Of the players who appeared in a game last season, the tallest player Northwestern returns is 6-foot-5 Drew Crawford. Not exactly the weapons needed to bang in the Big Ten.
Well, the Wildcats received some positive news late Thursday night, when 7-foot-2 Chier Ajou was cleared by the NCAA and can play this season.
Ajou is a native of the South Sudan who attended St. Thomas More (Conn.) last year. Previously, he spent two years at Culver Academies in Indiana. Ajou, a cousin of Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng, moved to the United States in 2008 and there were reportedly some concerns regarding his transcript.
Ajou is just one of several additions to Northwestern's frontcourt for the upcoming campaign. Alex Olah is another 7-footer in the freshman class, while Louisville transfer Jared Swopshire and TCU transfer Nikola Cerina are also ready to contribute up front. Mike Turner is a redshirt freshman that didn't play last season.
Bill Carmody is set on the perimeter, with four starters returning. Drew Crawford is the go-to-guy, while Dave Sobolewski, JerShon Cobb and Reggie Hearn are also back.