After a long summer of decision-making, Bryant McIntosh is on board with Northwestern basketball. The talented guard became the latest piece of the puzzle today, pledging his commitment to Chris Collins during an in-home visit.
Take a minute to savor it.
McIntosh had been a high-priority target for a handful of programs ever since his decommitment from Indiana State, and the ensuing flurry of suitors made his recruitment one of the summer's busiest. With serious interest from Memphis, Purdue and Vanderbilt to name a few, it was clear from the onset that this was a high-major caliber player. And as with most decommits, McIntosh was sure to take his time before picking a new destination.
Yet from the beginning, Northwestern helped to make that process far less complex.
First and foremost, props go out to assistant coach Armon Gates for his relentless pursuit of McIntosh. I've said before that Collins and staff tend to make recruitments group efforts, but this case file belonged to Gates. Throughout the whirlwind that was July, he stuck his foot firmly in the door, and by the time Collins walked in it was clear that the Wildcats had an inside track. By the time McIntosh and his family left Welsh-Ryan in August, chalk.
With one scholarship left, Northwestern can narrow its focus. The staff should have bought its plane tickets to Canada by now to work on big man Chris Egi, who's expected to reclassify to 2014. Whether it's Egi, Scott Lindsey, both (accounting for unforeseen circumstances) or someone else entirely: with a sound group of recruits already in place, the Wildcats can aim even higher for that final spot.
What's more, think about what Collins' staff accomplished in about half of a recruiting cycle. They already have significantly more time to sort out 2015 priorities. Given the past several months, it's not far fetched to think the recruiting bar could be set even higher. It's a multiple-lap head start in contrast to the accelerated timetable they faced from the beginning, and one you bet they'll take advantage of.
So enjoy it a little longer. Stop worrying about what adjective to use to describe Tyler Ulis' recruitment. Chris Collins has his point guard, and plenty of time to calculate his next move.
By the time McIntosh and company arrive a year from now, who knows which future Wildcat we'll be talking about?