scouting Indiana: The Hoosiers enter today's game with a 16-7 overall record and a 7-4 mark in conference action. Indiana is coming off a 94-89 loss at Purdue on Tuesday. Andrae Patterson led the IU effort with a game-high 27 points. A.J. Guyton leads the team in scoring with a 16.1 ppg average. Luke Recker is second in scoring (13.4 ppg), while Patterson is third in scoring (3.6 ppg) and first in rebounding (6.3 rpg).

    NU/Indiana, The Series: Today's game marks the 134th meeting between Northwestern and Indiana, with the Hoosiers holding a 94-39 series lead. IU won the first matchup this season, 76-58, at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Sean Wink led the 'Cats in scoring (22 points), while Luke Recker (22 points) and A.J. Guyton (22 points) were tops in the game for the Hoosiers.

    Indiana Series Notes
    Series Record: IU leads, 94-39
    First Meeting: 1908, Northwestern won, 21-18
    Last NU win in Bloomington: 86-81, 1968
    Last IU win in Bloomington: 64-49, 1997
    Current Series Streak: Indiana, four games


    Head Coach Kevin O'Neill: Kevin O'Neill is in his first season as head coach of the Wildcat basketball program.

    Tabbed as one of the nation's top recruiters, O'Neill came to NU from Tennessee where he was at the helm of the Volunteer program for three seasons. He inherited a program which won only five games the previous campaign, and took them to the NIT two seasons later. Prior to his stint in Knoxville, O'Neill was the head coach at Marquette for five years. The two-time Great Midwest Conference Coach of the Year, O'Neill guided the Golden Eagles to an NIT appearance and two NCAA Tournament berths. He left Milwaukee with an impressive mark of four winning campaigns in five years and a Great Midwest Conference championship in 1994. In addition, his last two teams compiled a remarkable 44-17 record, while leading the nation in field goal percentage defense.

    Overall, O'Neill has a 149-132 record in nine seasons.


    NU vs. Indiana
    A Statistical Comparison
                    NU      IU
    PPG       61.4 (1,289)  78.0 (1,793)
    FG%     .489 (459-938)  .500 (648-1297)
    3-FG%   .391 (109-279)  .375 (126-336)
    FT %    .586 (262-447)  .733 (371-506)
    RPG         34.1 (717)  35.0 (805)  
    Asst.       15.8 (331)  18.1 (416)
    TO          16.9 (355)  16.0 (369)
    Steals        3.8 (80)  7.9 (182)

    Joe Harmsen has grabbed an average of seven rebounds in the last three games.

    NU held Wisconsin to just 39 points and a 26 percent outing from the field (6-for-25), one of its best defensive efforts of the season.

    NU has tied or outrebounded 17 of its 21 opponents, including eight of its first 11 Big Ten opponents.

    Evan Eschmeyer is the only player in Division I to be ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring (22.5 ppg), rebounding (11.2 rpg) and field goal percentage (.624).

    All-America candidate Evan Eschmeyer is one of only seven NU players to have scored more than 1,000 points (1,124) and grabbed more than 600 rebounds (649).

    A Consistent Threat: Evan Eschmeyer has recorded 35-consecutive double-figure scoring games dating back to last season.

    20/20 Vision: Esch scored 20 or more points in 13 games this season and scored a career-high 37 points against Penn State on Feb. 8. In addition, he scored 36 points at Dayton, 31 vs. Minnesota, 30 vs. DePaul and Michigan State, 26 points at Boston College and vs. Wisconsin, 24 points at Penn State and against Maryland-Eastern Shore and Wofford, 23 points vs. Siena and 20 vs. Chicago State and Sam Houston State. He now has 19 20-point or more outings in his career.

    Eschmeyer also has shot over 60 percent in 12 contests this season.

    Seeing Double: With his 26-point, 10-rebound performance against Wisconsin, Esch has recorded a double-double in 15 games this season, including in four of the last five contests.

    Esch has recorded a double-double in eight of 11 Big Ten tilts.

    Here's Something to Remember: Evan Eschmeyer is a fifth-year senior and may petition the NCAA for a sixth year. Esch had a recurring injury in his right foot which prohibited him from playing during his first two seasons at NU.

    The Eschmeyer Report: Evan Eschmeyer has made his way onto various lists in the NU record books. Esch ranks 17th in career scoring (1,124); eighth in career rebounds (649); first in career field goal percentage (.604); third in career free throw attempts (525); 10th in career free throws made (314) and third in career blocked shots (80). If that's not enough, he also ranks third in single-season free throws made (144) and first in single-season free throws attempted (241).

    A 1,000-Point Scorer: Evan Eschmeyer became the 22nd player in Northwestern history to score 1,000 points. Eschmeyer now has 1,124 points in his NU career good for 17th place in the history books. He ties Cedric Neloms and Kevin Rankin for the fifth fastest 1,000-point performance in school history. Only four other NU players have reached 1,000 points faster (Billy McKinney, Joe Rucklick, Dale Kelley, Jim Burns).

    Evan Eschmeyer and Sean Wink have combined for 57 percent of the Wildcat offense.

    Sean Wink has shot at least 50 percent from beyond the arc in four of the last five contests.

    From Beyond the Arc: Sean Wink leads the team in threes made (67), attempted (143) and three-point field goal percentage (.489). He has scored in double-figures in 14 contests and is averaging 12.3 ppg, second-best on the team. Despite a badly twisted right ankle, which kept him out of the starting lineup and forced him into an air cast against Wofford, Wink tallied 18 points, including a 6-of-9 shooting performance from three-point land. That was his best outing from beyond the arc this season.

    Of Wink's 87 field goals this season, 67 have been three-pointers (77 percent). His 67 threes are tops in the Big Ten.

    Wink is ranked 21st nationally in threes made per game (3.19) and 16th in three-point field goal percentage (.469).

    Freshman Makes An Impact: Freshman Sean Wink is already making an impact on the Wildcat basketball record book. Coach O'Neill's first recruit is in third place in the Wildcat single-season record book for three-pointers made (67) and threes attempted in a season (143). He also is in fifth place in career three-pointers made.

    Joe Branch has recorded a 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio in the last three games (107 minutes, 35.7 mpg).

    The Iron Men: Julian Bonner, director of the NU offense, is averaging a team-high 38.7 minutes per game. Bonner has played more than 39 minutes in 12 games this season. Evan Eschmeyer and Sean Wink are right behind him with averages of 37.2 mpg and 33.6 mpg. Esch has played more than 39 minutes in 10 games.

    An Outside Compliment: Julian Bonner, who averages 9.7 ppg, has been a steady contributor to the NU offense. He has scored in double-figures in 10 contests in 1997-98. The following are his point totals from those games:
    23 points vs. Siena (career-high)
    16 points at Iowa, Sam Houston State
    14 points vs. Seton Hall
    13 points vs. Illinois, Minnesota
    11 points vs. Troy State, Indiana, at Michigan
    10 points at Boston College

    Bonner also leads the team in assists (4.1 apg) and posted a career-high nine assists against Michigan State, Chicago State and DePaul.

    'Cats in the Conference Rankings: As of Feb. 9th, the Wildcats ranked among the top five in the conference in the following categories: Team: 1st, rebounding defense (26.4); 2nd, field goal percentage (.498); 3rd, three-point field goal percentage (.402); 3rd, rebounding margin (+7.4); 4th, scoring defense (64.2); 4th, assists (15.75); 5th, defensive rebounds (23.95).

    Evan Eschmeyer: 1st, scoring (22.3 ppg); 1st, rebounds (11.3 rpg); 1st, offensive rebounds (3.55); 1st, defensive rebounds (7.75); and 2nd, field goal percentage (.631).

    Sean Wink: 1st, three-point field goals made per game (3.15) and 2nd, three-point field goal percentage (.485).

    Julian Bonner: 5th, assists per game (4.1).

    'Cats In the National Ranks: As of February 9, the Wildcats ranked in the national statistics in the following categories: Team: 10th, field goal percentage; 13th, rebounding margin; and 20th in three-point field goal percentage.

    Evan Eschmeyer: 4th, rebounding; 7th, field goal percentage and 10th, scoring.

    Sean Wink: 16th, three-point field goal percentage and 21st, threes made.

    Record-Breaking 'Cats: NU has set or tied 13 records this season:
    * NU's six turnovers against Sam Houston State set the Welsh-Ryan Arena record for fewest turnovers in a game.
    * Welsh-Ryan Arena and school record for field goal percentage, .702 (33-for-37) vs. Troy State.
    * Welsh-Ryan Arena and school record for assists, 30 vs. Troy State.
    * Against DePaul, Evan Eschmeyer set a school and Welsh-Ryan Arena record for field goal percentage, .923 (12-for-13).
    * Evan Eschmeyer's 22 free throw attempts against Minnesota and Penn State tied a NU single-game and Welsh-Ryan Arena record.
    * Against Penn State, Eschmeyer set a Welsh-Ryan Arena record for points (37), free throws made (17) and free throws attempted (22). He also tied the school record for free throws made.
    * The 'Cats held Chicago State and Wisconsin to 13-first half points which tied a Welsh-Ryan Arena record for fewest point is a half.


    'Cats Sign Three to National Letters of Intent: Tavaras Hardy (Joliet, Ill./Providence), Steve Lepore (North Olmsted, Ohio/St. Edward) and David Newman (Des Moines, Iowa/Herbert Hoover) have signed national letters of intent to attend Northwestern and play basketball beginning the fall of 1998.
    The 1997 Herald News Player of the Year, Hardy (6-7, 215) averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds as a junior and 11 points and seven rebounds as a sophomore at Providence Catholic High School. Hardy was a first-team all-conference and all-area honoree in 1997 and was elected team captain for the 1997-98 season. Hardy chose Northwestern over Purdue and Illinois.
    Lepore (6-5, 200) earned All-America honors by Street and Smith and was an honorable mention all-county pick as junior. He averaged 10 points, six rebounds and four assists per game last season. Lepore led St. Edward High School, which is currently ranked fifth nationally by USA Today, to a 24-2 record and a state Final Four appearance in 1997 and a 21-5 record in 1996. Lepore chose Northwestern over the College of Charleston, Xavier and Valparaiso.
    An honorable mention All-America pick by Street and Smith, Newman (6-0, 170) averaged 20 points and seven assists as a junior and 19 points and five assists as a sophomore at Herbert Hoover High School. He earned all-state honors by both the Des Moines Register and coaches association, while being named to the all-conference and all-district teams. He chose Northwestern over Marquette, Minnesota and Iowa.


    Allouche Joins Wildcats Squad from Missouri: Danny Allouche (6-5, 193), a transfer from Missouri, will play on the Wildcat squad next season. A junior from Omer, Israel, Allouche averaged 2.7 points, 1.4 rebounds and 8.3 minutes as a sophomore at Missouri. In two seasons, he played in 52 games and started in four contests, while averaging 3.5 ppg. Prior to coming to Missouri, Allouche competed for the Haifa Haepel team, while serving three years in the Israeli Army.

    NU on WGN: WGN 720-AM is the radio voice of Wildcat basketball. The 50,000-watt, clear-channel station is heard in 38 states and in Canada. Handling the broadcasts for WGN this season is Dave Eanet, sports director at WGN and play-by-play announcer for the Wildcat football team. Joey Meyer, former head basketball coach at DePaul, handles game analysis.

    Postgame Interviews: Northwestern head coach Kevin O'Neill and players will be made available to the media after tonight's game. NU's locker room is closed to the media. Following a brief cooling-off period, Coach O'Neill will be available in the interview area. Selected NU players may be interviewed outside the NU locker room. Player requests should be made to Lisa Juscik of media services.


    #32 Terence Avery
    Freshman * Forward
    6-9 * 235
    Played in 10 games ... Earned first collegiate start at Purdue ... Grabbed a career-high five rebounds at Penn State in 12 minutes of play ... Tallied a career-high seven points against Troy State ... Notched four points and a rebound at Iowa.
    Season and Career Highs
    Points: 7 vs. Troy State, 12/2
    Rebounds: 5 at Penn State, 1/22


    #3 Jonah Batambuze
    Freshman * Guard
    5-9 * 177
    Played in six games, averaging 2.8 minutes per contest.


    #4 Julian Bonner
    Junior * Guard
    6-1 * 203
    The director of the NU offense ... Averaging a team-high 38.7 minutes per game ... Recorded double figures in scoring in 10 games this season: a career-high 23 points vs. Siena, 16 points at Iowa and vs. Sam Houston State, 14 vs. Seton Hall, 13 points vs. Illinois and Minnesota, 11 points at Michigan and vs. Indiana and Troy State, and 10 at Boston College ... Recorded a 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio against Michigan State and at Penn State ... Third on the squad in scoring (9.4 ppg) and team leader in assists (4.1 apg) ... Dished out a career-high nine assists against Michigan State, DePaul and Chicago State ... Started all 21 contests.
    Season and Career Highs
    Points: 23 vs. Siena, 11/22
    Rebounds: 7 vs. DePaul, 12/6
    Assists: 9 vs. DePaul, 12/6; Chicago State, 1/27; Michigan State, 1/31


    #13 Joe Branch
    Senior * Forward
    6-3 * 200
    Started 10 of 11 Big Ten games ... Has recorded a 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio in the last three games (Michigan, Penn State, Wisconsin) ... Tallied a season-high 11 points and seven rebounds against Chicago State ... Dished out a career-high six assists against the Hoosiers and the Golden Gophers ... Averaging 2.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 25.5 minutes per game ... A defensive spark who held Seton Hall's and Maryland-Eastern Shore's top scoring threats under their averages ... Also grabbed seven rebounds against Maryland-Eastern Shore and Boston College.
    Season Highs
    Points: 11 vs. Chicago State, 1/27
    Rebounds: 7 vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore, 11/29; at Boston College, 12/23; Chicago State, 1/27
    Assists: 6 vs. Minnesota, 1/7; Indiana, 1/14
    Career Highs
    Points: 21 at Central Michigan, 12/19/95
    Rebounds: 8 at San Diego State, 11/24/95
    Assists: 6 vs. Minnesota, 1/7/98; Indiana, 1/14


    #44 Jeff Eschmeyer
    Freshman * Guard
    6-4 * 176
    Led the 'Cats in rebounding (four) and assists (three) at Iowa ... Played in 11 games ... Averaging 7.4 minutes per contest ... Brother of senior Evan Eschmeyer.
    High School Profile: Earned third-team All-Ohio honors as a senior and was honorable mention as a junior ... A two-time all-region pick and three-time Midwest Athletic Conference (MAC) honoree ... Averaged 17 points as a junior and 18 points as a senior at New Knoxville ... Three-time team MVP and two-time team captain ... Led team to a 17-4 record as a senior and the sectional championship as a sophomore ... Participated in the District 8 All-Star game and in the Ohio/Indiana Border War ... Three-year member of the National Honor Society and four-year scholar athlete ... Was the class president all four years of high school ... A four-year member of the honor roll.
    Season and Career Highs
    Rebounds: 4 at Iowa, 1/3/98
    Assists: 3 at Iowa. 1/3/98


    #42 Evan Eschmeyer
    Senior (5) * Center
    6-11 * 244
    Named as one of 25 finalists for the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Player of the Year Award ... One of only two players in the country to rank among the top 10 in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage ... Became the 22nd player in NU history to score 1,000 points ... Ties the fifth-quickest performance in school history ... Now ranks 17th on the NU scoring chart with 1,124 points ... One of only seven NU players to score over 1,000 points and grab over 600 rebounds (649) ... Named Big Ten Player of the Week, 12/8/97 ... The first-ever unanimous choice for the MVP of the NU/DePaul game (other winners include DePaul's Dave Corzine and Mark Aguire and NU's Billy McKinney and Shon Morris) ... Notched 13 20-plus point performances this season, including a career-high 37 points at home vs. Penn State ... Set a Welsh-Ryan Arena and school record for field goal percentage against the Blue Demons, .923 (12-for-13) ... Now has 19 20-plus point outings in his career ... Has recorded 35-consecutive double-figure scoring games (dating back to last season) ... Notched 15 double-doubles this season and has 25 in his career ... Grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds at Boston College and against Seton Hall ... Shot over 60 percent in 12 contests this season ... Tied the NU single-game and Welsh-Ryan Arena record for free throw attempts (22) against Minnesota and Penn State ... Also set an Arena record for points (37) and free throws made (17) against the Nittany Lions ... Leads the Big Ten in scoring (22.5 ppg), rebounding (11.2 rpg) and is second in field goal percentage (.624) ... Also is second on the team in assists (2.5 apg) ... Holds the top (.923, 12-for-13), fifth (.857, 12-for-14) and seventh-best (.818, 9-for-11) field goal percentage performances in NU history ... Averaging 37.2 mpg.
    Season and Career Highs
    Points: 37 vs. Penn State, 2/8/98
    Rebounds: 18 vs. Seton Hall, 12/13/97; at Boston College, 12/23/97
    Assists: 8 vs. Troy State, 12/2/97


    #5 Joe Harmsen
    Junior * Forward
    6-9 * 248
    Has averaged seven rebounds in the last three games ... Scored a season-high 11 points against Penn State, while grabbing 10 rebounds ... Also had 10 points vs. Michigan State and at Dayton ... Grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds and dished out a season-high four assists against Chicago State ... Averaging 4.5 ppg and 3.5 rpg in 17.3 minutes of play ... Has seen action in all 21 contests and started in nine games, including the last five.
    Season Highs
    Points: 11 vs. Penn State, 2/8
    Rebounds: 10 vs. Chicago State, 1/27; Penn State, 2/8
    Assists: 4 vs. Chicago State, 1/27; Wisconsin, 2/11
    Career Highs
    Points: 21 at Wisconsin, 1/29/97
    Rebounds: 10 vs. Chicago State, 1/27/98; Penn State, 2/8/98
    Assists: 5 vs. Michigan, 1/4/97


    #23 Napoleon Harris
    Freshman * Forward
    6-4 * 215
    A walk-on who is a scholarship football player ... Led the 'Cats in rebounding at Penn State (eight) and at Purdue (nine) ... Also chipped in a career-high five points in 15 minutes against the Nittany Lions on Jan. 22 ... Played in 12 games and is averaging 9.2 mpg.
    High School Profile: A member of the Wildcat football team that joined the basketball squad ... A native of Dixmoor, Ill., Harris was a Superprep All-American in football and voted the Defensive Player of the Year by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and the Daily Southtown ... Also was a basketball letterman.
    Season and Career Highs
    Points: 5 at Penn State, 1/22
    Rebounds: 9 at Purdue, 1/24


    #10 Matt Kammrath
    Sophomore * Guard
    6-0 * 185
    Walk-on who earned the first start of his collegiate career at Purdue ... Is averaging 3.6 minutes per game ... Has played in 13 contests.


    #35 Aron Molnar
    Sophomore * Center
    6-11 * 242
    Tallied five double-figure scoring performances: a career-high 11 points against Sam Houston State, 10 points vs. Md.-Eastern Shore, 11 points vs. Troy State, 10 at Boston College and 12 vs. Illinois ... Also recorded a career-high seven rebounds and four assists vs. SHS ... Has started in 10 of 21 games this season (19.7 mpg), after averaging just five minutes last year ... Averaging 4.9 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.
    Season and Career Highs
    Points: 11 vs. Sam Houston State, 11/26/97
    Rebounds: 7 vs. Sam Houston State, 11/26/97
    Assists: 4 vs. Sam Houston State, 11/26/97


    #31 Nate Pomeday
    Junior * Guard
    6-2 * 196
    Missed the first three conference contests after re-aggravating his left knee ... Had a season-high 14 points, while dishing out eight assists against Troy State ... Converted 4-of-6 threes in that contest ... Tallied eight points and a career-high eight assists against Siena ... Averaging 3.6 ppg ... Played in 18 games and started in 10 contests.
    Season Highs
    Points: 14 vs. Troy State, 12/2
    Rebounds: 6 vs. Md.-Eastern Shore, 11/29
    Assists: 8 vs. Siena, 11/26; vs. Troy State, 12/2
    Career Highs
    Points: 18 vs. Michigan State, 2/19/97
    Rebounds: 6 vs. Md.-Eastern Shore, 11/29/97
    Assists: 8 vs. Siena, 11/26/97; vs. Troy State, 12/2/97


    #22 Sean Wink
    Freshman * Guard
    6-2 * 176
    Leads the Big Ten in threes made per game (67) ... Only NU freshman to have started and played significant minutes in the first 21 games of the season ... Has shot at least 50 percent from beyond the arc in four of the last five games ... Ranks third in the Wildcat single-season record book for three-pointers made (67) and attempted in a season (143) ... Also is fifth in career three-pointers made ... Notched 17 points on a 5-for-6 shooting performance from beyond the arc against Michigan State ... Exploded for a game-high 22 points against Indiana ... Converted four-of-five threes in that game ... Battled back from an ankle injury suffered the day of the game and scored 18 points (6-for-9 shooting) against Wofford in an air cast ... Recorded back-to-back 20-plus point performances against DePaul (21 points) and Troy State (20 points) ... Has 14 double-figure scoring games on the season ... Led the team in scoring against Troy State (20 points), Indiana (22 points), at Purdue (12 points) and at Michigan (18 points) ... Leads the team in three-point field goals made (67), attempted (143) and three-point field goal percentage (.469) ... ... Averaging 12.3 ppg and 2.2 rpg.
    Season and Career Highs
    Points: 22 vs. Indiana, 1/14/98
    Rebounds: 6 vs. DePaul, 12/6/97
    Assists: 4 vs. DePaul, 12/6/97; at Dayton, 12/18/97