As a freshman and a sophomore, senior captain Dave Sobolewski logged over 1,000 minutes each season. After a junior year where he saw only 579 minutes on the court and didn't start every game, he has a chip on his shoulder. We asked him how he's adapted to being a captain, his role on the team and more.
Coach Collins and your teammates have talked a lot in the past about your role as a captain and a leader on this team. How does that role change now that you’re a senior and with so many highly regarded freshman on the team?
It has definitely been a different leadership role with so many young guys, it's been a big offseason for us, getting all of them acclimated to college basketball, so it's definitely been a bigger role for the veterans making sure that we did a good job acclimating them to the program. All that's pretty much finished and we're ready to get going.
So how do you go about acclimating a new recruit to the program?
Just showing them the right way to go about your business everyday, showing the older guys we need to be a connection with Coach Collins out on the court and we gotta show the freshmen the right way to go about things. That was really what we wanted to show them in the off-season.
And on the court, how do the veterans fit in with these freshmen? What’s the gameplan?
Just like any other team, it's a good group of guys, they’re hungry to learn and the entire group's excited to get going. How we fit in, that’s up to the coaches.
You were also a highly regarded recruit coming out of high school. Do you see any similarities between yourself and this crop of freshmen?
There’s a similar hunger. Everybody was just hungry to get into college basketball and hungry to improve and hungry to win games, so yeah there’s definitely similarities there.
And has that hunger changed over time? Is it as strong as it once was?
It's absolutely as strong as it was, going into my last year especially. This is my last chance at college basketball, so that hunger hasn’t dwindled at all.
And that black cloud of a first NCAA tournament bid always seems to hang over this team. Is that your guys primary driving point?
It's definitely a goal of all of ours, we don’t necessarily talk about it, but it's in the backs of all our minds and it's something we would love to accomplish.
Drew Crawford is obviously a huge loss for the team, how can you can step up and help fill that void – how will the team fill that void?
We’re going to have to replace Drew by committee. It’s not going to be one guy's job to replace Drew, but we're all going to have do a little part to do so. We really like the strides we've made in the offseason. We feel like were at a much better point this year than we were last year, so were really excited to get going and watch how our hard work will pay off.
And can you talk a bit about any of the work you’ve been doing to adapt to Coach Collins’ offense?
I worked my butt off all offseason, really just in all aspects of my game – shot off the dribblle, off the catch, just every aspect of my game I felt like I wanted to improve. I’ve really done a lot of work in the off-season and I’m excited to see it pay off.
Your Twitter account reads "Believing in God's plan." Is faith something you take onto the court?
It’s just something I like to live by. I have a strong faith and I trust in whatever God puts in my path.
This is your final year at Northwestern, what kind of legacy would you like to leave?
I’d just like to be remembered, and I would love to leave this place having made an impact and leaving it a better place than when I got here. That’s always been a goal of mine, just leaving an impact however I can on the people, on the basketball, in any way shape or form.
And do you think that this program is better than when you came on?
Yeah, absolutely, it’s definitely on the upswing and it’s exciting to be a part of.
Are there any particular freshmen that have stood out to you?
You know the whole group, it's like I told you – they’ve been a hardworking group. They’ve been eager to learn and eager to get better so its been a fun group to work with.