Here's an opportunity.
Chicago shooting guard Alvin Ellis reopened his recruitment Wednesday, jolting from Minnesota just four hours before Richard Pitino was hired to replace Tubby Smith. It leaves the Golden Gophers with just one 2013 commit, and it leaves Northwestern with a budding opportunity to kick off the Collins era with a bang.
Ellis, a 6-4 two-guard from De La Salle, received offers from Kansas State, Wichita State and the Cats before opting for Minnesota. He averaged 20 points a game this season, notching Class 4A all-state second-team honors.
While Kansas State has enjoyed a consistent decade and Wichita State nuzzled its way into the national spotlight with its surprising Final Four run this March, Northwestern's not out of the running for Ellis' services. Collins boasts strong Chicago ties after playing high school ball at Glenbrook North and helping to bring in local products Jon Scheyer and Jabari Parker for Duke. Other schools are likely to enter the equation as well, given that Ellis is one of the best remaining uncommitted players in the class of 2013.
Similar to the Wildcats' situation with Jaren Sina, Minnesota could still land Ellis after a period of open recruitment — though that seems unlikely. Stay tuned as this story continues to develop.