Men’s Basketball: Northwestern seniors ready to face Michigan in final home game

JerShon+Cobb+maneuvers+around+a+defender+for+a+layup.+The+senior+guard+has+battled+through+an+injury-riddled+year+to+make+contributions+in+his+final+season.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Men’s Basketball: Northwestern seniors ready to face Michigan in final home game

JerShon Cobb maneuvers around a defender for a layup. The senior guard has battled through an injury-riddled year to make contributions in his final season.

JerShon Cobb maneuvers around a defender for a layup. The senior guard has battled through an injury-riddled year to make contributions in his final season.

Nathan Richards/Daily Senior Staffer

JerShon Cobb maneuvers around a defender for a layup. The senior guard has battled through an injury-riddled year to make contributions in his final season.

Nathan Richards/Daily Senior Staffer

Nathan Richards/Daily Senior Staffer

JerShon Cobb maneuvers around a defender for a layup. The senior guard has battled through an injury-riddled year to make contributions in his final season.

Bobby Pillote, Assistant Sports Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Northwestern will bid farewell to three seniors Tuesday night in its final home game of the season against Michigan.

Guards Dave Sobolewski and JerShon Cobb and center Jeremiah Kreisberg will be suiting up for the last time on the purple Welsh-Ryan Arena court as the Wildcats (14-15, 5-11 Big Ten) seek to take revenge for an early season heartbreaker against the Wolverines (14-14, 7-9). As a campaign that has been dominated by freshmen, close defeats and losing streaks draws to an end, three upperclassmen will be ending chapters of three very different journeys.

Kreisberg, a graduate transfer from Yale, has played one season at NU but said he’ll still feel emotional being honored in front of fans as part of senior night. The big man didn’t get to play in his undergraduate sendoff because of injury, and was skeptical if he would ever play basketball again.

“To be able to play a full season at a place like this has been everything I could ever want,” Kreisberg said. “I’ve been able to improve, contribute and play at the highest level.”

Always slated as junior center Alex Olah’s backup, Kreisberg has appeared in 22 games this season and averaged 6.9 minutes per contest. His stats have been underwhelming, and he’s been overshadowed by freshman forward Gavin Skelly late in the season, but Kreisberg, a dual citizen of Israel, said he plans to pursue a professional career there after completing his graduate degree.

Cobb has been at NU five years – the longest of this season’s graduating class – and has had an incredibly polarized career over that time span. Ranked as the No. 90 recruit in his class by Rivals.com, Cobb started 25 contests as a true freshman, averaging 7.4 points and 3 rebounds in 24 minutes per game.

But then a promising 2011-12 campaign was hamstrung by injuries, and Cobb was suspended the following season for failing to meet academic standards. He returned in 2013 in an uncertain position thanks to the arrival of new head coach Chris Collins, but emerged as a key sidekick to forward Drew Crawford. Cobb has battled through a litany of ailments this season to continue to be a productive player and said he is determined to be on the court Tuesday night.

“These fans have been through a lot with me,” Cobb said. “I want to show my appreciation.”

Sobolewski followed a career arc similar to Cobb’s. A darling of the Bill Carmody era, Sobolewski started 65 games his freshman and sophomore years under the former coach and averaged 35 minutes per contest. His shooting percentage and playing time declined precipitously his junior year under Collins, but Sobolewski has recovered some of his form this year to be a valuable, if unspectacular, contributor off the bench.

It comes as no surprise his favorite memory as a Cat is from his freshman season.

“Beating (then-No. 6) Michigan State my first year was a lot of fun when they stormed the court,” Sobolewski said.

Collins said he expects Cobb and Sobolewski to be in the starting lineup Tuesday, and all three seniors will be necessary for beating a Michigan squad that narrowly defeated NU, 56-54, in the teams’ last meeting on Jan. 17.

But the key to success, as it has been all season for a young Cats team, will be less experienced players making an outsized impact.

“It’s really important for the non-seniors to get you off to a good start,” Collins said. “The first couple minutes is going to be emotional.”

Email: bpillote@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @BobbyPillote

Comments