The 2016-2017 season is a crucial one for the Northwestern Wildcats and head coach Chris Collins. Collins enters his fourth year, and the general consensus is that his program has to show significant signs of progress in order to reach the ultimate goal of making the NCAA tournament by the target year of 2018, when his first recruiting class will all be seniors. Collins has high expectations of a talented bunch of players, and they’ll need to show his expectations are not unfounded. With that, we run through every player on the roster this season. Up next is uber-athletic wing Vic Law.
Who he is:
Redshirt Sophomore | Forward | 6-foot-7 | 205 pounds | South Holland, IL
|Points||Minutes||Assists||Rebounds||Blocks||Off. Rating||FG%||3pt FG%||eFG%||Usage|
Via Shot Analytics
*from the 2014-2015 season
Law showed a propensity to hit from the top of the arc in his debut season, but he struggled from pretty much everywhere else. His struggles around the bucket were somewhat surprising considering how good of an athlete he is, and his shooting from everywhere else was inconsistent at best.
Coming off a shoulder injury that ended his true sophomore season before it ever started, Law is a key part of this team. He’s a great athlete with length to help out in a a major way defensively. He showed the ability to shoot from the outside down the stretch of his freshman year. He’s the type of athlete Northwestern needs to climb up the Big Ten ladder this season.
Law’s biggest strength is what he provides physically and what he can do with those tools. He can jump with the best of them, and the 20 pounds he has put on since his freshman year will certainly pay dividends. He was the ninth-best three-point marksman in the Big Ten with a 44.5 percent clip during conference play, when he looked much more comfortable after a slow start. He’s also fantastic on the glass, which is perhaps his greatest asset. He now has the size and strength to compete with the toughest wings in the conference on both sides of the ball.
When we last saw him, Law had issues with turnovers and trying to do too much off the bounce. He was best used as a catch-and-shoot player, but he tried to create too often, usually resulting in turnovers or awkward possessions. Northwestern needs scorers, and that’s not something we saw he could do as a freshman. The other issue was his lack of overall strength, which seems to be fixed. Of course the biggest question is how quickly he adapts to playing in real games after missing over a year.
Law is supposed to be a “jack-of-all-trades” this season for the Wildcats, per Collins. And he’ll have the opportunity to do playing both forward positions. He’ll be depended on as a scorer, a top defender, a rebounder and a guy who spreads the floor as a three-point shooter. It’s a lot to put on a guy who’s returning from a major injury, but this is what Law signed up for when he made the decision to come to Northwestern as the program’s best-ever recruit.