By Lena Blietz
Northwestern’s 6-foot-7 sophomore forward Vic Law will miss the season with a torn left labrum that needs surgery, the Wildcats announced on Wednesday.
“This hurts the Wildcats in the short run,” ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla said in a phone interview. “But this only ensures that the next couple of years beyond this, Chris Collins is going to have a very talented roster of young players.”
Collins, Northwestern’s third-year coach, is losing a player who averaged 7 points and 4.8 rebounds as a freshman, appearing in all 32 games and starting in 19.
“We’re certainly disappointed for Vic,” Collins said in a statement. “He dedicated himself and made great progress during this offseason, and had a great summer and preseason on the court. I have no doubt that his attitude toward recovery and improvement will be relentless and that he will continue to be a tremendous teammate. We expect a full recovery in 4-6 months and Vic remains a foundational piece of our program for the future.”
Law suffered the injury over the summer, but played in Northwestern’s exhibition game on Nov. 5 against Quincy, finishing with 10 points and six rebounds in an 80-64 win. The Wildcats are coming off back-to-back ties for 10th place in the Big Ten Conference and still are searching for their first NCAA Tournament berth.
“Certainly a blow to their chances,” Fraschilla said, “but what impressed me this last week when I watched them was how deep the team was.”
Fraschilla said the addition of freshmen Jordan Ash and Aaron Falzon should be a big help this season, while the redshirting of freshman Derrick Pardon plus next season’s return of Law will bode well for the Wildcats in the future.
“Making this decision was difficult, but it is absolutely the right one for me and for my team,” Law said in a statement. “I’m focused on staying positive, working hard and getting back on the court as quickly as possible. I’m excited to contribute to this group from the sidelines and my teammates know that nobody will be pushing them harder than I will this year.”
The Wildcats will begin regular-season play at 7 p.m. Friday against UMass Lowell at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston.
In other basketball news Wednesday, Northwestern announced the signing of three recruits to national letters of intent for next season: 6-foot-10 center Barrett Benson of Hinsdale South High School; 6-9 forward Rapolas Ivanauskas of New Hampshire’s Brewster Academy; and 6-3 guard Isiah Brown of Washington’s Lakeside School.