It's Finals week, but that don't mean Northwestern sports stops cranking. Three solid pieces of news today for us to yell at each other about.
- First, and, well, weirdest, from a "things that make sense" perspective: NU's home opener against Eastern Illinois will get a 2:30 kickoff, meaning as of now, there's no 11 a.m. Ryan Field start times. This, as previously noted, is awesome. Sadly, this one is before school starts, so I won't be there - too busy recovering from my planned road trip to Boston and preparing for my planned road trip to Army, living in NYC is dope, yo. To be fair, there's an extremely boring slate of games that day, but why the BTN, as they now prefer to be called, would rather have NU-EIU for the more desirable time slot instead of Toldeo-Ohio State is weird.
- NU's senior third baseman, Chris Lashmet, went with the first pick of the 33rd round to the Pittsburgh Pirates. SICK. PITTSBURGH. Last year, I wrote a thorough post on NU's history in the MLB draft, MORE LIKE LACK THEREOF, hahaha, so it's good to see someone get picked. Lashmet was arguably NU's best hitter in his senior season at the No. 3 spot, leading the team in average. He doesn't have the power MLB teams probably look for in a third baseman, but hopefully he sticks around long enough to someday see the show. A 33rd round pick isn't a vote of confidence - it's a round lower than Arby Fields got drafted coming out of high school - but he still could play. Chad Noble and Eric Jokisch, who got drafted in the 39th and 11th rounds respectively by the Cubs, last year, are climbing that organization's ladder, so, we'll see what happens to Lashmet.
- This is probably the top story, but it's the most predictable: for a third straight summer, John Shurna has been asked to participate with USA Basketball: he'll be at a 22-player training camp to try and make a roster for the US contingent at the World University Games. Hey! We're a university! Two years ago, he was on the U-19 team, last year, the USA Select Team, I wouldn't be surprised if Shurna makes that squad this year, as those coaches seem to really like Shurna's game. This, obviously, is good news, because it means more John Shurna basketball, which is, as previously noted, good news. Shurna will be playing alongside Big Ten counterparts Draymond Green from Michigan State, Trevor Mbakwe from Minnesota, and Jordan Taylor from Wisconsin, and coached again by Matt Painter, who for some reason, really really loves John Shurna.