Two Northwestern basketball players have been named to a 10-man team of college players set to embark on a European exhibition tour in August. The team will be coached by Wildcats assistant Patrick Baldwin, and includes Wildcats JerShon Cobb and Sanjay Lumpkin, along with players from UIC, Kansas State, Purdue, Indiana State, Loyola (Md.), Edwardsville and Evansville. Head coach Chris Collins was quoted in the athletic department’s official release:
"This tour will be a tremendous opportunity for JerShon and Sanjay," Northwestern head men's basketball coach Chris Collins said. "They both were limited in the amount of game competition that they were able to experience last season, so it will be great for them to be able to get on the court and square off against some unfamiliar opponents. We expect them both to play big roles for us this next season and this will be a terrific way for them to get started."
What he (above) said, basically: neither player was able to suit up for more than four games last season, so allowing them to take part in a few exhibitions overseas, however competitive, is a good way to jumpstart Cobb and Lumpkin’s preseason preparation – to get Cobb and Lumpkin running, defending and attacking at full speed against a new opponent for the first time in more than 12 months -- in a setting outside coach-regulated summer practices on campus. Cobb and Lumpkin may not be totally up to speed by the time they return in August, but neither will the rest of the team; the Wildcats probably won’t be fully prepared for the upcoming season until they have to be (i.e. November). Cobb and Lumpkin can scrub away some of the rust from the seasons they just sat out, get a taste of European culture and return better prepared to help their teammates this fall. It’s a win, win.