The Five High-Risers

Naming five Northwestern targets whose stocks rose early in July evaluations...

Gavin Skelly

Skelly seemed awfully under-recruited, which made me question his overall skillset. That cynical approach disappeared when Skelly performed well this week in Indianapolis. He showed a complete game at the 4-spot, with an impressive ability to finish around the basket.

Here's the caveat: Skelly doesn't fit the ideal power forward prototype quite as well as other candidates. Collins wants his four-man to spread out the defense, something that other targets may be more suited to accomplish. For now, Skelly looks like an unlikely offer–maybe 25 percent chance–but his game will fit very well somewhere.

B.J. Taylor

The coaching staff recently started watching Taylor, and there's a perfect opportunity here. Taylor is shockingly under-recruited for someone so talented, and lit up Team Work (Ohio) for 40 points on Thursday. It was a stunning display given his one offer.

Patrick Baldwin watched Taylor twice during the week, an indication of his growing interest in the 2014 point guard. They're still confident in aiming for Tyler Ulis, and will almost certainly take just one point guard for the class. With four available scholarships, I might consider taking two, but that's not really the point. Taylor can still make an impression and earn his Northwestern offer.

A.J. Turner

The staff still loves A.J. Turner. The shooting guard reclassified to 2015, and the former Tavaras Hardy recruit is gaining strong interest from the new coaching staff. He's a raw, high-upside prospect, which seems like a typical description for any 6-6 shooting guard.

It's easy and appropriate to lose sight of the 2015 group, but it takes several strong classes to build a program's reputation. Turner could be an interesting piece, as he and some other talented guards are receiving positive attention from NU coaches.

Scott Lindsey

After his outings in Indianapolis, Lindsey earned rave reviews from several analysts. Right now, he doesn't appear to be near a Northwestern offer, as interest does not translate to "offer-worthy." There's something to be said, though, for excellent performances at the right moment.

Crazier things have happened. Already, some sleeper prospects have put college coaches on notice. Lindsey picked up some mid-major offers, and with a dominant July, could be seeing more enhanced high-major interest flying in.

Mack Mercer

We spoke to the dynamic 3-star stretch-four earlier. He might be the closest to an offer at the moment, though I'd argue that it might take a couple of weeks for another to come through. NU is especially patient and needs to evaluate several options.

Mercer is an exciting name considering he's the perfect fit. He can stretch defenses out like few other skilled power forwards. He's heard from Armon Gates since those days at Loyola. With continued strong performances–including one in front of Collins–Mercer could be destined for that elusive offer.

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