It's almost basketball season! (Never mind the fact that Northwestern has already played Texas-Pan American. I mean, you probably already weren't minding it, but whatever.) Sippin' on Purple attempts to figure out what will happen in a series of posts about NU's upcoming season.
Post one: How will NU replace Juice Thompson?
John Shurna is Northwestern's best player. We know this. We already discussed how the Wildcats will deal with the loss of their other candidate for best player. With him gone, let's focus on the lanky kid - oh crap, he's a senior - from Glen Ellyn. Shurna's an awesome player: with his ugly-but-it-works jumper teetering at around 50 percent for large parts of last year and a quick first step with the athleticism to flush, Shurna gets a modicum of love from the people who are high on Northwestern to be successful. Shurna suffered from injuries last year - ankle, concussion - that kept him from getting tick, keeping him on the third-team Big Ten. A year without injuries will likely see Shurna eclipse Northwestern's all-time scoring record.
How good will John Shurna be this year? And less importantly, how good will people perceive him as being? SoP staff answers after the jump, have your say in the comments and poll.
What's the highest accolade you see John Shurna getting this year?
All conference seems to be the ceiling. Maybe some hipster national media buzz, but I can't see him hitting anybody's All-American list.
Well, this guy is going to carry this team. He didn't earn a spot on the preseason all-conference prediction, which I think is dumb, because, yo, Trevor Mbakwe be good and all, but the Gophers are gonna finish in eighth place. Shurna is going to be this team's best player, and without Juice, will take on a larger-than-ever responsibility in terms of scoring. He's going to turn heads. I don't consider him an all-American because I don't think he's one of the best 15 players in the country, but he's one of the top five in the conference. First team All-Big Ten.