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Jared Swopshire Already Making An Impression At Northwestern

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In news that should surprise none of us, the players, fans and other folks connected to the Northwestern basketball program are already growing quite fond of former Cardinal Jared Swopshire.

The Wildcats have started holding daily intrasquad scrimmages, and Swop has quickly made an impression on his new teammates.

Here's the scene at Welsh-Ryan Arena: It's 9 a.m. but already steamy, and some players are bent over in exhaustion at the end of a two-hour scrimmage.

But not Jared Swopshire, the transfer from Louisville, or Drew Crawford, the heart of Northwestern basketball.

Cardinal conditioning, y'all.

Swopshire hits a short fadeaway over Crawford, who responds with an 18-foot jumper. Swopshire nails a tough lefty hook over Crawford, who then drains a 3-pointer. Suddenly it's a game of one-on-one with eight witnesses.

Swopshire drives the baseline past Crawford, who hacks him. But there's no ill will. Crawford pats him on the behind.

And when the scrimmage ends, they fist bump (or "dap each other up," as Crawford puts it) and agree to make this a regular thing.

"We said, 'Let's do this every day,'" Swopshire said. "We're pushing each other to better the team."

Crawford: "We said, 'That's what we need to do all year - work hard in practice, do the same thing in the games.'"

I already miss the guy and I'm really hoping he takes Northwestern to the tournament for the first time ever.