Nadkarni: Plenty of reasons to still enjoy Northwestern basketball

Rohan Nadkarni, Sports Editor

If you watched the entire men’s basketball game at Iowa over the weekend, then you, like me, wished you had thought more about applying to Michigan. Even though it doesn’t have a journalism program, at least that one girl you know from middle school goes there and knows where to find some really good Middle Eastern food.

Well, even if all those exact thoughts didn’t cross your mind, you probably let out a few expletives usually only reserved for the worst of dentists when freshman center Alex Olah and graduate student forward Jared Swopshire both went down with injuries. With a matchup looming against Ohio State, continuing to watch the Wildcats could be tough for even the biggest of fans.

Fortunately, that’s where I come in. I may not play center like I did in my recreational basketball days, but I can offer these reasons why you should still enjoy men’s basketball the rest of the way, even if injuries seemingly ruined this season.

Reggie Hearn: Last year, I referred to Hearn, a senior guard, as the lounge kid because of his tireless work ethic, akin to the one kid always pouring over their work in your dorm lounge. Well, Hearn hasn’t disappointed this year. Battling injury troubles of his own, the senior refuses to let his team make excuses.

Watch as Hearn battles for every loose ball, defends with all out-intensity and plays with full energy every second he’s on the court. Hearn and fellow senior Alex Marcotullio have only precious few games left in purple and white, and both are playing with the fiery passion that makes basketball fun to watch.

Legend Killers: During the NBA season, when former Spartan Draymond Green was matched up against LeBron James, it occurred to me how awesome it was to witness Davide Curletti steal Green’s lunch money during last year’s upset over Michigan State.

This year, the Cats already notched one semi-upset over in-state rival Illinois. With one more game left against the Illini, as well as matchups with Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State, NU could score one more big upset before the season ends.

Although it’s highly unlikely, especially without Swop and Olah, the beauty of coach Bill Carmody’s system is that when it all clicks on the right night, the Cats can hang with anyone. And it would be especially sweet to beat Ohio State after what happened in Evanston last year. I hate Jared Sullinger.

One Northwestern: Last week, I bumped into Olah at late-night Plex. As we filled up cereal next to one another, I clumsily wished him good luck against Iowa, and he thanked me, acknowledging they’ll need it. Aside from my takeaway that I’m kind of creepy around people and I probably made Olah regret deciding to eat cereal that night, I realized that we all have it tough on this campus.

I’m busy with midterms and attempting not to ruin a 130-year legacy at The Daily. Maybe you’re on a DM exec committee. Maybe you’re an ASG committee member juggling tons of other responsibilities. Maybe you’re studying away from NU this quarter, isolated from your friends and relationships. Or maybe you’re just a tall freshman who was the focal point of a Princeton offense before taking a hit to the head.

But we’re all students, and it’s our job to support each other.