WNUR Sports director Jim Sannes @JimSannes takes a look at the numbers of Reggie Hearn as he emerges as the leader of the Northwestern Wildcats basketball team.Now that there is a void in my life where I can’t fan-boy on Venric Mark and Brandon Vitabile, I needed someone else to focus my man-crush powers on. Enter Reggie Hearn.
The former walk-on has gone from averaging 2.4 minutes per game as a sophomore to 31.8 as a senior. He has been the best player on the floor for the ‘Cats this year, and the effort he puts forth is unquestionable and a delight to watch.
Finally, this man is getting his due. People are starting to recognize just how solid he has been:
Damn I love Reggie Hearn
— Nick Medline (@NicholasMedline) January 20, 2013
I’m not sure I’ve ever liked a basketball player as much as I like Reggie Hearn #Northwestern
— Mike Loszach (@MikeyLo34) January 20, 2013
I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a college basketball player improve as much as Reggie Hearn has.
— Rodger Sherman (@sippinonpurple) January 20, 2013
Let’s take a look at the numbers behind Reggie Hearn to show just how big he has been for the ‘Cats.
42: In two games against ranked opponents this week, Hearn combined for 42 points.
Before head coach Bill Carmody called out the entire senior class, Hearn had two career 20-point games (20 vs. Illinois last year, 23 vs. Mississippi Valley State this year). He then proceeded to casually drop 20 on Illinois again and 22 on Indiana. His first two years at Northwestern, he had 24 points COMBINED! CHILD, GET UP OUTTA HERE! In those games against #23 Illinois and #2 Indiana, Hearn shot .579 from the field and .895 from the free throw line while only committing one turnover. I’ll be the first to admit that my knowledge of basketball is severely limited, but it is easy to tell that Hearn is the best player on this roster right now.
.514: Hearn leads the team in field goal percentage at .514.
Second on the team in this category is Dave Sobolewski at .435 (minimum 10 shots attempted). Hearn takes smart shots and doesn’t force his way into the offense unnecessarily. For a former walk-on to be ninth in the Big Ten in points per game (14.5) and 13th in shooting percentage, that’s pretty special. His Twitter bio says, “I try to play basketball…but the reality is I wish I was a lil bit taller, I wish I was a baller, and I wish I had a girl who looked good, I would call her.” Well, he’s got the baller part down, so, as for that girl… I gotcha covered, Reggie. (Yes, that is me in a size 22 dress as a sophomore in high school. No shame).
22: Hearn, despite missing two games, leads the ‘Cats in steals with 22.
Hearn’s 1.3 steals per game puts him at fifteenth in the Big Ten. For a Northwestern team that ranks eighth in the conference with 5.8 steals per game, Hearn is crucial for their defensive success. He’s 6’4”, yet he is still tied for second on the team in rebounds per game behind only Jared Swopshire. He hustles for everything and never slacks on a possession. He’s playing NBA 2K13 with player fatigue turned off. There should just be six of him. Everywhere.
I’m assuming my man crush on Reggie became official in the victory over Illinois, where the ‘Cats once again did this to Illinois (because who doesn’t love Space Jam?). It’s tough that Reggie is playing his best basketball during his senior year when the rest of a program is in a rebuilding phase. That said, the fact that the rest of the young roster has a man like Hearn to learn from ensures that his influence will be benefiting the ‘Cats even after his graduation.