The furtive nature of recruiting lends itself to hyper-analysis of just about every step. So when former 2013 point guard commit Jaren Sina spurned Northwestern for Seton Hall and his native New Jersey, the inevitable concerns arose: Losing Sina stunts the backcourt, puts a damper on 2013 and perhaps even scuffs up the mint condition of the Chris Collins era.
Caught in the debris of missing out on one of the program's most touted recruits ever, plenty of fans will be reaching for a big purple panic button. But, taking the time to actually process what went down, a Sina-less Northwestern isn't too scary if you ward off those hyper-analytical big-picture doubts.
Seriously, it's okay.
Sina's a veritable talent, and by all accounts, a good program fit. Emblematic of Northwestern finally taking the next step and becoming a legitimate competitor in the Big Ten, adding Sina would have been a nice touch to the Cats' immediate on-court product. But losing Sina says nothing about the near future of the Wildcats, and it certainly doesn't say anything about Collins' program or the direction of Northwestern basketball.
Rising junior Dave Sobolewski is still here, and even without the Princeton offense, he's still capable of manning the point guard position. Sobolewski's inflated number of shot attempts and paltry offensive production last year was merely a product of the Wildcats losing scoring options left and right.
With a healthy Drew Crawford, a galvanized Jershon Cobb and an improved Kale Abrahamson and Alex Olah, Sobo should by all accounts be able to return to 2011-12 form, where he notched Big Ten All-Freshman honors and flashed an impressive assist-to-turnover ratio that tops Aaron Craft's this year.
Sobolewski is more than capable of anchoring Northwestern at the point this fall. Who's to say Sina would have hit the ground running in his first season anyway? With an offer already out to 2014 point guard and MacArthur HS standout Marcus Bartley, Sina's absence doesn't hurt the Wildcat backcourt as much as initially perceived.
Of course, this doesn't look great for Chris Collins at first glance either. But although his first major push for a recruit comes up empty-handed, Collins can't be blamed for this one. Sina's recruitment efforts were already in place well before he arrived, and the New Jersey native chose to stay home and play with Fred Hill, the assistant that originally brought him in to Evanston.
Sina simply chose to stay comfortable; this says much less about Northwestern's recruiting than it does about Sina's desire to remain at home. Remember, Sina also had Indiana on his final list.
And as for the future? As Collins continues to tap the Chicago recruiting base, Northwestern builds lakeside facilities and the program continues to march closer to the national spotlight, recruits of Sina's caliber will become increasingly common.
No, it's not how we imagined it. It's also not as big as we perceive it to be. Sina's found another Northwestern in Seton Hall, and as Collins and Tavaras Hardy attack the recruiting trail, it's only a matter of time until Northwestern finds another Sina.