Though initially reported back in February, Northwestern made the addition of Virginia Tech transfer Joey van Zegeren official on Monday.
The addition is a big one for the Cats, who can use van Zegeren's experience as an NCAA big man in a major conference. He's a 6-foot-10 native of the Netherlands and spent the past four seasons with the Hokies, going up against stiff competition in the ACC.
Suspended indefinitely before conference play began last season, he was no longer with the team by the end of January. But van Zegeren did graduate and earn his degree, meaning he's immediately eligible to suit up for Chris Collins this fall.
"We're really excited to add someone of Joey's caliber to our program," Collins said in the team's announcement. "He brings four years of ACC experience, and he's a veteran guy on the front line who has been very accomplished at a high level. He'll bring great athleticism, physicality and size, but most importantly experience to our team as we head into next season.”
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In 31 games as a redshirt sophomore in 2013-14, van Zegeren averaged 6.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game in 22 minutes per game. In 13 games last season, he averaged 9.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.
It's a boost to the Cats' big-man corps, which consisted mainly of seven-footer Alex Olah. Backup center Jeremiah Kreisberg moved on after his lone season as a graduate student, leaving soon-to-be-sophomore Gavin Skelly, at 6-foot-8, the tallest returning player.
Northwestern will also welcome in 6-foot-8 freshman recruit Derek Pardon, who's listed as a center on his Rivals page.