To establish authentic "broad-based" recruiting ties–as preached by Jim Phillips–the coaching staff needed to look beyond the state line. In doing so, they discovered an exciting center in Alabama.
NU recently expressed interest in 7-1 center Isaac Haas. Though Haas admitted he hopes to become more familiar with the program, he sees the potential for appeal.
"I like the coaches and the way they've been recruiting me," he said. "I want to choose a place that will give me a good degree."
The four-star center from Hokes Bluff (Ala.) looks the part of a raw talent. He needs to catch up to game speed, but serves as an important interior presence for Alabama Challenge (AAU).
Haas told Scout.com recruiting analyst Josh Gershon that his top five included Kansas, UAB, Clemson, Stanford and Texas A&M. He still has yet to cut down his list, though, which leaves space for schools like NU to get in the mix.
"It's pretty static right now," Haas said. "But I'm going to start narrowing my list down in another month."
With some recent attention from the NU coaching staff, that process will involve researching one of the newest interested programs.
"I want to start researching the school when I get back," he said. "I've been taking it one school at a time."
Haas is an intriguing prospect. The "four-star" ranking reflects his potential rather than the current product on the floor. One thing that works in his favor: He has polished mechanics on the offensive end. By playing alongside elite talent throughout the EYBL circuit, Haas prepares to work on some improvements.
"I'm down with all of the techniques," he said. "I just need to get more physical. That's just one of the things I've been working on every day."
Sure, NU trails in his recruitment. But if Collins picks his spots–and commits to recruiting Haas–all of that could change.