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Wildcat Shootaround: What we’re thankful for this Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from Inside NU!

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Pereles: This year I’m thankful for Austin Carr, for two reasons. You know what he’s done on the field — go vote for him for the Biletnikoff while you’re at it — and it’s been nothing short of spectacular. He’s become one of the best players in the nation, and in strictly football terms, he’s done this team a world of good. He’s the only true downfield threat and, along with Clayton Thorson, he has allowed this offense to be somewhat balanced.

But off the field, Carr is a great ambassador for the university. He’s involved with a ton of off-field organizations and just a fantastic overall guy who will make a difference in his community post-Northwestern, whether that’s in the NFL or in everyday life. I sincerely hope a guy who has given so much to this program can participate on his Senior Day.

Sam Brief: ZP stole Austin Carr from right under me, so I’m thankful for Touchdown Trevor Siemian. Yes, he’s cooled down a bit after starting 4-0 as a starter, but Northwestern having a starting QB on a really solid NFL team is a blessing. The trust John Elway and Gary Kubiak have placed in him should make all Northwestern fans honored to an extent. He might be Denver’s starting QB, but at heart, he’s our starting QB. I’m forever thankful for Touchdown Trevor.

Caleb Friedman: I know football rules the day on Thanksgiving, but I’ll go to the hardwood for my pick: I’m thankful for Vic Law. Law is back after missing all of last season, and he has completely changed the dynamic of Northwestern basketball. He’s averaging 16.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game this season, and gives the Chris Collins a new dimension on the wing. Yes, it’s early in the season, but Law is shooting a ridiculous 70 percent from three-point range, and he’s the best perimeter threat Northwestern has. A string of impressive performances against good competition has the Wildcats thinking about a postseason appearance, and Law is at the center of it.

Chris Grismer: I’m thankful for Scottie Lindsey. Now in his third season, Lindsey has blossomed into a versatile offensive weapon, more than holding his own in the starting lineup. While all the spotlight has been on Vic Law, Lindsey has been the team’s second-best player this year. Through five games, he’s averaging 14.6 points a night and a blistering 45.5% from downtown. With a history of steady improvement, the best is yet to come for Lindsey.

Ian McCafferty: I’ll bring us back to football by saying that I’m thankful for Pat Fitzgerald. As we see year after year, finding a good head coach is very difficult, but Northwestern’s has had the right man for the job for years now. Say what you want about this season, but Northwestern did not look like a bowl quality team after the first two weeks of the season. The job Fitzgerald has done this year, and really every year, to whip the team into the shape is impressive.

Josh Burton: I’m thankful for Dererk Pardon. It’s not the most obvious pick, but the development he has undergone just from his freshman year has been cool to watch so far and it’s clear he has a bright future. A legitimate rim-protector is something Northwestern knew it needed when Alex Olah graduated, and Pardon has filled that role to a tee. Just his presence down low can change how the opposition attacks the paint, and as we saw in the Notre Dame game — when he blocked seven shots — that makes an enormous difference.

Rob Schaefer: I’m going to come way out of left field with this one, but this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for Northwestern women’s soccer. You heard me. This is a team that boasted the best defense in the nation all season, won the Big Ten regular season crown and just advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament (the farthest they’d been since 1998) before being knocked out by Duke. In a time when the Northwestern football team’s bowl dreams hinge on a final-week showdown with Illinois, the men’s basketball team has still never clinched an NCAA Tournament berth (optimism for this year aside) and the women’s basketball team hasn’t been out of the first round of said tournament since 1993, let’s appreciate postseason success at NU when we see it!

Martin Oppegaard: I’m thankful for Jim Phillips. Not many schools have an Athletic Director that is as involved as Phillips is. He’s done so much for Northwestern, including signing off on the new lakeside athletic facility as well as the renovations for Welsh-Ryan Arena. Perhaps more importantly, Phillips attends as many Northwestern games as he physically can, no matter the sport. Wishing Jim and his family a very happy Thanksgiving today!

From all of us at Inside NU, we are thankful for you, our readers! Happy Thanksgiving, Wildcat fans.