Watch twenty seconds of highlights and you get the point: Chris Collins wants to recruit athletes. In the clip, O.G. Anunoby rises for two-handed dunks, pulls up for mid-range jumpers, and shows off size and strength — two things never really associated with the Northwestern program.
The 2015 small forward from Jefferson City (Mo.) played in front of NU coaches already during his high school season, an early sign of the Wildcats’ interest. He likely flashed something special, because they’ve stayed in contact.
“They text me a lot,” Anunoby said, “and they’ve been coming to my games. They want me to visit.”
NU pulled in a commit from 2014 point guard Johnnie Vassar on Friday, continuing their momentum and their focus. The Wildcats are looking for quick athletes who can push the tempo — certainly a departure from the strengths of their current personnel.
Anunoby would probably be someone to help the cause. He’s smartly interested in a school that will best fit his game: They need to get up and down the court while playing high-pressure defense.
Self-described as an “athletic three” who can “shoot and defend,” Anunoby fits the requirements for guys NU might look toward for its 2014 class. Even with the Vic Law signing, the Cats could still use some wing depth and athleticism up and down the roster.
As his NU recruitment currently led by Patrick Baldwin heats up – and it certainly will – Anunoby can focus on two familiar things about the program. He noted Coach Collins’ pedigree and then mentioned another important connection.
“My friend committed there, Scottie [Lindsey],” he said. “I went on a visit to Iowa and got to know him, and he liked Northwestern a lot.”
With five commits locked in for the 2014 class (and all of the transfer talk on the backburner until the end of the season), the attention slowly shifts toward the staff’s second group of recruits.
For now, watch the highlights, and watch the player. They’ll keep an eye on O.G. Anunoby.