Is Drew Crawford leaving Northwestern a possibility?

US PRESSWIRE

Many have noted that Chris Collins will need to turn quickly to Drew Crawford, to prevent the fifth-year senior from using his final year of eligibility at another school. Should NU worry about his departure?

A lot of people have pinpointed three things Chris Collins needs to do as quickly as possible - you know, when he officially isn't a Duke assistant anymore and is a Northwestern head coach instead. a) Get Jaren Sina. B) Figure out his coaching staff. C) Make sure Drew Crawford - the team's supposed best player this past season, before an injury caused him to redshirt, something that leaves him with one year left of eligibility which he can use anywhere that will have him - stays.

In the long term, the third thing might be the least important for Northwestern's goals. Sina could be a star point guard for four years. That staff will help Collins recruit the players of NU's future. Crawford, on the other hand, will only be around for one more year.

But in the short term, it's hugely important. We all know Drew Crawford can flat-out score. Before his injury, he was NU's best option and the only person who could score at will - like, if NU needed an outlet when the Princeton wasn't working - and although Reggie Hearn and Jared Swopshire filled that role to a certain extent down the stretch, neither was great. And those dudes are both gone, and now the best scorer the team has is Tre Demps or maybe JerShon Cobb.

To summarize: with Drew Crawford, NU has an outside shot at the NCAA Tournament. Without him, their roster looks an awful lot like the lifeless bunch that suffered nine straight double-digit defeats down the stretch.

So do we need to worry about Crawford leaving? It's definitely a possibility that Crawford go elsewhere. We've known that since Jim Phillips' press conference the day of the Carmody firing, when Phillips said he wanted Crawford to do "what's best for Drew," hoping that meant staying at Northwestern. More recently, there's been some speculation - LTP had a post on it yesterday, and Scott Powers included it amongst his to-do list for Collins. And we have this tweet:

So there is interest and reason for Crawford to leave. Teams will want him, because he's a proven talent. And he could leave because he does have hopes of playing professionally. He's a fringe prospect - No. 59 amongst seniors, per Draft Express, leaving him a likely overseas or D-League prospect but with the ability to improve with a strong senior year. Perhaps being a second or third option on a tourney team would be a better move than sticking at NU.

As always, the clearest picture comes from Teddy Greenstein. His update yesterday covered, like, pretty much every angle of the Collins thing - important tidbits: Tavaras Hardy has offers from other schools but Collins is open to keeping him, Sina is waiting to talk to the coach at length. But Crawford is the main thrust of the story:

A source close to the talented wingman said Crawford will make "a good basketball decision," meaning he only would consider transferring if a top-notch team assures him of a prime-time role. There’s little doubt that would happen. So to keep him in Evanston, Collins should appeal to Crawford’s desire to complete the mission — to dance in March.

Crawford has been accepted to grad school at NU, so he's good to go.

Like Phillips, I want Crawford to do what's best for his career. Selfishly, I hope that involves leading Northwestern to the NCAA Tournament. Next year's squad has a shot,but its an outside one, and its heavily dependent on Crawford staying. But as everybody has noted, Chris Collins had better get to work - there will be other options for Crawford, and he'd be silly not to consider them.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Inside NU

You must be a member of Inside NU to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Inside NU. You should read them.

Join Inside NU

You must be a member of Inside NU to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Inside NU. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker