Nov. 13, 2013
WATCH: C. Collins Preview | D. Sobolewski | N. Taphorn
The Last Meeting
December 21, 2012
Wildcats Rally But Fall to Cardinal, 70-68
Northwestern rallied back from and 18-point first-half deficit to tie the game, but was edged by Stanford in the end, falling 70-68 at Welsh-Ryan Arena Friday evening.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern ventures out on the road for the first time during the 2013-14 season on Thursday as it travels to Stanford. Tip-off is set for 10 p.m. Central time with ESPNU providing live television coverage.
The Wildcats are coming off a season-opening 72-55 home victory over Eastern Illinois last Saturday. Drew Crawford posted his fourth career double-double, notching 25 points and 11 rebounds. It was the 19th career game of 20 or more points for the Big Ten's active leading scorer. JerShon Cobb contributed nine points and a career-best eight assists, while Dave Sobolewski and Sanjay Lumpkin also contributed nine points apiece.
The matchup between NU and Stanford is a battle between a pair of head coaches who are Duke University graduates and former assistant coaches for the Blue Devils. Northwestern first-year head coach Chris Collins is a 1996 graduate of Duke while sixth-year Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins graduated from the school in 1986.
Series History: Stanford leads 5-2, including 3-0 on its home court. Five of the seven meetings have been decided by six points or less and all have been decided by 11 points or fewer.
Last Meeting: Reggie Hearn scored 18 points and Alex Olah added a career-high 16 but Stanford held off Northwestern 70-68 in Evanston Dec, 21, 2012.
The Cardinal (1-1) came out on the short end of a 112-103 shootout against BYU at home on Monday. Chasson Randle led Stanford with 33 points while Dwight Powell added 28.
Randle paces the team with an average of 25.5 points per game. In addition to his 33-point game vs. the Cougars, he also scored 37 in an exhibition win over Seattle Pacific.
Stanford has been picked to finish sixth in the Pac-12 preseason poll after going 19-15 overall and 9-9 in conference play a year ago.
Johnny Dawkins is in his sixth season as the head coach on The Farm. He has a career record of 95-75 as a head coach.
POINT GUARDS REUNITE
Chris Collins and Johnny Dawkins aren't the only two individuals who will be reuniting Thursday night. Junior point guards Dave Sobolewski of Northwestern and Chasson Randle of Stanford were AAU teammates for the Illinois Wolves. Sobolewski hails from Naperville, Ill., while Randle is from Rock Island, Ill.
DOING IT ON DEFENSE
Head coach Chris Collins has made defense a point of emphasis since the day he was hired at Northwestern. Through an exhibition game and one regular season game, the Wildcats are off to a good start. After scoring 79 and 82 points, respectively, against Division I foes DePaul and Loyola Chicago, Lewis was held to 46 points and 31 percent shooting vs. NU. The 'Cats then limited Eastern Illinois to 30.2 percent shooting in the regular-season opener on Saturday. Northwestern held Lewis and Eastern Illinois to a combined 2-for-25 on 3-point field goal attempts.
Stanford redshirt sophomore guard/forward Jack Ryan, who hails from Glenview, Ill., and attended Glenbrook South High School, is the brother of former Wildcat Jeff Ryan (2006-11). Their father, Jeff, played basketball at Stanford from 1977-81.
Northwestern's victory over Eastern Illinois marked its sixth straight victory in a season-opener as well as home-opener. The last time the Wildcats dropped their first game of the season was Nov. 11, 2007 when it fell at home to 20th-ranked Stanford, 71-60. NU has posted at least seven wins through its first nine games in each of the last five seasons.
VETERAN DUO NAMED TEAM CAPTAINS
Redshirt senior Drew Crawford and junior Dave Sobolewski have been named the team's captains this season. Crawford also served in the role a year ago. He has appeared in 111 career games, making 110 starts, while Sobolewski has started each of the first 65 games of his career.
Northwestern suffered an excruciating string of injuries a year ago that left the squad short-handed for a large portion of the season. The list of returning Wildcats who were lost for the season at one point or another include Drew Crawford (shoulder), JerShon Cobb (violations of team policy), Sanjay Lumpkin (wrist) and Chier Ajou (knee).
Northwestern welcomes back two players who have earned postseason honors from the Big Ten. Drew Crawford was a consensus third-team all-league pick as a junior in 2011-12. He was also the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick in 2010. In addition, guard Dave Sobolewski earned a Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection in 2011-12. He was the fourth NU player to earn the honor over a seven-year span.
DISHING IT OUT
Junior Dave Sobolewski has proven to be one of the top assist men in the Big Ten through his first two seasons as a Wildcat. As a freshman in 2011-12, Sobolewski led the Big Ten and paced all nation's freshmen with a 2.63 assist-to-turnover ratio, while handing out 121 helpers, a mark that ranks 10th on NU's single-season assist list. A year ago, he handed out 127 assists for a mark that ranks eighth in the school's annals. As a comparison, Sobolewski has 248 assists through his first two seasons, while Michael Thompson, Northwestern's career leader in the category, had 242 combined assists as a freshman and sophomore.
MONTGOMERY EARNS SCHOLARSHIP
Senior guard James Montgomery III recently became an internet sensation when he was awarded a scholarship for the 2013-14. Video of the former walk-on being presented the scholarship by head coach Chris Collins and Montgomery sharing the new with his mother and sister has been viewed over 950,000 times on YouTube since it's debut on Oct. 22.
A CHALLENGING SLATE
The Wildcats will play one of their most challenging nonconference schedules in recent memory in 2013-14. Northwestern is set to take on five major conference opponents, including four away from Welsh-Ryan Arena. It is the first time since 2004-05 that NU will take on five major conference opponents in their nonconference schedule. The schedule includes contests against perennial powers Missouri and UCLA in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational as well as true road games at Stanford and NC State (Big Ten/ACC Challenge). The 'Cats also renew their series with local foe DePaul as the Blue Demons will make the short trip to Evanston.
Though the Wildcats stumbled to a 13-19 record a year ago, the program has still appeared in postseason play in four of the last five seasons. Northwestern's four straight NIT berths from 2009-12 marked the first time in school history that it has made postseason appearances in four straight seasons. Northwestern had never made back-to-back postseason appearances prior to the 2009-10 campaign.
Northwestern returns home Sunday as it takes on in-state foe Illinois State. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook, subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter and sign up to receive promotional text alerts for the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!