Northwestern has been especially stingy with offers. They’ve only extended six for the time being, which makes this July evaluation period crucial to the future of NU basketball.
Some tournaments and individual performances will define the team’s 2014 recruiting haul. With Vic Law already on board, there’s some optimism surrounding the program. Still, the coaching staff would like to add three more prospects, and why not? Collins wants to re-define the roster in his vision, and his first efforts appear extremely effective.
Now, the coaching staff hits the road to watch candidates on the fringe of receiving offers. They’ll toss out some in July and some in August, hoping to find the next great addition. We’ll be all over coverage of Northwestern basketball recruiting efforts, beginning with a pivotal tournament in Indianapolis.
Event: Adidas Invitational
Date: July 10-14
UPDATED: PLAYERS TO WATCH (in attendance)
Joe Burton, 4-star shooting guard
Ben Lammers, 3-star center
Matt Cimino, 3-star center
Andre Chatfield, 3-star shooting guard
Mack Mercer, 3-star power forward
Bryant McIntosh, 3-star shooting guard
B.J. Taylor, unranked point guard
Gavin Skelly, unranked power forward
Peyton Aldridge, unranked power forward
Scott Lindsey, unranked shooting guard
What does the future of the 4-spot look like?
Everything indicates that Chris Collins would like to land a power forward. There’s very little depth at the position, which will only grow worse when Nikola Cerina graduates. This makes Indianapolis one of the most important tournaments in all of July.
There are three primary targets at the 4-spot who plan on playing in Indianapolis: Peyton Aldridge, Gavin Skelly and Mack Mercer. Patrick Baldwin continues to recruit Aldridge and Skelly, both of Team Work (Ohio) on the AAU circuit. Aldridge functions as more of the stretch-4 prototype, with Skelly an insanely athletic traditional interior player.
We have first word on Mercer’s Northwestern recruitment. The Plymouth (Ind.) power forward emerged as a target in recent weeks. Despite being fairly under-recruited, mention of his name has started to turn heads on the trail.
Can local players step up?
With several Illinois players in attendance, some new faces could very well make an impression on this coaching staff. Although the current list (for 2014 alone) includes at least 19 players with open recruitments, NU is certainly open to some extensive research.
It’ll be interesting to see how flexible the group is throughout the first week. Could they jump in on once-fringe prospects? Despite this clear vision and aggression, you never know how the plans might change.
It’s important to understand how flexible some of the travel plans are. If Baldwin sees some dominant shooting guard early in Indy, Collins has the ability to catch a red-eye flight and see for himself. Crazy things happen, and the NU staff has more than enough scholarships to work with.
Will Scott Lindsey keep rising?
Several local analysts continue to praise the Fenwick HS (Ill.) shooting guard after his strong spring. Lindsey criticized his own game this high school season, explaining that he started to turn the corner in AAU ball.
Lindsey visited campus early in the Collins era and enjoyed the experience. It’ll take a lot for him to reach high-major offer status, but NU could work with a talented wing player. This is your standard sleeper pick.
The instate talent boasts some versatility that could help his case. He’s at the very least guaranteed to receive some attention from the NU coaching staff. If he succeeds, really, anything could happen.
We’ll have coverage of AAU tournaments and Northwestern basketball recruiting news throughout the month.