Three players will join the 2019-20 Northwestern men’s basketball as walk-ons, according to a tweet put out on by the program on Tuesday.
The tweet formally introduced the names and numbers of the program’s many new roster additions for the upcoming season. Among those new players are walk-ons Roy Dixon III, Dylan Sandhu and Eric Zalewski — the three newest official members of a program that is welcoming in an astonishing total of eight new players this season.
With transfer guard Chase Audige forced to sit out a season due to NCAA rules, seven of the fourteen eligible players on the 2019-20 Northwestern roster are new to the program. Let that sink in. Half of the Wildcat roster will don the purple and white for the first time in their career when the season tips off in November.
My gut tells me that statistic is not ideal and likely going to be problematic, but this team’s roster is at least finally set and full of bodies, which was a legitimate concern a month-and-a-half ago when the team had just ten confirmed players on the roster.
To be fair, this 2019-20 squad still contains some of the top recruits in program history in addition to an already proven NCAA star athlete, albeit in a different sport. Although Vic Law and Dererk Pardon have left this program with quite a hefty load of production to replace, there is a substantial amount of young talent on this roster for Chris Collins to work with.
Anyways, without further ado, let’s get to know the three newest additions to the team. Here are your 2019-20 Northwestern men’s basketball walk-ons...
Roy Dixon III
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Dixon will be a true first-year student at Northwestern and arrives in Evanston after playing his high school basketball in Georgia at Greater Atlanta Christian School. Based on Dixon’s high school mixtape, the 5’11 youngster appears to be a “drive-and-kick” minded point guard with good vision in-and-around the paint. He also seems to have a solid stroke with a decent amount of range.
Dixon becomes the third player on this NU roster from the Atlanta area and the 2020 Final Four just so happens to be in...you guessed it, Atlanta. Potential homecoming opportunity and storyline to follow?
Year: Redshirt first-year
Hometown: Beverly Hills, Mich.
Dylan Sandhu joins the Wildcat roster after spending one year as a student manager for the basketball team at Butler University in Indianapolis, according to Ray O’Connell, the associate communications director for the NU men’s basketball program. Sandhu played high school basketball at Detroit Country Day School, where former NBA stars Chris Webber and Shane Battier also played growing up. Sandhu’s highlight reel suggests he is a spot up three-point shooter in the purest sense of the term.
Hometown: Buffalo Grove, Ill.
Zalewski joins the 2019-20 squad after serving as a team manager for the past two seasons. The junior walk-on hails from the nearby Chicago suburbs, where he played high school ball at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois. Here’s a cool 2015 article from the Chicago Tribune detailing one of his games at Stevenson in which he scored 15 points despite dislocating his left pinky finger earlier in the game. Zalewski was a member of the Stevenson basketball program when former Villanova star and current Dallas Mavericks point guard Jalen Brunson led the Patriots to the 2014-15 Illinois state title.