St. Joseph HS (Ill.)
Illinois Wolves (AAU)
6-foot, 165 lbs.
Last July, Tavaras Hardy attended an AAU tournament at Riverside-Brookfield High School. As he expected, Jordan Ash dazzled with his off-ball ability and strong form for such a young prospect. Northwestern offered the top-10 point guard for the class of 2015.
He's young but immensely talented. You don't need rankings or offer lists to understand that. Hardy developed an especially strong relationship with him in recent months.
By age 15, Ash heard from Hardy. The Northwestern assistant zoned in on Ash immediately, preparing for the days when the in-state point guard will see his recruitment explode.
Ash has learned the mental toughness characteristic of the St. Joseph's program led by legendary coach Gene Pingatore. He also prides himself on leadership, as evidenced by his performance at the Spiece Run N Slam.
His 16U team loaded with talents thrives on a four-guard system. That can lead to defensive struggles, but against an Eric Gordon All-Stars team, he gave up several inches on defense to guard the opposing power forward.
Ash is more of a contained system player than someone who dominates on the AAU circuit. He pulls up for jumpers, but can also draw contact and finish in the lane. On multiple occasions, he created shots for Roosevelt Smart and Prentiss Nixon.
It's interesting to note that the 2015 recruiting class has more direction–per se–than the upcoming group. Hardy focused his efforts on Ash and Evan Boudreaux, which in itself would be an excellent haul. Though Ash often seemed more comfortable as a shooting guard (in a point guard's body), the elite point guard could provide "program-turning" impact in Evanston.
I think that Marcus Bartley will end up at Northwestern. He's a pass-first point guard and an ideal building block for future seasons. There's also room, though, for a great two-way player in Ash. In the first few seasons, as Collins develops program reputation, the Wildcats need to establish "sure-thing" pieces. Ash certainly qualifies, and he's someone already passionate about the NU program and about his relationship with Tavaras Hardy.
We'll wait another year for his decision timetable to take shape. But in 2015, there's a lot to be excited for.
Jordan Ash holds offers from Northwestern, DePaul and Purdue.
He spoke to Purple Wildcats HERE.