Q&A: Drew Crawford on leadership, his father and NU's tournament chances

    Entering his third year as a member of the Northwestern basketball team, Drew Crawford is expected by many to take on more than ever this season. Last year, Crawford averaged 12.2 points per game, an increase from his 10 points per game in the 2009-2010 season. With Juice Thompson’s playmaking ability gone from the team, Crawford’s play will be even more important in determining how well the ‘Cats fare this year.

    How do you feel about the upcoming season? What will your role be this year?

    We’re all excited. This is really an important year for us. We had a pretty successful year last year, and now we’re just trying to build on that. I think my role as a junior is helping the younger guys get into the routine and to be a leader for those guys.

    Who is the biggest matchup on the schedule? Who are you most looking forward to playing?

    We’ve obviously got a lot of big games this year, it’s hard to pick just one. Baylor is coming here, that’s going to be big. That’ll be exciting.

    Who was the toughest guy to guard last year?

    Jordan Taylor, probably. He’s a real good player for Wisconsin. He’s real good when the clocks winding down, he’s a real tough player.

    How do you feel about the purple court? What’s it doing for the team’s mojo?

    The court’s pretty cool, we like it a lot. Personally, I’m glad we didn’t get the all purple that would’ve been a bit too much. This is definitely a welcome change to our gym, though.

    How have the freshmen [Mike Turner, Dave Sobolewski and Tre Demps] looked so far in practice?

    They’ve been looking pretty good. So far it’s hard to tell because it’s so early but I think they all have the chance to play. They’re like sponges right now, they’re just trying to soak everything up.

    Who wins in a three-point shootout: you, John Shurna or Alex Marcotullio?

    [Laughs] In competitive spirit, I would want to say me. To be honest though, probably Al or Shurna most days. I might get them on a good day.

    How is your dad [NBA referee Dan Crawford] dealing with the NBA lockout? Is he thinking about going overseas like some of the players?

    He’s just trying to stay in shape right now, just waiting for the call. He’s been reffing some pro-am games but he’s not really in the loop. He just knows when they’re meeting.

    So, is this the year Northwestern finally makes the tournament?

    That’s the ultimate goal. The last few years we’ve gotten close but fallen short. Just a win here or there and we’re in. We just need to build on that.

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