EVANSTON, IL- Northwestern redshirt sophomore forward Vic Law is back on the court for the Wildcats basketball program this season. It’s been 364 days since the Chicago native last took the floor at NU’s Welsh-Ryan Area. Last year, Law only suited up for the Cats’ exhibition victory over Quincy University. Nearly a week later, the school announced that he would miss the entire season due to a nagging shoulder injury which required surgery.
The 6-foot-7 inch product of Chicago’s St. Rita High School was expected to be the team’s starting power forward. The injury changed all of that. Since then the 20-year-old has rehabbed, recovered, healed, and practiced to finally get back on the court. On Friday night, Law donned his No. 4 jersey for the first time since the surgery in the Wildcats 89-52 exhibition win over Illinois-Springfield.
He appeared to knock off some of the rust at least as he finished with 11 points, three rebounds, and one assist. He shot 4-of-11 from the field, 2-of-6 from three-point range, and went 1-of-2 from the free throw line in 23 minutes of playing time. He was one of five Wildcat players to finish in double figures. Head coach Chris Collins gave the following assessment of Law during his post-game press conference…
“(Law) really wants to be good and I’m just so proud of him. Whenever you miss a year, it’s hard. You want to play and everybody (has expectations). He sees what’s out there and he’s important to our success. Vic puts a lot of pressure on himself at times to be ‘that guy’. He really wanted to do well (in this game),” Collins said.
While Law may be coming along nicely in his recovery, a starting spot isn’t guaranteed at this time. Against UIS he split time at the power forward position with sophomore Aaron Falzon (who started in place of Law last season), and junior Gavin Skelly. Law even logged some minutes as a guard. But overall Collins was pleased.
“We were able to get our guys double figure minutes and get our feet wet,” he said.
The good thing for Law is that there won’t be too much pressure on him despite his desire to succeed. And that’s because coach Collins has plenty of depth to work with at the four spot this year. Aside from Law, Falzon, and Skelly, Northwestern also has freshman Rapolas Ivanauskas -who stands at 6-foot-9- on the roster. But at the end of the day, Collins is extremely happy to have his first top-75 recruit back on the active roster.
“Seeing Vic being able to break through was very important, I hope that’ll be a springboard of what’s to come.”
We’ll find out soon enough as Northwestern opens up the regular season next Friday when they host Mississippi Valley State.