For three July evaluation periods, Skelly worked for this. He showed off his "stretch-four" style reminiscent of former Duke star Ryan Kelly. After hearing the incredible news from Collins, he sat down with his parents and arrived at his decision.
He called the new head coach at Northwestern. Done deal. Power forward slot sealed. Another recruiting victory for these Northwestern Wildcats.
"It was definitely a great moment in my life," Skelly said. "This is the dream school."
To avoid questions about his potential: Skelly is shockingly underrated. This July, he stood tall against the best competition on the AAU circuit. With all of the inherent AAU pressure, he certainly proved his value. For perspective, Northwestern evaluated between 15 and 20 power forwards for this spot. Here's the final product.
Skelly–who inarguably loves NU more than any recruit I've talked with–spoke extensively about what he hopes to bring to the program:
"I'll bring a whole new presence of energy and excitement," Skelly said. "When someone dunks, I'll be dancing on the sidelines. I'll be getting after it. I think that's what I'll bring.
"I want to be a leader on and off the court. I want to be the biggest cheerleader. That's how I play my best."
This discussion would be incomplete without mentioning Patrick Baldwin, his lead recruiter. Baldwin, who Skelly called "more of a friend than an acquaintance," brought him to campus and made him love the NU program. He knew that if Skelly proved enough on the AAU circuit, his research would pay off.
So it did.
With absolute class, Skelly credited his AAU teammates for helping him this summer: "Every night, I'm thinking, ‘This could be the last time with these guys.' That's what really pushed me to another level.'"
One more thing: NU's not done. Not even close. Welcome to the new, exciting era where everything seems to fall into place.