Marcus Bartley hopes to 'start it all'

2014 point guard Marcus Bartley of MacArthur HS (Ill.) visited Northwestern campus on Tuesday, and expressed his wish to help build program tradition

Marcus Bartley earned his Northwestern offer almost immediately. It required only one look for Chris Collins to make the high-stakes decision: Trust that the 2014 point guard from MacArthur HS (Ill.) can help turn the team's fortunes.

Collins will never be the first to pitch tradition. He might always be the first to pitch players' ability to start new culture.

Bartley said the lack of NCAA Tournament appearances is hardly a deterrent. Instead, he can appreciate the concept of changing a program.

"It's very intriguing," Bartley said. "You want to be a guy who started it all."

Bartley visited campus on this busy Tuesday in Northwestern sports. There's an interesting connection between the major events.

First, defensive tackle Fred Wyatt officially announced his commitment to NU. This was aided by the fact that the coaching staff showed faith in him from the early stages of his recruitment.

Bartley, among the earliest targets of this new-look staff, said this dedication to his recruitment works very much in NU's favor.

"It means a lot to be among my first high-major offers," he said. "Collins could see my potential right away."

At 6-4, Bartley still manages to focus on the little things. He's your standard pass-first point guard, and frequently disrupts passing lanes with his length.

Though there's work to be done in his game, he would undoubtedly add important point guard depth for the near future—and perhaps even help guide this team to the postseason.

Collins continues to stress the importance of this first class. It's hard to understate: His 2014 group–still up in the air–will help to define his early years at NU.

"It's a big deal," Bartley said. "This will be the first group of his guys. It'll be the building block for the rest of the program, and set the tone for a winning program."

The Tuesday visit allowed Bartley and his father to gain a better understanding of campus. As well, they left with an even firmer impression of how crucial Bartley would be to the future of Northwestern basketball.

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