NU Wildcats Men’s Basketball Player to Watch: John Shurna
Looking to make a run to their first ever NCAA Tournament, the Northwestern Wildcats have a serious weapon in their arsenal: John Shurna. After putting up 531 points last year, the senior power forward enters the 2011-2012 season just 524 points shy of becoming Northwestern’s all-time leading scorer.
Standing at 6’9’’, Shurna has been a staple at power forward in his first three seasons for the Wildcats, starting 95 of his 97 career games. As a true freshman he started every game for the Cats and led the team in field goal percentage, but his sophomore year proved to be his break out season. In the 2009-2010 season, John led the team with 18.2 points per game and set new Northwestern single-season records for points (619) and field goals (217). His efforts landed him on the All Big Ten 2nd team as well as being named the Most Improved Player in the nation by Sporting News. After starting last year on the preseason watch list for the Naismith Award, Shurna was named to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 30 and finished the season by yet again leading the Wildcats in scoring.
Expectations are high for Shurna as he enters this season as a preseason All-American selection by both Sporting News and Athlon Sports, and he is listed on the John R. Wooden Award watch list (some recent members of that list include Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, and Evan Turner). He has a skill-set that would draw the attention of any NBA team: a good passer, a solid outside shooter, tough to defend, and strong defensively. If he continues to play the way he played the last two seasons, we can expect to see John Shurna in the NBA next year. One thing is for sure, Shurna makes Northwestern Men’s Basketball a team to watch all year.
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