In a recruiting season filled with the high hopes–namely Tyler Ulis and Reid Travis–we can forget that attainable, under-recruited players are on the market. Chris Collins cannot transform this team in one season.
Rather, he needs to find the right pieces at the right positions, and build this entire roster in his vision. The Aldridge visit provides further insight into their intense recruiting, and the projected small forward has already built relationships with this staff.
"I liked the coaches: They were nice and respectful," Aldridge said. "I've talked mostly to Coach Baldwin, and to Coach Collins a little bit … They're trying to get the program up and going."
That involves some aggressive moves in Ohio, and the Team Work (AAU) squad in particular. His teammate and friend Gavin Skelly visited campus this past week, and the two frequently talk about the school's positive qualities.
He echoed the opinion of many other recruits, saying that the Chris Collins style is especially appealing.
"I feel like [NU] has some talent and they're going to improve, especially with Coach Collins," he said. "I know they're going to be up there.
"I feel like the style Coach Collins will run should fit well. He wants to play like Duke, with the style they used to run."
At the same time, Collins and Baldwin have catered to his individual style. Aldridge said they like his versatility and ball-handling ability, adding that Collins will watch him play in July. That month should be a defining juncture for the new head coach.
With an excellent performance, Aldridge might do enough to earn an offer. The coaching staff likes his game, and with Ivy League interest pouring in, academic requirements will not be a concern. Aldridge wants to work his way up and earn playing time wherever he goes. Most importantly for him, it's about that elusive "fit."
"The people around will be a big part of the decision," he said. "I want to feel comfortable with the people I'm around."
After the visit: So far, so good.