Power forward search centers on Cimino

Northwestern is watching 3-star PF Matt Cimino very closely during July evaluations. Find out more about the new target in this PW Insider update.

INDIANAPOLIS— Everything clicked for Matt Cimino. The three-star power forward understands exactly what Northwestern attempts to establish. He believes that Chris Collins can win, and now, that future lineup may one day include his name.

A versatile target who can spread the floor, Cimino began hearing from the NU coaching staff, which could certainly utilize his skill set. Despite entering his recruitment only recently, the Wildcats have made quite the impression.

"I've been hearing from Northwestern a lot," Cimino said. "I just talked to Coach Collins a week ago. It's been pretty exciting."

What explains the excitement, though? For Cimino, part of it involves academics. He's fielding interest from several prestigious schools, and the Worcester (Mass.) student wants to obtain an excellent degree.

But it carries over the court, and his trust in Collins. The new head coach continues to stress the basic idea of "winning." He's not selling moral victories or course codes, but instead hopes to communicate his future plans.

"It's all about winning," Cimino said. "Coach Collins: The name takes care of itself. Any time you can play for a coach like that, you try to take advantage of it."

The reputation carries through, but Cimino needed to feel that the elusive "fit" was there. As we'll talk about at length this week, Northwestern hopes to land its Ryan Kelly-type as Collins tries to mimic the Duke outlook.

There's nothing wrong with that. Cimino is an advanced offensive player who can make jump shots and finish near the rim. He could be the ideal four-man, and Collins is very likely to see him play during his weekend trip through Indianapolis.

Cimino named NU, Stanford, Georgia Tech and Boston College as the schools that initially "came to mind" as players in his recruitment. He also holds an impressive Kansas State offer—probably another place where he'd fit in. Regardless, he's thrilled for the opportunity ahead, and a Northwestern offer–if it arrived–might provide the perfect package.

"I can fit into what they're trying to start over there at Northwestern," he said. "I'm very interested in them."

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