Let's talk Northwestern basketball! (Sorry there haven't been regular non-countdown updates. On the plus side, you're going to get at least two today. Maybe I should space em out more?) Anyway, it is the doldrums of summer -- I almost wrote "the doldrums of Sumer," which I dunno -- but, yes, we're still excited about Northwestern basketball under Chris Collins.
However, we have to wait for that. So, for now, let us focus on the few players who are currently active and playing basketball, John Shurna and Alex Olah, one of whom is balling out in Summer League, and one of whom is in Romania playing with their U20 team. It ain't much, but it's Northwestern basketball, and besides, this site was raised on me covering Kyle Rowley's summer Trinidad and Tobago exploits.
Shurna is proving he can drain jimmies for the Bucks in Summer League, which is awesome. 2-for-5 in the first game, 3-for-3 in the second, 2-for-5 again in the third, good for a percentage over 50 percent. He's also hit some free throws, although no two-pointers. All things told, he's averaging 8.3 points, third on the team and ahead of some under-contract Bucks in Ish Smith and Gustavo Ayon, while also averaging 2.7 boards and negligible stats in other categories.
At this point, I don't think Shurna is ever going to prove himself to be anything other than a shooter, which is surprising considering his game had so much more in college. But shooters are needed in the NBA, and if you can be damn good at it, which I think Shurna is, there's a spot for you. As for his play in Vegas, he's been a better shooter than the other "shooter" on the roster, Demetris Nichols, so if the Bucks decide to bring a one-dimensional guy like that to training camp, I think it would be Shurna. As of right now, they should have two to three spots open, and they only have two players on their roster who are even remotely good at shooting, so I think they could use him. BRING SHURNA TO THE NBA, SUMMERBUCKS.
As for the Summer League itself, it has a different format this year, with the teams competing in an elimination-style bracket to see who gets to be the SummerChampions. Milwaukee got the No. 9 seed and will play the Lakers Thursday at 1:30 p.m. on NBATV, and HELL YEAH I'LL BE WATCHING.
Also, you probably should look at this picture of John Shurna dunking and smiling, which might be the most John Shurna picture ever.
SummerOlah: Alex Olah, as I may have written about but might not, is playing with the Romanian U-20 team in Eurobasket. For those wondering, this is the exact same competition Alex Marcotullio played in twice. It's even the B division, like Marcotullio, where teams are literally just competing to gain promotion to the A division.
As for Olah, he's been damn fantastic for a Romanian squad that hasn't been very good. He's leading them with 16 points per game. Nobody else on the team is averaging more than 7.3 points per game. The most surprising thing is that he's shown the ability to hit threes, drilling 35 percent of his looks from beyond the arc. (Yes, he hit some in Northwestern's games, but only at a 21 percent clip.) Look -- he's even doing the Knicks' THREE TO THE HEAD celebration, which is making me swoon super-hard. The most disappointing thing is after a year he only averaged 4.1 rebounds per game, he's only averaging 5.3 rebounds per game, just a slight uptick against much worse competition, and only third on the team despite being the only player taller than... um... 2.00 meters.
As for Romania, they're currently 1-3. Seriously, Romania, this is the best you can do with home court advantage? Straight up Northwestern-esque.
They play Luxembourg, who are also 1-3, today, in their fifth and final group game. The winner will earn fourth place in the group, and thus advance to the knockout stages. If Olah can't beat the country that produced Jean-Marc Melchior in basketball, there is no hope for him.
SummerEverybodyElse: Chris Collins and the boys, getting to work as shown in this video here:
In case you're wondering: yes, we're still excited about Northwestern basketball.
More from Sippin' On Purple:
- SoP Psychoanalytics Theater: Breaking down Reggie Hearn's dream about me and him being chased by hyenas
- Thursday Sips, ft. NU SPORTS JOKE THIEVERY, new numbers, a tragic misspelling
- Lionel Messi played against Northwestern soccer players, Matt Eliason scored a ridiculous goal, AHHHHH!
- Damien Proby, Northwestern Wildcats football, No. 46
- Troy Sheppard, Northwestern Wildcats football, No. 47