NU Hoops Notebook

Everything you need to know about Northwestern hoops in our latest update...

London down to eight

This one strikes me as significant. spoke with London at the outset of his recruitment, back when he first received letters from this Northwestern coaching staff. Since then, the staff came through with an offer and Patrick Baldwin focused on the 4-star power forward. It led to this "top eight" inclusion—nothing to cheer about but certainly a start.

His AAU coach tweeted that his list now includes NU, VCU, Mississippi State, Georgia Tech, Xavier, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Miami. As I pointed out earlier this week, the London situation strikes me as a more intense version of Jershon Cobb's recruitment. NU needs to convince off-the-map players of the school's geographical appeal; some guys want to get away from home. (Again, it's why I loathe the "Chicago ties" obsession. To recruit well as a staff, you need someone like Baldwin to focus outside of the region.)

Anyways, the Wildcats have a shot at landing London—one of the fastest-rising players on the AAU circuit. It is very good news that London included them on his list. Many teams will regret missing out on his recruitment.

Braxton chooses Weber State

I'm not using this to call Braxton a "target." That word is especially overused, given that NU could have offered Braxton after watching him compete in Las Vegas (and would have almost certainly beaten out Weber State). Still, there's a chance that the Wildcats considered some form of delayed offer to the sleeper power forward.

My point is this: Some players fall off the board immediately following July evaluations. Gavin Skelly–to some extent–forced Collins' hand by explaining that he needed his complete offer list by the end of the month. Some players don't enjoy hanging by the whims of college coaches. It's perfectly understandable.

NU cannot throw out late offers (in August) to clear-cut high-major players and expect to succeed that way. It's safe to say this: They believe they have extremely strong chances with at least one current target. The majority of this recruiting board is complete, and with two commitments remaining, there will only be increased clarity moving forward.

Too late to apologize?

Northwestern can only expend so much of its energy on players impossible to land. Their three major targets (London, Tyler Ulis and Bryant McIntosh) seem within reach and worthy of intense pursuit.

I believe that Chris Collins would have wasted no time in offering Wade Baldwin if the staff had enough time to impact his recruitment. Baldwin emerged as one of Vanderbilt's priorities and reportedly loves the appeal of some California schools.

He built an especially strong relationship with Vic Law during a Philadelphia AAU tournament, but the late pursuit might thwart the new staff's chances.

It's still very possible that NU offers Baldwin. I just wouldn't say that there's any significant chance of winning him over.

Checking out the Canadian

Patrick Baldwin did apologize to Chris Egi for stalling in his recruitment. The 2015 power forward–who transferred to Montverde Academy for his junior season–picked up an offer from Bill Carmody.

Egi gained some experience on the international circuit with the Canadian team this summer. The four-star talent is known for his excellent defense and rebounding—two components that the Wildcats so badly need on the future roster.

Egi did float the idea of reclassifying to the 2014 group, which would effectively destroy any of NU's chances. Also, Baldwin and Collins need to differentiate Northwestern using more than simple academics. His top list includes Harvard and Stanford.

Regardless, it's the appropriate move to engage in his recruitment. Collins refuses to settle for average talent in the early stages of his NU career.

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