2015 PF Cody Schwartz major priority for NU

2015 PF Cody Schwartz talks Northwestern interest and recent visit in this PurpleWildcats Insider update.

The recruitment of Cody Schwartz reflects the growing aspirations of Northwestern basketball.

The three-star 2015 power forward played at Summer Jam this weekend. Two Big Ten head coaches, Chris Collins and John Beilein, were in attendance for one of his games on Friday morning. Michigan just finished a national runner-up season, and NU has never made the tournament.

Still, Collins wants to recruit with the best—and that already carries over to the class of 2015. Schwartz visited Northwestern campus three weeks ago, and expressed considerable optimism regarding the direction of NU basketball.

"Coach Collins seemed great," Schwartz said. "He was an assistant at Duke, so he knows his stuff. He's won everywhere he's been.

"He got me excited about Northwestern and the way that program's going to be coming around."

Schwartz also appreciated that Collins went to see him play this weekend. The potential "stretch four" target dominated for much of the weekend with his blend of perimeter shooting, solid rebounding and impressive athleticism. Schwartz appears to be one of the team's top recruiting priorities, and he's happy to feel that support.

"It shows that [NU] will keep watching me," Schwartz said. "Hopefully, you know, I can play well in front of them and get an offer. It shows that my hard work is paying off a little bit."

The De Pere (Wis.) prospect said his recent visit to NU went extremely well. He's developing strong bonds with the coaching staff, and praised them for their youth and enthusiasm.

This is an important point: For the 2014 class, NU had to hasten the recruiting process because of the entirely new staff. Collins and his assistants will be able to grow closer connections with 2015 prospects due to the less immediate timeframe.

They can also identify needs, one of which seems to be this "stretch four" spot. Schwartz talked about the importance of building up versatility this season. Coaches respect players who attempt to correct weaknesses, and Schwartz follows this strategy in the process of rounding out his game.

"They want me at the three/four position," Schwartz said. "Strength is going to be a big key for me to play the four, but I have to be faster and more explosive to play the three. There are definitely areas I need to improve on."

Collins has plenty of time to pay attention to Schwartz as the talented prospect improves his game. He's not wasting any of it.

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