Northwestern loses star F Drew Crawford for the year

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

Northwestern has started its season off well enough, opening 7-3 and earning nice wins over Illinois State and Baylor. To be honest, even though the most infamous school to never make an NCAA tournament wasn't looking like a world-beater, it did stack up a decent chance early on at eventually getting into the bubble conversation down the road.

But the Wildcats' outlook got a little tougher on Friday. The school announced Drew Crawford would need to undergo surgery on his right shoulder for a torn labrum. He will miss the remainder of the season, though the senior forward will be able to apply for a medical waiver and play again in 2013-14.

"Drew's situation is similar to Tre Demps' a year ago," coach Bill Carmody said in a statement. "Drew aggravated a previous injury in early September and attempted to play through it, but it just hasn't responded as we all would have liked. While it obviously hurts to lose a player of Drew's caliber, it provides an opportunity for his teammates to step up and contribute.”

Crawford made our preseason list of the top-50 wing players and put up 13.5 points per game this year. He was a All-Big Ten Third Team selection last season, and his 1,418 points are 10th-best all time at NU.

The Wildcats next play Monday night at home against Texas State.

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