Where in the world is Chris Collins?

Our feature tracking the Northwestern coaching staff during the busy recruiting season...

Wednesday, July 10th

One source placed Chris Collins in Philadelphia. That tournament included NU targets Vic Law, Darreon Reddick and Makinde London—who may have picked up an NU offer. (Reddick is off the current board due to the three current point guard offers.) One event–the Bryant McIntosh de-commitment–set this July evaluation period in motion. At some point earlier in the week, Collins and Armon Gates had called the 3-star combo guard. They promised to recruit him "hard" and that complicated the picture.

Patrick Baldwin completed several evaluations in Indianapolis. He watched Texan power forward Ben Lammers, one of the sleeper looks for this class. Then, he focused on Ohio's Team Work, home to Northwestern prospects Peyton Aldridge and Gavin Skelly. Though both are undoubtedly talented forwards, Skelly played his way closer to an offer. Aldridge seems more of a fit at the small forward position, where Vic Law blocks him on the recruiting board. Skelly, meanwhile, is more of a traditional power forward with an advanced interior game. He may not fit the ideal mold, but still excelled throughout the week.

Thursday, July 11th

It appears as though Collins traveled to Nike's Peach Jam (Augusta, S.C.) early on Thursday. That night, he watched Tyler Ulis—without question the team's top remaining priority. They're trying incredibly hard to land the dynamic 4-star point guard, and might be gaining momentum.

He also made an interesting change of plans. That morning, he booked flights to Indianapolis. Because of positive early feedback, Collins texted Bryant McIntosh something along the lines of: "I'm coming to your games this weekend."

Baldwin also considered 2014 point guard B.J. Taylor. NU likely entered his recruitment too late for its own good; its point guard picture has no space remaining. Still, Taylor dropped 40 points in an afternoon game against Team Work, and followed with some more strong performances. No one aside from McIntosh did enough to earn an offer in Indianapolis.

Friday, July 12th

Collins stayed overnight at Peach Jam, and presumably watched 4-star small forward Josh Cunningham in action. Cunningham also picked up an offer from Minnesota this weekend, adding to his oddly quiet recruitment. He continues to be among the priorities for NU, as Collins has handed out very few offers. (On a side note, remember that reported Richard Lee offer? It doesn't exist.)

Gates, too, traveled to watch the hyped Tyler Ulis-Tyus Jones matchup. Accounts differ, but most outlets said Ulis went off for something like 23 points and 17 assists against the top-five national prospect. So that helped his cause.

Baldwin kept an eye on the developing situation with Bryant McIntosh. The combo guard picked up several offers due to strong showings, including Missouri and Florida State. Baldwin, of course, needed to identify whether McIntosh could play Big Ten-level defense. He obviously succeeded. Not to be grim, but many others saw the doors close on their NU hooping aspirations.

Saturday, July 13th

Collins arrived in Indianapolis with one intention: Watch McIntosh. In his second and final game on Saturday, McIntosh dropped 26 points. Collins promised to call him the next morning. (Collins also watched several 2015 guys on Saturday.)

Sunday, July 14th

Then, the head coach submitted the rare offer. He feels there's an excellent chance of landing McIntosh. It might be the ideal fit, with McIntosh a potential one- or two-guard. They're not looking at any more point guards. I'd be surprised if they missed on all three of Ulis, McIntosh and Marcus Bartley—making any concerns unfounded.

In another bold recruiting move, Gates called McIntosh to express his clear excitement. The two-man recruiting team is already working overtime to land McIntosh, now viewed as a major priority. Gates will watch him in Cincinnati next weekend, but that discussion is for another day.


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